POLITICAL AND MILITARY LESSONS OF THE RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN WAR

Volume 7, Issue 5, October 2023     |     PP. 353-367      |     PDF (284 K)    |     Pub. Date: October 7, 2023
DOI: 10.54647/sociology841155    58 Downloads     17920 Views  

Author(s)

András Hugyik, Association of Hungarian Peacekeepers, Hungary

Abstract
The aim of the article is to draw conclusions on the future course of the war and the future of NATO-Russia relations, analyzing the aims, causes, political and military lessons of the Russian-Ukrainian war that started on 24 February 2022, from a year and a half's perspective.
The Russian President has stated that the aim of the "special military operation" is to demilitarize Ukraine, denazify it and liberate the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics. As Ukraine did not pose a military threat to Russia at the beginning of the Russian aggression, demilitarization cannot be considered a valid objective. Denazification (ending the cult of Bandera, removing extremist nationalists from political life of Ukraine and the Ukrainian army, investigating atrocities committed by extremist nationalists against the ethnic Russian population, bringing the perpetrators to justice) was an unrealistic objective given the official Ukrainian domestic policy of creating a new Ukrainian identity and the double standards of the EU and OSCE on national minority issues and the use of banned symbols. The most complex problem, the status of the Russian minority and the separatist territories, could have been resolved by implementing the Minsk agreements, but the Russian military presence in the separatist territories after 2014 calls into question whether Moscow was serious about the Minsk agreements. In the meantime, it has also emerged that Ukraine, France and Germany did not intend to implement the Minsk agreements, they did not prefer a peaceful settlement, and they actively supported the preparation of the Ukrainian army for the liberation of Luhansk, Donetsk and Crimea, which would have led to Russian military intervention in any case. This fact does not justify the legitimacy of the Russian special military operation, but merely puts it in a different light. It seems that the real aim was to overthrow the anti-Russian Ukrainian regime, to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO, to eliminate the Western military presence in Ukraine and to drastically resolve the situation of the Russian minority in Ukraine.
In the Russian view, the series of reasons for the war began with the failure to keep the US-German promise to Gorbachev that if the united Germany could remain a member of NATO, the organization would not expand eastwards. Despite the official position, the West sees NATO expansion as its own unilateral and forced expansion, because it believes that the inevitable disintegration of Eastern Europe makes NATO expansion inevitable in order to contain instability. NATO's defensive nature and the extension of the defense zone are a guarantee for dealing with the instability that is likely to arise. According to another Western approach, European security depends on effective cooperation between the five great powers, which has been undermined by US foreign policy driven by US domestic policy, essentially aimed at the unconditional expansion of NATO. The expansion would have been more acceptable by not integrating the new members into NATO's military structure, by not insisting that NATO membership be accessible to everyone, and by maintaining the de facto nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central and Eastern Europe. Ukraine's hasty invitation to join NATO was a disregard for the organization's membership requirements, a subordination of those requirements to US political will, a disregard for Russia's security needs, and a rejection of the OSCE's basic principle of "one and indivisible security" (no country can improve its own security situation at the expense of others). Ukraine is not expected to meet these requirements in the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, the same applies to Ukraine's accession to the EU.
The lessons of the war so far can be summarized as follows: - NATO enlargement and the export of Western democracy will continue, the collective Western policy towards Russia and Ukraine will not change, the confrontation between

Keywords
Russia, Ukraine, war, objectives, causes, Russian position, Western position, political lessons, military lessons, conclusions.

Cite this paper
András Hugyik, POLITICAL AND MILITARY LESSONS OF THE RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN WAR , SCIREA Journal of Sociology. Volume 7, Issue 5, October 2023 | PP. 353-367. 10.54647/sociology841155

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