In the first week of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Ukraine has bravely resisted the invading forces, contrary to President Putin’s expectations. But these are probably the early stages of a terrible war.
President Putin may have thought that within a few days of the invasion, the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, would collapse. Putin must have thought that the divided European countries would recognize the decision to annex the territory of ‘historic Russia’ back to Russia. But that has not happened.
Ukraine is proving to be a very difficult front, while European countries, especially Germany, have taken a tougher line than expected.
Russia’s economy has been hit hard. Putin’s only friend, China, is now worried about the West’s anger, which could hurt the Chinese economy. And perhaps that is why China has distanced itself from the issue of Russian aggression on Ukraine.
Contrary to expectations, NATO may be even stronger than before. Finland and Sweden can join the NATO alliance for their own protection. Putin launched the war to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO, but the war could lead to more NATO nations gathering on Russia’s northwestern border.
All of this is due to President Putin’s miscalculations, which he made in solitary confinement during the Covid epidemic. He rarely meets with his advisers and we may think that he only meets advisers who tell him what he wants to listen.
Now President Putin will have to find new solutions. Whenever Vladimir Putin is rejected, he refuses to back down. He will use more force than ever before and he has the weapons to do so.
Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States has claimed that Russian troops used thermobaric weapons (vacuum bombs). Thermobaric weapons or vacuum bombs detoxify oxygen from the surrounding environment and cause a powerful explosion at high temperatures.
Diplomats often make big claims. In fact, we have seen videos of Russian thermo-barricade rocket launchers coming to Ukraine. Analysts say the time is not far when we will see these bombs being used on a large scale.
Images have also surfaced from Kharkhio that may have been of destruction caused by cluster bombs. The use of cluster bombs causes a barrage of small bombs to fall, wreaking havoc over a wide area.
An international convention in 2008 banned the use of cluster munitions, but Russia did not sign the convention. Russia says it uses cluster munitions under international law. The people of Kharkiv may not agree, but Vladimir Putin never fails to use dangerous weapons.
President Putin is thought to have authorized the use of the radioactive “polonium” to assassinate Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB agent, in London in 2006.
It is also possible that President Putin authorized the killing of Russian defector Sergei Skripal in 2018 with a toxic neuropathic agent.
Sergei Skripal survived the attack, but a woman named Don Sturges died as a result of the poisoning.
Vladimir Putin has never been bothered by the dangers posed to innocent civilians. President Putin believes in the principle that civilian lives have no place in Russia’s wider interests.
If Russia does not find the results in Ukraine that led to the invasion of Ukraine, can the Russian president use nuclear weapons? That is possible, but the majority of analysts believe that we have not yet reached that level.
It is also true that President Putin has said that if anyone tried to intervene in Ukraine from outside, they could face unprecedented consequences.
He has often said that if Russia has no place in the world, then what is the justification for the existence of the world.
Any major mistake by NATO could bring us to the level of nuclear weapons.
History may repeat itself. Joseph Stalin invaded Finland in 1939 in the hope that he would be defeated in a few days. Finland competed well and inflicted heavy losses on the Russian army. It took the Soviet Union 100 days to end the war.
In that war, Finland lost some territory, but it remained an independent country.
It is possible that the war in Ukraine will end in the same way.
The war has just begun and Ukraine is still fighting, but that does not mean it can compete with Russian power for long.
However, the first round went well and the reaction of the Western world has been tougher than many people, including Vladimir Putin.