Contrary to the perception of a current lull in military activities, some major moves have continued to be made on the geopolitical chessboard.
The crisis in Kosovo, Nancy Pelosi’s flight to Taiwan, and Erdoğan’s meeting with Putin are an incomplete list of international events which, at first glance, have nothing to do with Ukraine. In fact, they determine Ukraine’s present reality and the orientations of its future.
A major regrouping
Most experts characterize the current situation on the front as an operational pause with a lull in military maneuvers and battles of local significance, but behind such seemingly innocent words hide the brutal battles near Pesky and Avdiivka. The combat there is really a hell: a meat grinder and continuous artillery fire on our defenders. You can read more about this in the post of Ukrainian soldier Serhii Hnezdilov.
The Russian occupiers are regrouping their forces from the Donbas region to the Kherson region where, in fact, our troops are preparing for a counter-attack.
The main military events will soon unfold in this operational area. The illusion of our quick and bloodless victory is very dangerous. There are a lot of blood, sweat, suffering, possible defeats and great victories ahead.
Crises in favor of Ukraine
Last week, two major crises occurred that could trigger the third world war.
The Kosovo crisis, which was the rejection of mandatory documents throughout the country, even led to the construction of barricades on July 31st and shots fired at Kosovan policemen by Serbs. It seemed a new European war with the participation of NATO was about to be triggered. Thanks only to the superpowers of the USA and the EU was it possible to remove the tension and bring the situation into a more or less normal framework.
But what does Ukraine have to do with it?
Behind all of these events, the long ears of Russia were sticking out. Russia did not spare propaganda fuel and secret efforts in Serbia to inflame the Kosovo conflict.
The benefit for the Rashists is obvious. In case of a full-scale war in the Balkans, the USA and, above all, the EU, will be forced to focus their attention on this new European crisis. Ukraine’s war, according to the calculations of Russian analysts, would take a back seat and would free the hands of the Russian occupiers in our country.
This unsophisticated plan failed and the conflict was resolved, but we should keep in mind that it can flare up with new force at any time.
Another crisis unfolded thousands of kilometers from Kosovo and Ukraine.
The Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, visited Taiwan, which China considers an integral part of its territory.
The Chinese media (usually controlled by the Communist Party) called for armed resistance to the American imperialists and the downing of the congresswoman’s plane. A call to readiness for battle appeared on the website of the 8th Division of the People’s Liberation Army. Artillery was fired in the direction of Taiwan, and Chinese planes constantly patrolled the airspace. The geopolitical and military atmosphere thickened to “very cloudy, there may be a thunderstorm.”
There was no thunderstorm. Pelosi visited Taiwan, held a meeting with the local president there, and safely returned to the United States.
What was really behind the Taiwan crisis? The congresswoman’s visit had at least two aspects:
The domestic political aspect was connected with the autumn congressional elections, in which the Democratic Party will desperately need electoral success. Pelosi showed Americans that Biden’s Democratic administration has courage and can put China in its place in more than just the economic race.
The foreign policy aspect of the visit is also clear. The US has demonstrated to China who is running the show and who will determine the future of the Asian region.
What does this have to do with Ukraine and Russia?
Russia planned to use the consequences of the American-Chinese crisis in a manner similar to the Kosovo scenario. In the event of a Chinese attack on Taiwan, the US would shift its focus to this armed conflict and Xi Jinping could strengthen the international position of the People’s Republic of China, in particular, by openly supporting Russian aggression against Ukraine.
It didn’t work out.
Both the Kosovo and Taiwan crises are now latent, but with no doubt, Russia will use every opportunity to reignite them with new force.
Turkey as a regional omnipotent leader
Turkish President Erdoğan is using all recent opportunities to transform his country into a superpower. Despite the fact that Turkey is a member of NATO, it often takes a separate position from the US and the EU on many issues of the world agenda.
The Turkish President could not help but use the Russian-Ukrainian war to strengthen his country’s position in the region and the world. Through Turkey’s mediation, an agreement was reached to unblock Ukrainian ports for the export of Ukrainian grain, and the creation of a joint coordination center, where representatives of the UN, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey work together.
Erdoğan and Putin met on Aug. 5, and the Turkish president tried to get concessions from Russia in order to further advance Turkish interests in Syria.
What was Putin trying to get?
According to insider information, Russia was interested in access to Turkish defense technologies, joint participation in the production of weapons, and the possibility of circumventing sanctions. The main goal is Turkey’s mediation in reaching peace agreements with Ukraine, of course, on Russian terms.
Erdoğan has already made some steps towards this: It will be possible to accept banking cards of the Russian payment system “Mir” in the country, and he confirmed partial payments for Russian gas in rubles.
He also immediately responded to the Kremlin’s key request and invited Putin and Zelensky to continue peace negotiations.
Foreign politicians step on the same rake again and again. They do not understand that in Ukraine there has been a stable unity of the government, opposition and society on the issue of the inadmissibility of territorial concessions to the aggressor. Turkey can turn into a regional superpower, but not at the expense of the political dividends it will receive from shameful peace proposals. On the contrary, such proposals can cause Ukrainians to have negative emotions about Turkey, which is now respected, at least for its supply of Bayraktar drones.
I am sure that the leaders of the Crimean Tatar people, who have considerable influence on the Turkish political elite and thanks to whom Turkey takes an unambiguously negative position regarding the annexation of the Crimea, also understand this.
I think that common sense will prevail over political ambitions: Turkey and Ukraine will remain friendly countries.
You have to pay for everything
Everything in life has its price. The unreformed Security Service of Ukraine also has a price. While counterintelligence agents hunt down Russian spies who held high-ranking positions in the main intelligence agency, their colleagues from the infamous anti-corruption department settle scores with prominent businessmen using pre-war files.
Yesterday, they came after politician Mykhailo Brodskyi. Tomorrow they will come after someone else. In fact, the real anti-corruption fight is hindered by the absence of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) director whose position has been vacant for about a year. Moreover, Oleksandr Klymenko has not been appointed as the head of the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor Office (SAP) for a long time.
At the same time, and at the expense of taxpayers, the swindlers receive a salary and considerable resources are diverted which can be used for more realistic goals during the war; for example, for counterintelligence operations.
Everything in this life has its price.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s and not necessarily those of the Kyiv Post.
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