THE proxy war sponsored by Washington and Moscow reached fever pitch on Wednesday night when Russia invaded Ukraine and launched precision strikes during a “special military operation”.
Russia has been backing and has since officially recognised as independent, Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic — two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.
The US, on the other hand, has been providing weapons to Ukraine as well as sponsoring Kyiv’s bid to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato).
The Russo-American impasse is fuelled by distinct interests: Moscow wants to neutralise US hegemony, while Washington is pushing for Russia’s containment — a geopolitical strategy to stop the expansion of an enemy.
Tensions between the two great powers have played out before in Ukraine, in Syria, and in North East Asia (North-South Korea).
The US has always claimed that Russian president Vladimir Putin wants to recreate the powerful USSR empire which collapsed in 1991.
It is, therefore, unsurprising that in 2015 during a tour of Europe, former US president Barrack Obama, urged his allies to increase their defence spending to counter any military threat from the Kremlin.
He also advised European countries to diversify their energy sources, as Russia supplies a third of the region’s gas and a significant share of oil.
The increase on defence spending and Ukraine’s imminent Nato membership was not taken lightly by Russia, which has since defied threats of sanctions by the West and military support to Kyiv.
Whatever the reasons for the invasion of Ukraine and whoever is telling the truth does not really matter.
It is the ordinary people in Ukraine who are suffering and will continue to suffer. Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk are proxies in what could easily become the worst full-blown war since the end of the Cold War.
The balance of power during the Cold War was made possible by the existence of only two global powers — the United States and the Soviet Union.
The complex balance created by the emergence of multiple global powers — China, India, Russia, America and others — cannot keep the “cold” in the war anymore.
In 1992, a year after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Robert Gates, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), wrote that “a more far more unstable, turbulent, unpredictable and violent world” prevailed after the demise of the Cold War and Soviet Union.
His warning has come to pass.
More lives will be lost in Eastern Europe, innocent lives.
We pray that both America and Russia find a peaceful solution to their problems. The people of Ukraine must not be made to suffer.
An internal solution to Ukrainian problems can also be found.
America must not hide behind Ukraine. Nato must not hide behind Ukraine.
The United Nations must also condemn such, in equal measure to the condemnation of Russia.
Our prayers are with the people of Ukraine for they are the victims of a proxy war.
Article Source: The Chronicle