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How the West Brought War to Ukraine: Understanding How U.S. and NATO Policies Led to Crisis, War, and the Risk of Nuclear Catastrophe

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Russia is also reported to be starting the process of withdrawing from other Council of Europe treaties. The realization of a major war breaking out in Europe after almost eight years of a simmering conflict created a political constellation of three different groups of nations: those who sided with Putin’s Russia, those who pledged support to Ukraine, and a group of non-aligned nations resisting involvement and/or hedging their bets. However, there were 35 abstentions, among them three Commonwealth states – South Africa, Pakistan, and India. James Nixey, director of the Russia and Eurasia programme, says: ‘There is no going back after this.

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the war has been the exposure of Russia’s military weakness. In our view, the West would be well advised to treat India, Turkiye, Brazil, and other comparable powers as new sovereign subjects of world history rather than as objects to be dragooned onto the right side of history.There are a lot of people who, as individuals, are benefiting from this, but I think they’re doing it at the expense of the country as a whole. He says: ‘Russian statements like placing Russia’s nuclear forces on a ‘special regime of combat duty’ in February 2022 may be meaningless, but still generate a fearful reaction across the West. NATO broke promises it had made not to move an inch east and Russia, the most extensive country in the world with vast natural resources, continued to be besieged by surrounding US and NATO bases. The West has not disintegrated, but its consolidation has come at a moment when other powers will not simply do as it wishes.

But the study also reveals a wide gap between the West and the ‘rest’ when it comes to their desired outcomes for the war and differing understandings of why the US and Europe support Ukraine. But people in those countries see themselves very differently: as emerging great powers that may side with the West on some issues but not on others.I won’t lay out his entire case here because the book is short enough and worthwhile enough to read regardless of your position on the conflict, but I will share what I think is the most compelling part of it: The West needs to set up and participate in peace talks immediately. The International Court of Justice demanded Russia ‘immediately suspend the military operations’ in Ukraine. Alongside the changes to Europe’s security architecture, Russia’s illegal invasion has ushered in a new type of information warfare says Magdalene Karalis, Chatham House Stavros Niarchos academy fellow, especially the widespread use of open-source intelligence (OSINT). Not only has the war threatened the stability of Europe but it has also impacted food and energy security globally including in the Middle East and Africa, creating shock waves in a world barely recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Russia’s re-invasion of Ukraine breached the UN Charter and fundamental international law, says Chatham House International Law programme director Rashmin Sagoo.

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