On Monday, diplomats from the United States and Russia met in Geneva in an attempt to defuse any possible military action in the Ukraine. The United States anticipates a Russian attempt to invade the Ukraine in the same way the Russian military seized the Crimean Peninsula in 2014; its allies, including the Ukraine, share the same concern.
Diplomats fear that Vladimir Putin intends for these talks to fail so that a pretext for war will be created. Ukrainian sources say that the country is expecting an intense but limited attack from the Russian military.
Jens Stoltenberg, the head of the NATO alliance has said that the Ukraine is bracing for a “further Russian invasion.” For several weeks now, at least 100,000 Russian military troops have set close to the Ukrainian border. The troops have artillery and medical supplies as well as equipment that is capable of jamming communications should the military move into the country.
Rather than pull back from the Ukrainian border, Russian President Vladimir Putin has demanded that his rivals give a guarantee that the Ukraine will not be allowed to join NATO. He has also demanded that NATO allies pull their military back in eastern and central Europe.
This week, diplomats from the United States and from Russia will engage in talks. Later, Putin is slated to speak with all NATO members regarding the aggression toward the Ukraine. However, no one truly believes any of these talks will change the trajectory of Putin’s plans for the Ukraine.
While most diplomats believe that Putin wants the talks to fail, there are some who believe that the Russian president simply wants to be heard. The Ukrainian officials believe that Putin will not back down with nothing to show for it; to do so would make the Russian leader appear weak.
Of course, the Russian leader is getting older, and a Western military expert pointed out that the West seems weaker after the botched Afghanistan withdrawal late last year. Other Western allies, however, may appear to be somewhat weaker in the eyes of Putin as well. Germany has a new leader recently put in office, and Putin may be eager to test the waters with the new official. France is currently preparing for upcoming elections. Of course, all countries across the globe are dealing with the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic on top of other issues.
The Western military expert said that, considering Putin’s age, he may think this is the opportune time to do something that will forever be a part of his legacy.
In addition, NATO allies, including the United States, have said that the will not be sending military troops to the Ukrainian border as the Ukraine is not a member of NATO.