ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Diplomacy, Not War

Belligerence must halt and give way to a peaceful resolution to the Russia–Ukraine conflict.

 

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine entering its second week, scenes of continuous bombardment of Ukrainian cities, military clashes and thousands fleeing the war zone dominate news headlines. Russia’s nuclear weapons are on alert, as a full-scale war is underway. A conflict that has aggravated since the Maidan square protests and ouster of Viktor Yanukovych in 2014 has reached a tipping point, leaving several quarters grappling with the causes and consequences of the current war. At the outset, it is important to recognise that a full-scale war, notwithstanding the interlocked factors underlying the conflict, must always stand second to the diplomatic efforts that promote a collective and peaceful solution. Any other position in such a situation means only the exacerbation of conflict. Eventually, the ordinary citizens bear the brunt of war, who not only find their lives severely disrupted but also “conveniently” become spectators to political manoeuvres and pageantries in political one-upmanship and where they do raise their voices, they stand either sidelined or suppressed.

Undoubtedly, there is a complex set of factors at play. Ukraine, both in its geostrategic position and political history, remains a stage for the unravelling of an older and more complicated political struggle. The Russian state, under Vladimir Putin, has consistently maintained that the actions of the current Ukrainian government, propelled by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United States (US), in particular, pose a direct security threat to Russia. This includes reneging on the promise to keep the NATO military presence away from Russian borders and not inducting Ukraine into NATO. While the former is evident in the large-scale NATO military build-up over time in Poland very close to the Russian border, the latter has been hinted at but seems to conceal a more devious design—a carrot dangled at ensuring a Western-backed regime in Kiev to the detriment of Russian interests. The enmity or the rivalry of the Cold War, while significantly different now, seems to have found irruption in the hostilities in the region. The US, which projects itself as the beacon of democracy, is selectively portraying this as a struggle against Putin’s autocratic regime.

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Updated On : 12th Mar, 2022
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