Russia is only looking at a Pyrrhic victory, Putin must heed Modi’s advice

In attacks apparently out of revenge, Russian forces today target multiple Ukrainian cities with a barrage of cruise missiles during peak business hours. This follows the destruction of a section of the Russian-made Crimean bridge over the weekend that Vladimir Putin described as an act of terrorism. Although Ukraine has not officially claimed responsibility for the bridge bombing, Russia’s response marks a further escalation in the war. In fact, Russia-ally Belarus today ordered the joint deployment of troops with Russian forces near Ukraine. If Belarusian forces actively participate in the war against Ukraine, it is certain that the conflict will take the conflict to a whole new level.

That means the international community will be more unstable, especially related to three important commodities: food, fuel and fertilizer. The world is reeling from massive supply chain disruptions that are hitting economies hard. More pain means finding some way to contain Moscow. But that could not have happened without the cooperation of China, which is locked in a strategic battle with the US and its allies.

True, the Ukrainians cannot be blamed for carrying out attacks on Russian military facilities and supply routes. After all, it was Russia that invaded sovereign Ukraine. Therefore, Ukrainians today are fighting for their own survival. But Kyiv should also know that stepping up activities beyond a point will leave Putin with no choice but to retaliate with full force even at the expense of severe international condemnation and isolation. Possibly limiting Ukraine’s military activities to the front lines until Europe liberates itself from Russia’s energy next year is an option worth considering. Then perhaps European aid to Ukraine could be stronger.

That said, there is no doubt that Russia is committing war crimes by deliberately targeting civilians inside Ukraine. Putin should heed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent advice to him – that this is not the age of war – and destroy it before Russia sinks while trying to achieve a Pyrrhic victory.




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