Prof. Olexiy Haran and Petro Burkovskyi: Fighting for Freedom: Ukrainian Assessment of the Implications of the Russian Invasion for South Asia

2023-01-16 | Expert publications, Geopolitical analysis

By Prof. Olexiy Haran (Kyiv Mohyla University) and Petro Burkovskyi i (Executive Director, Democratic Initiatives Foundation, Kyiv). Since the 2000s, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s policy towards Ukraine was aimed at restoring full control of the nation’s political, economic, and security systems. It contradicted Russian legal obligations as Ukraine had given up its nuclear weapons and Russia was among the guarantors of its territorial integrity. Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 resulted in heavy sanctions which Moscow did not foresee, while Kyiv demonstrated better adaptability to the changing war situation and accelerated its EU integration. Russia has been losing its status as a great power and the invasion has cost it dearly. Russian foreign and security policy in South Asia since 2014 is being questioned. The war between Ukraine and Russia created a profound global strategic and economic crisis for the South Asian countries. At the same time, it showed how smaller nations can defend themselves by building networks of close partnerships with other neighbouring nations. The conflict also proved how manipulations with energy resources and food supplies can constrain such cooperation and how spread of narratives helps the aggressor state to disguise plans to build spheres of influence. Despite some attempts in South Asia to stay neutral between aggressor and its victim, or even to benefit from the war, withdrawal of the Russian troops from Ukraine would be beneficial for South Asian countries.

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