THE PLACE WHERE DEMOCRACY FIGHTS AUTOCRACY
AND RUSSIA`S IMPERIAL AMBITIONS
Russia`s conventional warfare
Before Russia`s military invasion in Ukraine, on February 24, the U.S. and its European allies have been pressing Putin for weeks to pull back an estimated 200,000 troops massed near Ukraine, but the intense diplomatic activity, including key leaders cycling through Moscow for talks with Putin, has failed to produce the desired results. Russia demanded NATO roll back from East Europe and stay out of Ukraine. These demands were considered essential by Russia for lowering tensions in Europe and defusing a crisis over Ukraine.
Russia`s disinformation and propaganda war
Russia has been using targeted propaganda and disinformation campaigns for years, with major efforts in Europe, the United States and Canada. According to the U.S. State Department, Russia’s disinformation ecosystem consists of five main pillars : official government communications, state-funded global messaging, cultivation of proxy sources, weaponization of social media, and cyber-enabled disinformation. One of the most commonly used narratives is the idea that Russia is a victim. According to Putin, NATO is threatening Russia and Russian sovereignty. Ukraine is somehow threatening Russia’s sovereignty too even though nothing is truth.
Russia`s energy blackmail
Russian military action in Ukraine triggered an energy crisis. Europe imports 40 percent of its natural gas from Russia. These imports do not affect all European countries equally. Europeans have been whipsawed by increases in natural gas prices as much as six times as high mostly because their main supplier — Gazprom — reduced export flows, forcing Europeans to run down gas in storage. There’s no doubt that Russia’s influence over natural gas exports to Europe gave Putin reason to believe he might avoid harsh punishment should he invade Ukraine or tried to exploit some differences to sow disunity in the EU’s response to the invasion. Another potential weapon of Russia’s is ability to disrupt global oil markets, which would directly hit U.S. and European consumers.
Russia`s psychological warfare
Russia’s psychological warfare is playing a major role. The Russian strategy is the show of force and intention to cause a mental and psychological collapse of the Ukrainian leadership. A month before the invasion, we witnessed thousands of Russian troops lined Ukraine’s eastern and northern borders. After the war started, Russia has attacked and destroyed civilian buildings (blocks, hospitals, kindergartens, and other public places) and killed thousands of innocent civilians, including children, to also put mental pressure on Ukraine’s defenders. The bloody Russia`s war horrifies the whole world!
Russia`s fostering of civil disobedience and even insurrection in western countries
For years, Russia has been supporting political forces in the West to weaken and fracture states. Russia is cultivating extreme right-wing support to undermine the West using a variety of actors to woo different partners and by exploiting existing societal tensions and pro-Russia sentiment in certain circles in North America, Europe, Australia, and beyond. Militancy is a characteristic of many supporters of the Russian far right, encompassing a belligerent rhetoric, a strong perception of participants as political warriors and often the use of physical violence. Extremist rhetoric against this “system” always includes racist and anti-Semitic references.
Russia`s fake diplomacy
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov proved to be the greatest liar instead of a great Russian diplomat faking diplomacy and negotiations. “There won’t be a war as far as it depends on the Russian Federation, we don’t want a war,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a live interview with Russian radio stations. Russia has repeatedly denied having any such plans. More than 100 diplomats from some 40 countries have walked out of a speech by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the United Nations in Geneva as a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.Diplomats who walked out on Lavrov’s speech said the Human Rights Council “must not be misused as a platform for disinformation”. On March 10, two weeks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov falsely claimed that Russia “did not attack” its neighbor. He also said there are no plans for Russia to attack other countries and reiterated that a “situation in Ukraine” posed a “direct threat to the Russian Federation”.
Russian security services organized a number of denial of service attacks as a part of their cyber-warfare against many countries and NATO. A denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) is a cyber-attack in which the perpetrator seeks to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users by temporarily or indefinitely disrupting services of a host connected to a network. Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States are some of the countries that experienced a Russian cyber-attack.
Russia`s possible use of chemical and biological weapons
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine experts now fear Russia is preparing to use chemical weapons during the conflict. Chemical weapons are man-made toxic chemicals that are poisonous for humans. So things like sarin and mustard and VX are probably the most famous types of chemical weapons. Different chemicals work different ways, but basically the effects depend on the dose that you receive.Biological weapons are either bacteria or viruses or toxins derived from living things that infect you and cause the disease.The typical biological weapons that we will talk about are things like, you know, anthrax, smallpox, plague, tularemia — these are living organisms. Chemical and biological weapons are banned under international law, and Russia has signed those treaties and claims it doesn’t have chemical or biological weapons. The Novichok nerve agent is a chemical agent the Soviet Union developed during the Cold War.
Russia`s possible use of nuclear weapons
“I order the defense minister and the chief of the general staff of the Russian armed forces to put the deterrence forces of the Russian army into a special mode of combat service,” Putin said in a televised address on February 27, 2022. According to various sources, Russia had 6,257 nuclear warheads in 2021. That makes it the country with the biggest nuclear arsenal in the world, followed by the United States, which had 5,500 nuclear warheads in 2021. Russia’s long-range strategic nuclear weapons can reach anywhere on the globe. A nuclear strike by Russia would almost certainly trigger a counter-strike by the US or another Western nuclear power. The ensuing nuclear war would have disastrous consequences far beyond the countries involved.