Nuclear threats and shocking numbers about refugees and deaths

Russia and Ukraine from the “civilized divorce” to the specter of a third world war

  • The cost of the Ukraine war extends beyond the two countries' borders.



2022 is the year of conflicts erupting... and an attempt to redraw "maps"

It may be a matter of superficiality and ignoring the facts if we consider that 2022 was a normal year, because the events that took place in this year were truly exceptional and affected their consequences and effects, and perhaps their specificity, on the whole world, because some of them were an attempt to redraw maps.

Given that the world’s events are many and we cannot go over all of them, we will try to address the most important of them, such as the explosive demonstrations in Iran a few months ago, which shook the Iranian regime from within, and sparked mixed reactions across the world, and the Ukraine war and its economic and geopolitical effects on The countries of the world, especially the European continent, the departure of Queen Elizabeth, who formed a large part of Britain's modern history, and enjoyed great popularity around the world, the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan and the challenge of China, and the visit of President Joe Biden to the Middle East and the reactions it provoked, And the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Saudi Arabia and his holding of more than one summit in what can be considered a repositioning of Beijing in the Middle East, and a reorientation by some Arab countries towards Beijing.

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On February 24, 2022, Russia declared war on Ukraine in a major escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian war, which began in 2014, so that this day constitutes a day in history, which the Russians and the Ukrainians, and perhaps the whole world, will not forget, as a result of the negative and devastating effects of the two countries, and what they caused. Humanitarian crises, crises in the field of energy and food, and the resulting disturbances in many countries of the world.

The war caused tens of thousands of deaths on both sides, and produced Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II, with an estimated eight million people displaced within the country by late May, in addition to the 7.8 million Ukrainians who had fled the country as of November 8. 2022. The war and the Russian internal conditions caused more than 300,000 Russians to flee, which constitutes the largest mass migration from Russia since the October Revolution of 1917, to countries such as the Baltic states, Finland, Georgia, Turkey and Central Asia.

The roots of the crisis

When Ukraine and Russia signed a new treaty dissolving the Soviet Union in 1991, some referred to it as a "civilized divorce."

However, Russia has never accepted Ukraine's independence and has spent time since 1991 trying to reverse it, or limit it in various ways.

Over time, this dispute became embedded in a much larger disagreement between Russia and the West over rules and borders in post-Cold War Europe.

In 2014, Russia annexed Crimea, sponsoring a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine that continues today.

start the war

The war in Ukraine officially began on the morning of February 24, 2022, when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" aimed at "demilitarizing and de-Nazifying Ukraine" to protect those who had been subjected to what he described as eight years of bullying and genocide by the government. Ukrainian.

Putin's first goal was to invade Ukraine and overthrow its government, thus eliminating any possibility of its joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Military strikes were launched on Ukraine, including the capital, Kyiv, followed by a major ground invasion from multiple directions.

On the other hand, the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, declared martial law and general mobilization.

On April 18, Russia launched a renewed offensive in the Donbass region, continuing to bomb military and civilian targets far from the front line, including electricity and water networks, while Ukrainian forces launched counterattacks in the south in August and in the northeast in September.

international reaction

The Russian war on Ukraine drew widespread international condemnation, as the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution condemning the war and calling for the complete withdrawal of Russian forces, while the International Court of Justice ordered Russia to suspend military operations, while Russia was expelled from the Council of Europe.

Many countries imposed sanctions on Russia, as well as on its ally, Belarus, which affected the economies of Russia and the world, while the West provided humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine, amid continuing warnings of the specter of a third world war, or a devastating nuclear war, looming on the horizon.

On September 21, 2022, Putin announced a partial mobilization, while Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated that 300,000 reservists would be called up on a mandatory basis.

In late September 2022, pro-Russian officials organized referendums on the annexation of Russian-held Ukrainian territories, including the Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic, as well as Russian-appointed military administrations in Kherson and Zaporizhya.

Official results, which the Ukrainian government and its allies have denounced as a sham election, showed an overwhelming majority in favor of annexation.

On September 30, 2022, Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhia, in a speech to both chambers of the Russian parliament.

Ukraine, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations condemned the annexation.

