I believe that Russia will invade Ukraine in the near future. I believe that Russia will invade Ukraine in the near future. There are reports that a summit between the U.S. and Russia could take place as early as the end of the year, but the rift between the two sides is so deep that it may not happen. December 26, 2009 marks exactly 30 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union. President Putin, 69, has a desire to regain control of Ukraine at this time. If the meeting goes ahead, the invasion will be decisive.’ (Nakamura Itsuro, a professor at Tsukuba University who specializes in Russian politics)
Seven years have passed since Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. In early December, 90,000 Russian troops gathered in the Smolensk region bordering Ukraine. The troops are equipped with heavy weapons, and have set up medical units and fuel supply lines, which are necessary for long-term warfare. It is said that up to 175,000 troops are expected to be mobilized. It’s not just a performance,” said Anton Troianovsky, a Moscow correspondent for The New York Times.
Putin and his inner circle have a philosophy called the Kremlin Thesis. It’s an obsessive idea that Russia and Ukraine are citizens under one government, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Western countries are trying to control Ukraine. The idea is that it is unnatural for Russians and Ukrainians, who share a similar language and culture, to be divided. This idea has been widely accepted by generations of Russians, including those who are anti-Putin.
When Russia forcibly annexed the Crimean peninsula in ’14, the regime’s approval rating jumped from 60 percent to 80 percent. The current approval rating is 42%.’ President Putin, who is seeking a fifth term in the upcoming presidential election in 2012, has calculated that he would like to raise his approval rating by annexing all of Ukraine.
In addition to the Covid-19 shock, Russia’s economy has been exhausted and stagnant due to the long-term sanctions imposed by Western countries. The country is in a precarious situation, with large-scale protests occurring frequently. I think that by drawing attention to Ukraine, they are aiming to divert the public’s attention.” (International journalist Toshihiro Yamada)
So why is Russia trying to launch an invasion at this time? Mr. Nakamura says.
Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel retired from politics on December 8. In the past, when Russia had disputes with the U.S. and EU countries, Merkel was the one who pacified President Putin. Merkel is a native of East Germany, and Putin served in Dresden when he was an officer in the KGB secret police. The two of them had many private meetings in German. Because of this East German connection, former Chancellor Merkel seemed to have a weakness for President Putin, and was the apple of his eye.
But now that Merkel has retired, he can do whatever he wants. In addition, the pro-U.S. Zelensky administration’s approval rating in Ukraine has dropped to 22%, and the country is now in a state of extreme instability. Now is the perfect time for President Putin to annex the country.
The United States has warned that it will impose strong economic sanctions, including suspending the exchange of dollars and rubles on financial markets. The EU, on the other hand, has not disclosed the details of its sanctions. The EU, on the other hand, has not disclosed the details of its sanctions, meaning that the two countries are not on the same page. Mr. Nakamura continues.
EU countries depend on Russia for more than 50% of their natural gas imports. If they stop importing natural gas, which is currently at a historically high price, they will not be able to survive the winter. We cannot take strong measures like the US. Even if Russia ignores the warnings and invades, President Putin knows that the US, let alone the EU, will not enter into a military conflict. President Biden is reluctant to use force. The Zelensky regime is in such a shambles that there will be no real fighting and the whole of Ukraine will be overrun in no time.
Will Ukraine be swallowed up by Putin’s ambitions and disappear from the world map?
From the January 7-14, 2022 issue of FRIDAY
PHOTO： kyodo news agency (1st) afro