Since World War I, the Russian invasion has resulted in Europe’s worst humanitarian and refugee crises.
The ‘Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022’ was signed into law by US President Joe Biden on May 21, delivering $40 billion in mostly military aid, including modern weaponry, as well as some economic and humanitarian assistance. During the recent QUAD (United States, Australia, Japan, and India) conference in Tokyo, he rallied the QUAD leaders against Russia. The US Embassy’s full complement is being dispatched to Kyiv.
Military-wise, there is even talk of an empowered US Department of Defence putting boots on the ground in Ukraine. As of May, 40 countries had given military help to Ukraine, primarily in the form of basic weapons and munitions, missiles, attack drones, and artillery.
After supplying over 7,000 Javelin anti-tank missiles, the US is considering more transfers, potentially depleting US Army inventories. Thousands of Stinger anti-aircraft missiles have been delivered by NATO/US to challenge the Russian Air Force’s dominance of the skies.
Slovakia and Slovenia are contemplating transferring a Soviet-made S-300 air defence system to combat Russian drones that aim bombs and missiles at distant targets.
Aside from the US Switchblade and Turkish Bayraktar attack drones, Ukraine is already employing 121 recently built US Phoenix Ghost tactical drones. These caused significant damage to Russian armour and artillery, as well as functioning as decoys for Russian missile defences. The US is considering sending sophisticated drones, such as the MQ-9 Reaper, which can be operated from afar rather than the smaller ones, which require the controller to be present in the battlespace.
Over 5,000 Nlaws/other anti-tank missiles, five air-defence systems, and other weapons have been given by the United Kingdom, one of Kyiv’s main military suppliers. To avoid a Russian blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, it is considering transferring anti-ship weapons.
Finally, the US/NATO has begun arming Ukrainian artillery with large-calibre weapons to fight and deter Russian long-range artillery. The Pentagon claims that the US has dispatched more than half of its howitzers to Ukraine. The Mi-17 helicopters will be supplied by the White House. Germany has pledged to deliver Gepard anti-aircraft tanks after weeks of debate. President Emmanuel Macron of France has authorized Caesar cannons and Milan anti-tank missiles for Ukraine following his re-election. From the Czech Republic, T-72 tanks, armoured combat vehicles, and artillery systems have been supplied. Drones, Javelin missiles, and T-72 tanks have been delivered by Poland. Mistral anti-air missiles and other anti-tank weaponry have been sent by Norway.
The following is an example of open Western/US engagement in the Ukraine conflict. This is in addition to America’s covert assistance, as well as its substantial intelligence and communications support. The US/NATO has authorized billions of dollars for the purchase of combat equipment by participating countries to assist Ukraine. As forces throughout the globe know, the diverse equipment delivered in conflict requires training and/or staffing, or both, to absorb and utilise the new technology properly. As a result, the presence of Western veterans, volunteers, mercenaries, and even masked forces fighting Russians is both visible and extensively publicized.
Who interprets the law today determines how far such overt and covert involvement is permitted under international law? With the ability to manufacture reality and ‘re-manufacture it’ to fit desired outcomes, the West depicts this conflict in a significantly different light than it did in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, for example, through a tremendous print and electronic media blitz. The goal of this proxy war is to permanently defang Russia’s military, dominate its political landscape, and whittle away at its area of influence… first and foremost, Eastern Europe.
This battle, like other conflicts, has the potential to spill over into Europe and the nuclear sphere, although unintentionally. Escalation has its dynamics, and descending the escalation ladder is considerably more difficult than ascending it, due to the high political cost. Apart from military ramifications, this battle has and will continue to pervade worldwide trade, business, and the economy in unimaginable ways.
The Russian naval blockade of Ukrainian ports has hampered food supplies to the rest of the globe. Russia and Ukraine provide a third of the world’s grain. The first painful result is soaring food costs throughout the world. Africa has been particularly heavily struck. The new emergency is/would be a food shortage. The battle has contributed to disproportionate delays in the worldwide sea transportation system by compounding corona-induced disruptions in global logistics and supply chains. The prices of seaborne shipping, which were previously expensive owing to the coronavirus’s constraints, are now far higher due to war-related insurance expenses and the lack of availability of Russian and Ukrainian naval assets and infrastructure.
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The highest consumer costs are seen at petrol stations. Governments, such as Pakistan’s, are caught in a bind when it comes to giving subsidies to protect citizens against inflation. The danger of Russian energy leaving the European/US grid is looming, inflationary and costly, with no alternatives available until Qatar can fill the supply gap (gas only), which is unlikely before 2027.
Years have been lost in the worldwide drive to transition away from fossil fuels and toward cleaner, greener energy. Both armies have left a tremendous environmental impact by fighting, destroying infrastructure, emitting pollutants, and harming flora and animals.
From the pleasant days of the World Trade Organization, the Global Village, and the Maastricht Treaty, international relations are once again returning to the stressful decades of Cold War and bloc politics.
Regional politics is forcibly re-oriented under the tone of ‘with or against us.” Pakistan appears to be the first victim of Russia’s “misadventure.”
On the 24th of May, 2022, the EU Commissioner thundered from the safety of the World Economic Forum, “Ukraine must win.” The heat is where the flames are, even if it is moralistically tempting for Western drawing rooms. This experiment in gaining control of Russia through proxies might have unexpected repercussions, similar to the ‘great enterprise’ of bloodying the Soviet Union’s nose in Afghanistan in front of our eyes. Afghanistan has failed to find its footing.