The justification for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February will long be debated. Every big power has fears of being surrounded. On its historically vulnerable western front, Russia had one supportive neighbour, six North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) adversaries, and two who are ambiguously inclined, while Ukraine’s relations with the European Union (EU) and NATO were always a matter of contention. After the Putin-Biden Geneva encounter in mid-2021, the high intensity of interactions between NATO members and Russia raised hopes of a detente, but Russian President Vladimir Putin chose invasion over negotiation, ignoring the degraded and inexperienced state of his armed forces, Ukraine’s military being the biggest in Europe with 2,00,000 men, 6,00,000 reserves, 1,000 tanks and 130 aircraft, Ukraine’s willingness to resist, and NATO’s determination to punish Russia. (Read More)
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