The military adventures start very quickly, but it is very hard to abandoned them when thousands of people lose their lives and many localities are wiped off the map. The war waged by Russia against Ukraine is not an exception, the permanent expert of IPN’s project Igor Boțan stated in a public debate hosted by IPN News Agency.
The expert said the interests existing at the incipient stage of the war can change, but most of the times these are economic and territorial or expansionist in character. “The Soviet Union, as it was governed by gerontocracy, surely was interested in expanding. The treasures of Afghanistan are huge. We remember that two years ago, when the United States withdrew from Afghanistan, many companies expressed interest in extracting those minerals. If we return to Ukraine, to the post-Soviet space, we can say that there are documents showing that the Russian Federation was interested in keeping this space under control,” said Igor Boțan.
He noted there were signals warning about a Russian invasion of Ukraine. “We can speak about separatist enclaves, frozen conflicts that were created intentionally and that the Russian Federation at a certain moment will use in its interests and according to its rules. Another signal was given by Vladimir Putin himself in 2020, when in an article he justified the German revanchism together with the coming of Hitler to power. We later saw that the ex-advisers to Putin in the press in the Russian Federation started to justify an eventual destabilization of former Soviet republics so as to take them under control, which is to implement those revanchist steps about which Putin spoke in 2020. The war ultimately was started, on February 24, 2022. It is easy to enter a war by invoking all kinds of historical and ideological arguments, but it is very hard to end this war,” stated Boțan.
He said there are similarities between the USSR’s war against Afghanistan and of Russia’s war against Ukraine”, but it is yet very difficult to predict the consequences of the war in Ukraine. The international community mobilized to help Ukraine. The war in Afghanistan was rather a guerilla war. In Ukraine, something outrageous happens as whole cities are razed to the ground by the Russian army. The way in which Russia conducts its military operations makes the largest part of the international community take sides with Ukraine and Ukraine resists.
According to Igor Boțan, Russia insists on the punishment of civilians by attacking Ukrainian civilian infrastructure for the population to rise up against the Ukrainian authorities.
“The situation is absolutely uncertain as the plans drawn up by Russia and President Putin failed. A direct confrontation between Russia and the West is not wanted. The West only offers military support by providing armament and financial resources so as to keep Ukraine afloat and to enable it to defend itself. But this does not allow Ukraine to get back the territories occupied by the Russian Federation. On the other side, nothing good can happen for Russia, which lost its markets. There is a lot of uncertainty and this should make us responsible, including the authorities of the Republic of Moldova, which should adopt well-considered decisions,” said the expert.
The debate entitled “Common roots of USSR’s war against Afghanistan and of Russia’s war against Ukraine” was the second installment of the series “Impact of the Past on Confidence and Peace Building Processes” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany. The first installment of the project was held last week under the theme “Common roots of World War II and of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine”. The video recording can be seen here.