On October 8, the Kerch Bridge, which connects Crimea to Russia, was hit by a huge explosion that collapsed part of the road and damaged the railway line.

Russia later blamed Ukraine for the explosion, and launched retaliatory missile strikes on Ukrainian civilian areas.

Nuclear threats

Four days into the war, Putin put Russia's nuclear forces on high alert, raising fears that Russia could use tactical nuclear weapons against Ukraine, or that a broader escalation of the conflict might occur.

On September 19, US President Joe Biden responded when asked what he would say to Putin if he was considering using nuclear weapons, saying: “Don't.



On October 27, Putin said that his country had never talked about the use of nuclear weapons, and confirmed that Kyiv has technologies that allow it to manufacture a "dirty bomb" and detonate it in Ukraine, accusing the West of engaging in "nuclear blackmail of Russia."

Western aid to Ukraine

The Kyle Institute for the World Economy has allocated $84.2 billion from 40 countries in financial, humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine from January 24 to August 3, 2022.

The United States provided the largest amount of military assistance, providing $16.8 billion since February 2022, while the European Union provided lethal weapons for the first time in its history, and provided 2.5 billion euros to Ukraine.

On November 15, the White House Office of Management and Budget asked Congress for an additional $38 billion in fiscal year 2023 to help Ukraine.

foreign military intervention

Although NATO and the European Union have publicly pursued a strict "no boots on the ground" policy to support Ukraine militarily, the United States has dramatically increased covert involvement of military special operations and CIA agents in support of Ukrainian forces since The beginning of the war.

In addition, Ukraine has actively sought volunteers from other countries. On March 6, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba revealed that about 20,000 foreign citizens from 52 countries had volunteered to fight. Most of these volunteers joined the International Corps for the Territorial Defense of Ukraine, which was newly created.

External sanctions and their repercussions

Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia when it recognized the secession of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions, as the sanctions targeted individuals, banks, companies, exports, imports, cash exchanges and bank transfers, as the sanctions deprived major Russian banks of the SWIFT service for international payments, but left limited access to ensure the continued ability to pay the price of gas shipments.

Economic sanctions affected Russia from the first day of the war, and the Standard & Poor's Global agency placed Russia under "selective default" on its foreign debt because of its insistence on paying in the ruble.

More than 1,000 companies withdrew from Russia and Belarus in response to the war, including dozens of international companies, including Unilever, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Hermès, Chanel and Prada, which stopped trading in Russia.

Russia is the largest exporter of natural gas in the world, as well as grains and fertilizers, and is among the largest suppliers of crude oil, coal, steel and minerals in the world, including palladium, platinum, gold, cobalt, nickel and aluminum, and therefore the application of sanctions will harm its economy, but the world economy at the same time pays a price. The war caused the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II, and the United Nations described it as the fastest growing of this kind since World War II, with the displacement of about eight million people inside the country until late May, in addition to 7.6 million Ukrainians. Flee the country until October 3, 2022.

• The war and the Russian internal conditions caused the flight of more than 300,000 Russian refugees, which constitutes the largest mass migration from Russia since the October Revolution of 1917, to countries such as the Baltic states, Finland, Georgia, Turkey and Central Asia.

• More than 1,000 companies withdrew from Russia and Belarus in response to the war, including dozens of international companies, including Unilever, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Hermès, Chanel, and Prada, which stopped trading in Russia.

• Russia has never accepted Ukraine's independence and has spent time since 1991 trying to reverse or limit it in various ways.

Over time, this dispute became embedded in a much larger disagreement between Russia and the West over rules and borders in post-Cold War Europe.

Putin is less isolated than the West thinks

After the outbreak of the Russian war on Ukraine, there was a lot of Western talk, and at the heart of it the Americans, about the isolation of Russia and its President, Vladimir Putin.

However, it seems that talking about Russia's isolation is just an American point of view, and in a clearer sense, this is what Washington and the rest of the allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) wish to see, rather than the reality on the ground.

And this American point of view constitutes a short-sighted view of international affairs, because the real situation in the world shows that what is happening is just a partial isolation of the West alone, perhaps it can be considered a Western province more than an isolation of Russia.

