By Tom Willerton-Gartside
EVERY once in a while, international politics experiences an inflection point in history.
It’s a moment whereby the course of history will be forever changed.
A point where, forever more, historians will ponder ‘what if?’.
The outcome of Russia’s thus far disastrous invasion of Ukraine appears to warrant such importance.
A Russian victory- whether that be full occupation or partial occupation of eastern Ukraine- would leave the bear growling again, ever emboldened as it regains its seat at the top table of international affairs.
With rumours circulating of an attempted, Russian-influenced coup in Moldova, Putin’s imperialism would come face to face with a weakened NATO on the borders of eastern Europe.
Alongside rising tensions with China, global politics would be slipping closer and closer to an indescribably catastrophic confrontation between the major superpowers.
Victory for Ukraine, on the other hand, would represent a turning point that seemed unthinkable back in February 2022.
The Russian bear would be reeling, with Putin’s grasp on the Kremlin growing weaker by the day, and NATO looking to expand ever eastward.
And therein lies further danger. NATO expansion eastwards risks fuelling the ingrained siege mentality of the Russian people, who see themselves as surrounded by enemies.
Such a course of events would not resolve the Russian question for the West: it is only by connecting Russian interests with those in the West that future confrontation can be prevented.
Adopting the Reagan doctrine might defeat Russians in the fields of eastern Europe, but it is only through linkage that history will stop repeating itself.
It is clear that neither side can afford to make a humiliating climbdown.
Thus, this inflection point will decide whether we revert back towards Cold War politics, or whether the Russian bear will be tamed into submission to the West.
The coming decades will be decided by the next few months and years. It is up to the West to help Ukraine to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years.
Their resolve to go on to the end must endure.
For a tyrannous Putin cannot be allowed to fulfil his narcissistic imperialist plans. And thus, the West must everything possible to prevent the Russian bear from standing opposite Poland.
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Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
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