Less than 48 hours after Zelensky threatened Ukraine will become a nuclear nation and that it desires NATO membership, Russia responded: with a full-scale invasion. Not only was this provocation the perfect excuse for Putin to move in, but various other factors in the West made it attractive for Russia, namely that Western leaders like Biden and Trudeau were facing their lowest approval rates ever in February 2022, along with their counterparts in Germany, the UK and Australia.
What did all Western leaders have in common that means currently their citizens are more supportive of Vladimir Putin than of their own leaders at home? One simple thing: the brutal treatment of citizens who protested pandemic-related mandates. For the first time in modern history, did citizens in our so-called democratic countries face up to the reality that we are less free than the Russians, and edged closer to the way in which China and North Korea treats their citizens.
“Winter Is Coming”, a book by Garry Kasparov claimed that Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped. But when the leaders of the free world themselves compete with China on levels of despotism and Canadian & Australia civil rights fall to their lowest levels ever, what faith do citizens have left in the free world?
War is business – what is at stake?
Regardless of those who see this as a distraction from American and European mismanagement and power grabs that turned millions of citizens against the existing world order, war remains business. The way in which the present scenario unfolded, regardless of how the Atlantic Council and our NATO leaders may present it, can be interpreted as follows:
- Europeans to become the new energy slaves of American natural Gas;
- Russia to make up it’s shortfall in gas sales by annexing more of Ukrainian territory to boost it’s agribusiness and mining portfolios.
The arguments surrounding the invasion of Ukraine were clear from the Russian perspective: NATO inching closer and closer to Russia’s borders became unacceptable. Putin trusted Trump, but given how Biden and Obama encroached on Russia for years – during the time Russia annexed Crimea, Putin had no trust nor any respect for Biden. He did what he thought was unavoidable: he saw NATO coming and moved first. Did it help that the puppet president Zelensky threaten Russia with becoming a nuclear state or to become a NATO member? Not at all – it did the opposite: it provoked Russia and there we have it.
Did Putin hint at a nuclear strike?
When Putin said on 23rd February that anyone intervening in Ukraine will see something the world has never seen before, analysts believe it could mean numerous things. The unknowns are laser weaponry, space, cyberspace – and then of course, the well known threat of an all-out mutually destructive nuclear war.
Clearly Putin lashed out in anger and responded rather dynamically. Berlin confirmed that the Nord Stream pipeline will not survive due to the Russian attack. Added to that, along with sanctions and Russia’s expulsion from SWIFT interbank money transfer, a new centerpiece of retaliation unfolded.
The bottom line? Europeans will lose either ways:
The rise of Biden led to a surge in energy prices for both Europeans and Americans. The American fantasy to become Europe’s gas supplier and cut of Russia may become true – but for this to happen, natural gas prices had to rise first. It is now at a level where it would make perfect sense for America to start selling the gas. If gas from Qatar can be blocked for longer, and Turkey can keep threatening Greece to delay natural gas being extracted from the Aegean – the perfect storm shaped up in favor of an American gas crusade. Whatever Senator Graham says about crushing the Russian gas sector, it should be obvious that the Russians will be forced to make that shortfall through land grabs and other forms of extortion, make no mistake. Whichever way things pan out: Europeans and Ukrainians will pay the highest price of all.
“Reassuring our allies” – what does it mean?
When Biden says he wants to reassure NATO and European allies – yes, indeed, we are now reassured that our gas prices will keep rising, and that after two years of covid-related hell, finally what we’ve saved up during this time, will be handed over either to Russia or the U.S. to buy gas and oil. Donald Trump on the other hand, seems to have sided with Putin, predicting that the next invasion will be an emboldened China, which will invade Taiwan. But fear not: Biden is also reassuring Taiwan.
Finally, by forgetting the NATO party in Libya and Syria, President Charles Michel of the European Council and President Ursula von der Leyen as EU leaders suddenly came to the hypocritic realization that “Such use of force and coercion has no place in the 21st century”.
With western democracy at an all-time low and despotism and dictatorships on the rise, and a clear lack of a new world order that reflects direct democracy, Putin saw an opportune moment and said to the West: before you move, I’ll move. “American interests” VS “Russian interests” are being tested, and at some point, greed may come at a cost that is too high for the common man to bare. It was the West that drove Russia and China closer together – and only the West can undo their strategic blunder. Presidents and governments will come and go, but Eurasia is a vast space of stakeholders that need to co-exist, not necessarily in the way a Washington consensus will dictate.