The Russia-Ukraine war, which began in 2014, has caused significant destabilization in the region and has had far-reaching consequences on the international stage. According to Dr. John Bruni, a leading Adelaide expert on geopolitics, the conflict is rooted in a long history of tension between the two countries, as well as Russia’s desire to maintain influence over its neighbours.
However, as Bruni notes, the war is not solely a result of historical animosity. It is also a product of Russia’s efforts to assert itself as a major global player, a status that has been challenged in recent years by the expansion of NATO and the EU. In response, Russia has sought to undermine these organizations by creating division and instability within their ranks.
The war in Ukraine is a prime example of this strategy. By annexing Crimea and supporting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, Russia has disrupted the stability of a key European state and weakened the unity of the EU and NATO.
But the costs of this aggression have been high for both sides. The conflict has resulted in thousands of deaths and has displaced millions of people. It has also had significant economic consequences, with Russia and Ukraine experiencing significant economic downturns as a result of the hostilities.
As SAGE International, a global security and strategy consulting firm, points out, finding a resolution to the Russia-Ukraine war will require a multifaceted approach. This will likely include diplomatic efforts to address the underlying causes of the conflict, as well as measures to address the humanitarian crisis and rebuild the economies of both countries.
Ultimately, the resolution of the Russia-Ukraine war will require the commitment of both sides to find a peaceful solution. It will also require the support of the international community, which must stand united in condemning aggression and promoting stability in the region. So, while it would be good for the Ukrainian people and the Russian economy that all the parties involved to come to the negotiating table and find a way to end this destructive conflict, Bruni says, neither side to the conflict sees peace as advantageous. The war is likely to continue over the coming months, with the ground war intensifying in the late northern Spring and Summer of 2023.
Expect new Western weapons to have a qualitative impact on Ukraine’s defensive and counter-offensive capabilities. According to Bruni, for the Russians, the key will be their continuing ‘Darwinian approach’ to tactical improvements. They are fighting better now than they did back in the early months of the war, but at a great cost to themselves materially. Also, watch the impact of sanctions on the Russian economy, he says. If a nation’s capacity to wage war is largely based on its economic strengths, Russia’s ability to weather severe Western sanctions will determine the country’s battlefield successes in 2023.