War is a dangerous gametext_fields
Proving apprehensions right, Russian forces have started their attack on neighbouring Ukraine. By military might, Russia is easily the second strongest force in the world, as against the 22nd place of Ukraine. Going by military prowess, Russia may not need long to swallow Ukraine totally. But, the biggest military power on the planet, the US and Nato led by the US, are on the side of Ukraine. They have been warningver the last several days that any military move against Ukraine will be a dangerous step. Not for nothing does the world fear that if a war happens with Nato on one side and Russia on the other, it has the potential to lead to a Third World War. Although Russia started its full-scale incursion into Ukraine on Thursday morning, no military retaliation has been reported from the US or Nato side, until the time of writing this. Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also declared in Brussels on Thursday that it won't send forces to take on Russia. That would obviate an apprehension about an immediate slipping into a major war. But, when a small militarily weaker country of 4.5 crore people comes under attack by a much stronger neighbouring country and is subjected to occupation, that brings up moral and ethical dimensions too.
Nato (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) is a military pact formed in 1949. During the cold war era when the Soviet Union-led Communist block and the American-led capitalist block were pitted in opposing blocks, Nato was formed to resist the Communist block, comprising 28 European countries, America and Canada. Many would question the relevance of Nato now when the Soviet Union as such has ceased to exist and the cold war has virtually ended. And hence the call for the dismissal of Nato. But, since the dismantling of Soviet Union, Nato has actually expanded including new member states. And that includes Russia's immediate neighbours, which were former Soviet Union republics like Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia much to the displeasure of Russia in whose eyes this amounts to Nato coming for belligerence game in its backyard. For sometime, there have been talks about making Ukraine also a member of Nato; that again is seen by Russia as a provocative act, and as a plan to surround Russia. For this reason, Russia for quite some time has been demanding that Nato should officially declare that it does not have any plans to include Ukraine in Nato, but the US and allies have not given in to that demand. All the same, Ukraine has not yet been granted Nato membership either.
There are those who size up the current Russian action as a pre-emptive move against making Ukraine a Nato member; and they justify it as a self-defence act by Russia. The truth is that just as Nato has its own imperialistic interests, Russia too has similar pursuits. And Russian President Vladimir Putin is one who believes that former Soviet republics should either become part of Russia or turn Russia's satraps. Putin is interfering in most neighbouring countries. Russia did play a clear role in the secession of South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions from Georgia. It was Russia which annexed Crimea which was part of Ukraine, and instigated the secessionist rebels in Donbas region heavily populated by ethnic Russians and in making the region separate from Ukraine. Hyper Russian nationalism is the credo of Putin who is thus becoming a new Tsar of the vast country. In a way, it is as much the imperialist ambitions of Russia as that of Nato that is plunging the world into turmoil. Naturally, for now it is the 4.5 crore people of Ukraine who become its primary victims.
That said, Nato is like a de-fanged lion whose debility was in display in Afghanistan. However, the second biggest military power of Nato, Turkey is in friendly terms with both Ukraine and Russia at the same time. It was very recently that Turkey procured Russian-made S-400 missile defence system disregarding US warnings. Viewed from this angle, things look heading to a whirlpool. On another level, the United Nations has turned into a body incapable of taking firm decisions and enforcing them. Humanity is living in a world that has neither balance of power or stable leadership. All one can do is to remind every party involved of the imperative to refrain from adventures that will hurl humanity to greater disasters.