1 Persons
3 June 2022 - 23:25
Russia’s military invasion to Ukraine

In terms of territorial security, Russia is said to have a strategic weakness, in other words, its geographical captivity. To compensate for this geostrategic weakness by encroaching on the surrounding territories. History has shown that Russia is expanding its borders, and from time immemorial, Russia has been constantly expanding east and southwest and west and northwest to be able to access natural fortifications and ensure its security. Progress was made in advancing to other lands in war and destruction, but advancing to Siberia in the east was easy due to the absence of powerful governments and the primitive structure of societies and their dispersion. In this direction Russia gain access to Okhotks Sea and from there to Pacific Ocean.

Russia's advance to the southwest and access to the natural fortifications of the Caucasus Mountains, which in the strategy of the Russian Empire were as natural fortifications to the south. In the first half of the 19th century, the advance into the Caucasus was a confrontation with Iran, which was under the rule of the Iranian government. The Russians started an unwanted war against Iran and invaded the Caucasus so that they could reach the Caucasus Mountains and from there advance to the Arax River in order to create a natural fortification for themselves geographically. This progress was accompanied by killing people and destruction of region. Moving westward, they advanced into the Black Sea, and invaded the territory of Crimean Peninsula which had its own government named Muslim Khanate of Crimea, which was an Ottoman ally. It was occupied by Russian during the reign of Catherine the Great in 1783, was associated with the killing and exile of Muslim Tatars and their replacement by the Russian population gradually. During World War II, Muslim Tatars were deported from Crimea and replaced by Russians in order to change the composition of the Tatars in favor of Russia, which was evident in the 2014 military occupation. Moving west, the Russians reached Eastern Europe and, during World War II, were able to annex territories by changing political structures.

In Central Asia, the Russians advanced in the second half of the nineteenth century, occupying Muslim Khanates like Bukhara, Samarkand, Kokand, Tashkent and totally West Turkistan. It was resulted carrying out a massive massacre of Muslims, culminating in the Gog Tappeh War, which killed 16,000 Turkmen. All this is because Russia felt that it was in a geographical isolation, so it is always trying to expand its borders.

Part of this expansion goes to Ukraine because Russia thinks it is insecure. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, it is once again trying to reassert its security on the borders of the former Soviet Union.

Emphasizing the role of the Mongols in Russian history, historically this issue (Russia's desire to expand) dates back to the Mongol rule and the 13th century when there was no Russia, but a number of principalities (Knyazdom) who often dispersed and sometimes united together they made allies. The Mongols held the Russians captive for about two and a half centuries and enslaved the Russians. The Russians think that the best territory is the territory of Eurasia. The territory established by the Mongol Empire (Golden Horde=Altin Orda, Army) and stretched from the Chinese border to Western Europe in the Qipchaq Plain. Thus a highly extremist “Eurasianist” team has been formed among the country's philosophers and writers since the early 19th century, and it is said that when the Mongols were able to form a territory in this area called the “Golden Horde”, the Russians could too. So, they are interested to form such a territory called “Eurasia”. The Russians have been at war for years and were inherently a belligerent nation. So, Mr. Putin and his government have been influenced by this attractive idea of ​​“Eurasianism”. This approach promotes a strongly anti-Western ideology. It is interested in including Iran and Turkey in this Eurasian arena to protect the Eurasia from south and south-west, which both once there were great powers in the history. Numerous visits of Alexander Dugin, the leader and founder of the Eurasian Party, which's under the influence of the nineteenth-century writer of Russian literature, promoted Eurasian thought, and with numerous trips to Iran and Turkey and anti-Western propaganda sought allies for Eurasianism to Russia.

Regarding the Ukraine crisis, under Russia's pretext that Ukraine's accession to European Union and NATO threatens its security, there was in fact no threat from the West against Russia. NATO member countries Turkey as a neighbor, and to the northwest are the three Baltic republics and Poland surrounding Russia. What is certain, is that Ukraine and its valuable Black Sea coasts are of great importance to Russia. From the other side, Transnistria is a Russian-occupied region between Moldova and Ukraine (in western Ukraine). It is a self-proclaimed republic. By occupying the port of Odessa in Ukraine, it somehow besieged Ukraine from the southwest and weakened its defense capabilities and tore the country to pieces, and from there, with the help of Belarus, to the Crimean Peninsula. Also connect and try to occupy and besiege southern Ukraine. In order to create a barrier between itself and NATO, Russia wants to connect Luhansk and Donetsk to the Crimean Peninsula, in which way it must occupy the port of Mariupol in order to establish a direct connection between Russian territory and the Crimean Peninsula and protect Ukraine to have access to the Sea of ​​Azov in the east and make this sea a complete Russian sea.

