Russia will not attack Ukraine – Foreign Policy

Why a new war is not beneficial for Russia

The Ukrainian army is currently experienced, modernized and highly motivated, it would not be an easy opponent.

In the past few weeks, there has been an increase in the Western press about Russian military moves against Ukraine. But is Russia really going to attack Ukraine? In edition Foreign Policy sure not.

Silly prospect

First, Russia made no attempt to conceal the movement of its forces either during transit or upon arrival. Commercial satellite imagery shows military units stationed in transport stands and camps without any camouflage or camouflage. A true offensive would require much more caution and would have other warning signs, such as reinforced deployed air defenses and activating reserve ones.

The Ukrainian army is currently experienced, modernized and highly motivated. It would not be an easy foe – and any war, besides being extremely costly in terms of troops and materials, would have a high chance of involving other parties, and it would have a terrifying chance of becoming nuclear. Even if Russia did manage to occupy Ukraine, what would it get from this? The occupation is expensive, dangerous and often fruitless, as the US found in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Russia’s current occupation of South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Crimea is costly, but viable because there is an element of the local population that welcomes Russia. This acceptance is a by-product of the complex cultural heritage of the post-Soviet states. There is no such dynamics in Western Ukraine, which has clearly signaled its preference for the West.

A renewed war against Ukraine would only be to the detriment of Russia and would require large amounts of resources that Russia cannot afford to spend. This would forever alienate Russia from Europe and make any moves to ease sanctions – a prospect that may gradually become increasingly real – politically impossible. Russia has absolutely nothing to gain from the invasion of Ukraine, but it does have something to lose.

Not now

Of course, Russia has a recent history of incursions into its neighbors’ territory, from Georgia in 2008 to fighting in Ukraine in 2014. But while these incursions did take place, they did not come suddenly, nor were they mere revanchism or expansionism for its own sake. The seizure of Crimea in 2014, from Russia’s point of view, was an attempt to secure a vital strategic asset from an implacable pro-Western regime that would soon come to power in Kiev, where, according to Moscow, Washington was hatching its own conspiracies.

This was a serious miscalculation as it sparked a global backlash and turned Russia into a rogue state.

Russia may indeed one day face the conditions under which an invasion of Ukraine would be beneficial to it. But today, if Russia attacked Ukraine, it would have a lot to lose, with little or no benefit. A new invasion is highly unlikely. It is much more likely that clashes will escalate along the ceasefire line in Donbas to spur further negotiations.

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