US and NATO mistakes led to Ukraine battle, says former US State Department adviser

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US and NATO mistakes led to Ukraine conflict, says former US State Department adviser

Russian troopers atop a tank. AFP

New Delhi: Former US State Department adviser David L Phillips has blamed the West for failing to deter Russia from sending its troops into Ukraine final February.

In an article revealed in National Interest on Friday, Phillips wrote that the West had “many options” to cease Russia however failed to avail of them and responded weakly when it occurred.

Phillips argued that Russian President Vladimir Putin had “telegraphed his plan to attack Ukraine long before the first shot was fired.”

“By exercising unilateral constraint and making unforced concessions, the Biden administration invited Russia to test the boundaries of its bellicosity,” Phillips wrote.

Phillips, who labored with the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations, stated that Biden dealt with the state of affairs “carefully with half-measures” as a result of the US was involved that Russia could use its nuclear weapons if the West intervened.

Phillips argued that Biden’s early promise that NATO forces wouldn’t be stationed in Ukraine was “unnecessary.”

Talking about sanctions on Russia, Philips stated that these have been “implemented so incrementally that Putin was able to cushion their impact on Russia’s economy,”

Philips additionally steered Ukraine ought to have been supplied with “state-of-the-art NATO weaponry” from the outset.

Had the West taken “proactive preventive measures” earlier than Russia launched its offensive in February final 12 months, this might have “changed Putin’s calculus,” he claimed. For occasion, if NATO had arrange a conflict crimes tribunal for Ukraine, the “prospect of accountability” would act as a deterrent, he wrote.

Once the battle started, nevertheless, Phillips suggests NATO might have “deployed more troops to frontline states like Romania” to reveal “resolve and readiness.” It might even have carried out a no-fly zone over sure beleaguered cities – a step the NATO determined towards, fearing it will convey the bloc into direct battle with Russia.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine in a significant escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War, which started in 2014. The invasion has resulted in tens of hundreds of deaths on each side. It has precipitated Europe’s largest refugee disaster since World War II. About eight million Ukrainians have been displaced inside their nation by late May, and greater than 7.9 million fled the nation by 3 January 2023.

After the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution, Russia annexed Crimea, and Russian-backed paramilitaries seized a part of the Donbas area of south-eastern Ukraine, which consists of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, sparking a regional conflict.

In March 2021, Russia started a big navy build-up alongside its border with Ukraine, ultimately amassing up to 190,000 troopers and their gear.

Despite the build-up, denials of plans to invade or assault Ukraine have been issued by varied Russian authorities officers up to the day earlier than the invasion.

On 21 February 2022, Russia recognised the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic, two self-proclaimed breakaway quasi-states within the Donbas. The subsequent day, the Federation Council of Russia authorised using navy power and Russian troopers entered each territories.

The invasion started on the morning of 24 February 2022, when Russian president Putin introduced a “special military operation” looking for the “demilitarisation” and “denazification” of Ukraine.

With inputs from businesses

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