The issue of Ukraine was raised after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The territorial integrity of Ukraine, including the mainland and the Crimean Peninsula and eastern Ukraine, was recognized by the Russian representative (to whom the Soviet seat was transferred and Russia replaced the Soviet Union) at the time of the declaration of independence from the Soviet Union elected as a member of the United Nations. In 1994, Ukraine voluntarily disarmed, with the help of the United States, Britain, and Russia, and transferred all its nuclear weapons to Russia. This was one of the main reasons or excuses for Russia to invade Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula in 2014, as the Ukrainian people decided to join the West. Russia owes much of its air and space progress to Ukraine, so Ukraine has been very valuable to the Russians. It's a logical historical distortion that Putin claims that Ukraine is a fake identity and has no external existence. Russia was born in the heart of Ukraine in the 10th century and the origin of Russian states is from Ukraine. Another point is that Russia claims that the Russians in eastern Ukraine are under pressure from the Ukrainian central government. Russia declares in its military and foreign policy doctrines that it supports the rights of all Russians, even those living outside Russia, who will intervene militarily in the event of problems, in violation of national sovereignty. One of the pretexts for Russia's invasion of Ukraine is the support of the Russians in eastern Ukraine, who, in retaliation for Ukraine's non-accession to the Eurasian Economic Union, have also occupied the Crimean Peninsula, armed the Russians in eastern Ukraine and expelled them. The composition of the Ukrainian government and the declaration of self-proclaimed republics called for and supported them. Russia violates international law. No country has the right to do so. Russia invaded Georgia in 2008 and occupied Abkhazia and South Ossetia, turning them into one country! If the international community and international organizations had the power to condemn and react immediately, Russia could not invade Ukraine today.

Russia's energy, which supplies about 40 percent of Western Europe's energy needs by supplying oil and gas, has always used this means as a political tool to secure its will. Russia always benefited from this factor. This has been clearly shown since 2014. In 2005, when the Orange Revolution took place, I wrote in the newspaper Hamshahri Diplomat that all these operations were because Russia wanted to occupy the Crimean Peninsula (which happened 17 years later).

When Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, no country or institution could stop the aggression, and this became a practice. The United States did the same with the military occupation of Afghanistan in 2001, and Iraq in 2003, and violated the sovereignty of independent governments, the consequences of which are being witnessed today by Russia or, in the near future, by China in Taiwan. This shows that the UN structure is not capable of countering such actions. Should we take these issues seriously in Iran? Now that Russia has deployed 2,000 troops in Nagorno-Karabakh (under the pretext of maintaining a ceasefire - which is outside the established international framework and Russia's arbitrary action) and along Iran's northwestern borders. Can claim that it has drawn another part of the defense line against NATO to Iran? And occupy Iran? It is not true. Russia's military doctrine states that if Russia feels threatened by the security of its borders and those of its allies, it will have the right to use conventional armed defense or, if necessary, unconventional arms to eliminate the threat.

The Ukrainian crisis, what threat has there been from Ukraine to Russia? Russia has launched a military offensive against Ukraine, killing thousands and displacing millions of innocent women and children. This is a clear violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of an independent state. If this becomes a practice, as it is, Saudi Arabia can invade and occupy Yemen, and China will occupy Taiwan!! This is related to the sad weakness of the structure of the United Nations. The Ukrainian crisis, what threat has there been from Ukraine to Russia? Russia has launched a military offensive against Ukraine, killing thousands and displacing millions of innocent women and children. This is a clear violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of an independent state. If this becomes a practice, as it is, Saudi Arabia can invade and occupy Yemen, and China will occupy Taiwan!!

Russia has attacked Ukraine under the pretext of Ukraine's accession to the European Union and NATO membership, because it has not been able to take advantage of it. The Russians would like to be able to use Ukrainian ports to keep their nuclear fleet in the Black Sea. At first, they used these ports for rent, and since 2014, they have occupied this quasi-island and annexed it to their territory. The nature of these events lies in the weakness of the UN Security Council, which, instead of examining important issues in the Security Council, engages in political bargaining. When Russia voted in favor of the independence of the breakaway countries from the Soviet Union, that is, it accepted the complete political borders of that time, even Russia accepted the independence of this country when it disarmed itself, why did it act against its vote? While Russia could achieve its interests through positive economic activities.

We in Iran should have a different look at Russia's policies in our analysis, Russia's actions are not justifiable. The Russians ridicule Ukrainian President Zelensky for being elected by the people through democratic elections, and we must respect the people's vote, and of course they must not forget that the collapse of the Soviet Union took place at the time of the Republican presidency. The United States was in the hands of a cowboy movie actor named Ronald Reagan.

[1] The paper presented in: Feasibility study of lasting peace in Ukraine relying on the future of EU-NATO-Russia relations. Iranian Association of West Asian Studies War Group, in collaboration with the House of Humanities scholars, Tuesday, April 26, 2022, at:14-16

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