Ukraine in the Face of Russian Aggression: A View from Armenia

Some people felt that the world changed overnight after Putin declared two unique regions, namely the “Donetsk People’s Republic” and the “Luhansk People’s Republic”, as independent states and sent soldiers to carry out “peacekeeping operations”, and a heated confrontation was on the way. imminent. In reality, the United States and Russia have tested each other on the situation in Russia and Ukraine, and Putin’s actions so far reflect a new round of tests based on the results of the stage. previous test. There are still cards to be played by both sides.

Long ago, many levels of government in the United States claimed to have intelligence suggesting that “war is imminent.” Only by asserting that Putin will “use force” will Putin be motivated to demonstrate the “error” of the United States in not using force. And as long as no force is used accordingly, the fundamental objective of the United States has been achieved. According to Jessica Brandt, a researcher at the Brookings Institution, the United States provided detailed intelligence on how Russia would construct a “false flag” excuse to disrupt Moscow’s plan to strike Ukraine.

Moreover, the United States must disrupt Russia’s position and give the impression that “there are American individuals in Russia and that everything is under American control”, so that Putin’s priority shifts from “catching the treacherous” to “create trouble”. As a result, because war did not break out quickly, the United States initially assumed that playing the first map would be effective.

However, after the United States played the card, Russia refused to take it. Since Russia has the potential to investigate internal concerns whenever the United States releases reliable intelligence, the process by which the intelligence is acquired and the individuals providing it may be disclosed. As a result, the Russians may deliberately fake a shootout and fabricate “false information” in order to test the US intelligence infrastructure. However, the Russian side may find out later.

However, the Russian side may find out later that many US judgments are based on the analysis of external information, such as forecasting the future trend of the situation based on satellite images of military mobilization and forecasting intentions based on when the information was published. Take, for example, Donetsk. The pro-Russian army began evacuating villagers on February 16, but crucial information was not made public until the following weekend. The timing of the speech, according to the United States, is intended to create a “false flag operation”, hinting that war is quite near.

Following Russia’s clear appeals to the United States and the West, the Biden administration and key European states have indicated sanctions for likely Russian actions. Finally, as if at the right time, a flood of potential fines appeared. Among them are the inclusion of major Russian banks such as Sberbank and VTB on the U.S. Treasury Department’s “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” (SDN) list, as well as Russia’s possible withdrawal from the “Global Interbank Financial Telecommunications Association”.

(SWIFT), to financial measures such as the freezing of foreign loans from Russia and even the possibility of using US dollar settlements; from a total embargo on Russian products containing American technology, to technological measures such as the disruption of the supply chain required for advanced Russian technology; and more.

There are targeted sanctions against Putin’s inner circle, as well as military methods and measures to round up armed rebels to engage in guerrilla warfare in Russian-held territories should Russia ever seize Ukraine. . After many games, the White House “Tiger Team” believes these penalties will impose significant costs on Putin’s force deployment.

Russia still did not want the cards after the United States played it this time, but instead dealt the cards given to them. Because, once the maps are displayed on a large scale, it will be quite obvious which maps are still in US hands and which are not. Russia made it clear from the start that the United States would not send troops to the front lines of the conflict. In addition to the absence of suitable sanctions objectives, the Biden administration’s haste to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan a few months earlier testifies to this.

The Russian side recognizes that the symbolic act of “crossing the Russian-Ukrainian border” is extremely important for the United States, but it seems that “how to cross the border” is not fully specified, leaving the possibility to the next map of Russia all the way. Also, because Russia has organized a deck of cards and is careful to show them, they haven’t revealed too many chips in their hands, and there are naturally a limited number of combinations that can be played.

In this round, Russia first allowed China to play the “Winter Olympics” card – after all, China helped Russia block a number of “excellent cards” under the Trump administration, giving Russia an unorthodox strategy. Then, using the information and tokens obtained in previous rounds, Russia will play a big hand to test the real pressure that the United States and the West are willing to accept. Because the United States is primarily concerned with ensuring that “Russia cannot cross the line”, it simply states that the border will be changed and the Ukrainian region will become “independent” first.

From Russia’s point of view, there is no need to send forces on a “peacekeeping” mission after crossing the Russian-Ukrainian border. When the Russians played their game, Biden simply issued an ordinary executive order prohibiting US companies from engaging in new economic activities in the two different regions of Ukraine, such as investment, trade and banking. . In reality, there is just a bit of overlap between these two areas. The next day, the US government implemented more specific sanctions.

A response like this from the United States contradicts the previous statement that “serious consequences will be implemented as soon as Russia takes action.” This is comparable to how, when the Russian side played a card, the American side simply pressed a small card to respond because they hadn’t planned in advance how to deal with it. As a result, Russia took advantage of the situation and played the next card, “sending forces to preserve the peace and carrying out particular military actions in local places”, again testing the results of the States -United.

If the comparable penalties are too low, it’s like eating rotten fruit; if the sanctions are too strong, it can have a disastrous impact on the national economy, which is already suffering from high inflation but is still infected with the virus. Electoral chances have weakened considerably. More importantly, the United States has previously said that the Russian military has been in eastern Ukraine for some time, so there could be other explanations for whether or not more troops arrived. Russians in the region. The United States has lost its desire to fight against all odds for a variety of reasons.

Of course, even if he can’t afford it right now, Biden will try to budge. After all, the national opposition, the Republican Party, has been watching it for some time, waiting for the Biden administration to make mistakes and look stupid on the Russia-Ukraine issue in order to use it as hype material for the midterm elections, in order to win more seats in Congress and even recover two senators. However, since Biden’s current foreign policy is primarily driven by domestic issues, the possibility of a token move outweighs the situation of splitting the cards in his hand and playing only that hand, which is tantamount to shoot in the foot.

When the Russian army began to advance into Ukraine from the ground, air and network, and artillery fire and deaths began to occur, the situation seems to have fundamentally changed. The US continues to tighten the quality and number of sanctions, but Putin seems to have stopped paying attention to the cards the US is playing. He seems aware that the opposing team will only play one card, ready to strike. However, Russia has not yet won, and the power of the United States means that it must have more and better cards than Russia. However, America’s current shame is mostly the result of playing bad hands before these rounds begin.

Assuming the current global poker game is reduced to a three-pronged showdown between the United States and the West, Russia and China, the best situation in such a system might be for the other two sides to shoot each other. while leaving enough strategic space. space and flexibility to deal with the area. The second best case scenario is that one side joins you to compete with the third; the worst case scenario is that the other two parties decide to ally with the third.

Russia first saw the intensification of competition between China and the United States and expected to enter the first situation quickly; however, the Biden administration has consistently ignored China’s positive reputation and forcefully tried to push China on Russia’s side, despite China’s much-publicized willingness to cooperate with the United States.

After pressuring China to agree to the second demand, the United States found itself in the third worst position. Some may argue that the United States is neither alone nor powerless since it has the AUKUS tripartite mechanism, the quadrilateral QUAD system, the Five Eyes Alliance, the Seven Nations Alliance, NATO and the European Union, among others.

War, although a card game, is not for children. It is filled with gunpowder smoke and has an exorbitant cost. Some of the cards in the hands of decision makers may represent their lives. The international card game doesn’t have to be a “zero-sum game”. To improve the image of a great country in the new era of opportunities, all parties must calm down and return to the negotiating table. May the world be at peace and may humanity never again play with the lives of others.

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