And because the West always sees only itself, it considered boycotting it and isolating itself from Russia as an isolation for the latter, ignoring that there are many countries on other continents of this world that do not share its opinion - that is, the West - or its positions regarding this war.

In Western countries, Putin has come to be seen as a sinister caricature of James Bond and an adversary to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whom the West regards as a beloved hero.

Even McDonald's suspended its operations in Russia, as if the West saw it as an isolated country, because its people would not be able to buy Big Mac meals.

By looking at the world map more deeply, it will become clear that marketing the term “isolation of Russia” or “isolation of Putin” is like blind bias towards the Western viewpoint that has erased, with this biased statement, the rest of the world.

Of the 193 members of the United Nations, 141 voted to condemn Moscow's unprovoked attack on its neighbour, but this majority vote doesn't tell the most accurate story.

Many countries in the developing world, including some of Russia's closest allies, are unsettled by Putin's war on Ukraine.

Yet the giants of the Global South — including India, Brazil and South Africa — are hedging their bets, while China remains publicly supportive of Putin.

Even Turkey, a member of NATO, acts cautiously and maintains an equal distance from both world powers, Russia and America, and at other times speaks on behalf of Moscow to the Western world, and has played many mediation roles, such as diplomatic mediation between Russia and Ukraine in peace efforts, and as a mediator in achieving peace. grain export agreement and others.

Turkey is not willing to antagonize Putin, at least not without a big reward from the West.

As part of the policy of balance, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: "We cannot abandon Ukraine or Russia."

As for the general mood inside Turkey, it is sympathetic to Russia in the face of the West, as the Turkish press and public always repeat the Kremlin’s narrative of Ukraine as a den for neo-Nazis, while both of them looked sarcastically at Europe’s warm welcome to Ukrainian refugees, in contrast to the Syrians and Afghans, whose numbers were prevented. Countless of them from traveling or entering the European Union, and forcing them to seek asylum in Turkey.

As for China, it has sought to maintain at least some pro-Russian sentiment at home.

On Chinese social media, phrases describing the nature of war are banned, and The Nation newspaper reported that the use of the hashtags “Putin” and “Emperor Putin” has spread, along with memes of Putin riding a bear.


In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has refrained from condemning the war in Ukraine, describing it as a stalemate between Moscow and NATO, pointing to a strategic relationship dating back to the Cold War, with New Delhi seeing Moscow as a counterbalance to China, along with the fact that more 60% of India's weapons come from Russia.

As for the general mood of citizens in the rest of the developing countries and emerging economies, they deal with the issue of the war in Ukraine, in the same way that Western citizens dealt, in many cases, with distant conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, as they see that they are not concerned with a war in which they have no interest or concern. At the same time, they have no convincing motives to accept the isolation of Russia.

• Because the West sees only itself, it considered its boycott of Russia to isolate the latter, ignoring that there are many countries in the world that do not share its opinion or positions regarding this war.

Putin during a meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization on November 23.


Zelinsky .. From comedian to national hero and personality of the year

Only a few years ago, Volodymyr Zelensky (44 years old) was a comedian and actor playing the role of the Ukrainian president on television. After the success of his series “Servant of the People,” he turned to politics, as he decided to take advantage of his fame by establishing a political party, which he called the series “Servant of the People.” People”, and then announced his candidacy for the presidency of the republic without any electoral campaigns, as he took advantage of the success of the series in propaganda for the removal of the then Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, within only three to four months.

Zelensky won the presidential elections in 2019, and he promised in his presidential campaign that he would only serve one term, i.e. five years.

Prior to the war on Ukraine, Zelensky was facing many political difficulties, the first of which was the failure to fulfill his election promises, on top of which was the fight against poverty and corruption, to show the president’s inability to implement any reforms, which made him a target for opposition attacks that mocked him, describing the country’s crises and the responsibility of state administration as Bigger than the size of a comedian.

However, the military operation announced by Russia in Ukraine changed his history forever, and made his name associated in the minds of Western countries, and Ukraine in particular, with national heroes, and one of the symbols of resistance, and in the minds of Russians with the American puppet.

This December, Time magazine named Zelensky "Person of the Year," saying he had inspired Ukrainians and won international awards for his bravery in resisting Russia's war on his country.

Time magazine named Zelensky "Person of the Year".


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