Putin’s war on Ukraine: Cui Bono?

Written by Elijah J. Magnier:

President Vladimir Putin himself announced the beginning of the military operation (at 04:30 am local time) in the Donbas, a neighbouring region with Russia, which Russia had recognised last Monday as independent from Ukraine. The Russian military launched over 100 guided missiles and entered Donbas while precision missiles hit Ukrainian command and control centres in many parts of the country and neutralised the Ukrainian air force. However, it is not a war to occupy all of the Ukrainian territories, notwithstanding the Russian control of a military airport close to the capital Kyiv that might be the next target. Instead, it is a Russian deterrence for Europe and the US behind it, imposing red lines and calling for negotiations under fire. The Russian forces may go beyond the Donbas region and bring down the current pro-western government of Kyiv. Billions of dollars worth of weapons that several influential NATO state members sent to Kyiv are falling into Russia’s hands. Who benefits (Cui Bono) from this war?

Notwithstanding Putin’s repeated warnings that Ukraine’s accession to NATO threatens Russia’s national security, European diplomacy failed to alter the US decision. It defied Russia, refusing to offer the necessary guarantee to de-escalate the tension. Instead, the US and its European and other partners sent hundreds of tons of weapons worth billions of dollars to Ukraine, which of course, can only be a challenge to Russia and an invitation to war. The Russian President accepted the invitation to war and initiated a large military operation, starting from Donbas, which is nothing but a solid message to Europe to take his security concerns seriously in the future, mainly in Georgia and Ukraine.

Unsurprisingly, European and US officials have denounced the Russian operation in Ukraine, among others. However, so far, all western leaders have made it clear that they would not be directly involved in a war that is advancing very rapidly in Ukrainian territory. Putin seems to be looking for a “clean and fast” war to impose his control over the capital or surrounded and take control of vital military positions so he can leave as fast as he came in. Once he has proved his will and power, no other government or nearby country will dare to confront Moscow and join NATO or become under western dictate as long as the Russian forces leave quickly and avoid a quagmire and a war of resistance in Ukraine.

Notwithstanding the western threats, Ukraine faced the Russian advance on its own when the attackers entered from several sides and axes: starting from the North-East in Kharkiv, Mariupol in the East to Kherson in the south-East on the Black Sea north of Crimea. Russian forces used the Byelorussian territory to advance into Ukraine as another front close to the capital Kyiv to meet the troops from Donbas and isolate Ukrainian soldiers in between. The Russian forces advanced in an open corridor in the centre of Donbas, reaching a depth of 35 kilometres inside Donbas in the first hours. The speed of movement of the advancing forces, with the Russian jets and guided missiles destroying most of the Ukrainian radar and the command-and-control centres, created an opportunity for Russia to move swiftly towards the capital.

Russia’s goal in conducting the battle was to paralyse the military force before engaging in a struggle and create chaos and confusion among officials and security forces. Russia bombed most of the critical military facilities of the Ukrainian army and intelligence, which started to burn documents outside its building, indicating that Kyiv is not far from capitulating.

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Proofread by: Maurice Brasher