All indications suggests that the current crisis in Ukraine is in fact a crisis between Russia and the West, and it is not just a dispute between Russia and Ukraine. Some compare it to Nazi Germany’s occupation of Czechoslovakia: piece by piece in 1939, followed by the occupation of Poland, until the outbreak of World War II… Could the Russia attack on February 24, 2022, against Ukraine and its continuation until today, lead to a world war? Are the reactions from America and Europe of imposing sanctions without military intervention appropriate for this attack? Or is it luring Russia into the quagmire of Ukraine? If so, what is the purpose behind that? Thank you.
In order for the picture to become clearer about these questions, we need to review the following matters:
First: The past days have proven beyond any doubt that the Russian president suffers from megalomania, and believes that Russia can, in the current international circumstances, restore its international status as a superpower next to America. He bitterly criticizes the inappropriate way in which the West deals with Russia, and criticizes its marginalization in international issues, and criticizes NATO’s progress in the east, and demands the removal of American military bases from the countries that joined NATO after 1997, i.e. Poland, Romania and other Eastern European countries. What indicates his delusion of grandeur are:
1- Putin received the leaders of France, Germany and Iran in an undiplomatic manner, as well as the President of Turkey shortly before that. Some of them had to wait for him for a while in halls filled with symbols of Russian victories. Russian security asked the French President, Macron, upon his arrival at the airport to carry out a Coronavirus test. He sat at a distance of six meters from him. While he did not do this with the presidents of Kazakhstan and Belarus, who visited him in the same period. He indicated to the German chancellor to walk behind him as they exited the press conference hall!
2- Putin’s open and unequivocal declared view of Ukraine is that it is not a state, and that Russia gave it from its lands to form a state, and supported it with 150 billion dollars over decades. He described its rulers as those who occupy power in Kiev. All of this indicates that he does not see the Eurasian region (the confluence of Europe and Asia) except being Russian. This view of the Eurasian region and Russia’s center in it is what prompted him to involve forces from the countries of the Collective Security Treaty in Kazakhstan in the uprising that took place at the beginning of 2022 to control it.
3- Putin did not care about insulting all European countries when he requested security guarantees for Russia in Europe from America, despite the widespread criticism at first from France and some other countries that called for Europe’s security to be in the hands of the Europeans first. Putin did so because he sees himself as an equal to America, not to European countries. When Macron offered to mediate during his visit to Russia, Putin replied that France does not lead NATO.
Second: The Kremlin announced in a statement that Russian President Putin informed his French counterpart Macron on 28/2/2022 in a telephone conversation, that took place between them, of Russia’s conditions for stopping the war, which are: “Recognition of Russia’s sovereignty over Crimea, the disarmament of the Ukrainian state, its abandonment of Nazism, and the guarantee of its neutrality.” (France Press 28/2/2022), and we mentioned in the answer to a question on 22/12/2021 the following: “Thus, the current crisis reveal that Russia’s first aim is to stop questioning that Crimea’s remains part of it, but rather wants that as a fait accompli with international American and European recognition. The second goal is for eastern Ukraine to become outside the control of Ukraine and be part of Russia, and the third and most effective goal is to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO, and that it needs guarantees for that.”
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu emphasized this, saying: “The armed forces of his country will continue the special military operation in Ukraine until it achieves its goals. Western countries should stop building military facilities in the countries of the former Soviet Union that are not members of NATO. The Western world is using the Ukrainian people in the fight against Russia. The important thing is to protect Russia from the military threat posed by Western countries” (Anadolu 1/3/2022). Hence, this crisis is one of the largest global crises that has recently arisen, and it will constitute a bitter conflict between Russia and the West, and therefore it is unlikely that Russia will stop until it achieves its goals, or else its loss will be terrible… It is unlikely that the West will accept these conditions.
Therefore, the current circumstances exacerbated the severity of this crisis, to the extent that there was a threat of using nuclear weapons. The Russian presidential spokesman, Peskov, announced that “President Vladimir Putin has ordered to put the Russian strategic deterrence forces on a clear and explicit combat alert” (TASS 28/2/2022), which includes defensive rather than offensive nuclear weapons. Strategic deterrence forces are divided into strategic offensive forces and strategic defensive forces. The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that it had “put the Strategic Missile Forces, the Northern and Pacific Fleet and the strategic aviation on alert” (Russian Novosti, 28/2/2022). Russia, in the words of its Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, confirmed its demands by saying: “The realization of legally binding security guarantees by NATO countries is of fundamental importance for Russia” (TASS 1/3/2022). That is why there is no retreat on the part of Russia from its goals in this case, unless the Ukrainians show strong resistance, and continue their resistance as the Afghan Mujahideen did against the Soviet Union in the eighties of the last century.
Third: The American position: It is clear that America made every effort to lure Russia into the Ukrainian quagmire with deception and provocation:
1- America did not respond to Russia’s demands of the security guarantees, instead it worked to implicate it in Ukraine, so it made the government of Ukraine provoke it to launch attacks in its east of the Donbass region. This provocation was increased by America’s statements, such as Biden’s statement during a press conference on 19/1/2022: “I think that (Putin) will move, he has to do something. Russia will be held accountable if it invades, and it depends on what it does, It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion by Russia into Ukraine that may not have a high price unlike a full-scale invasion” (CNN 20/1/2022). Following that, a Ukrainian official told CNN, the American network did not name him, “Biden has given the green light to the Russian President Putin to enter Ukraine. Kiev is astonished by these statements!”
2- When the Russian military operation against Ukraine began, US President Biden announced that “America will not interfere if Russia intervenes in Ukraine, but if it interferes in NATO countries, it will intervene.” And he announced that “about 7,000 American soldiers will be sent to Germany.” America has previously deployed about 5,000 American soldiers in Germany, Poland and Romania. He also announced a package of sanctions against Russia. Biden said, “Our forces did not go to Europe to fight in Ukraine, but to defend our NATO allies and reassure those allies in the east” (Al-Jazeera 24/2/2022), and he confirmed this in the state of the Union speech, saying: “His country’s forces will not engage in any fight against Russia, but it will prevent Russian forces from advancing westward towards other European countries. It will defend every inch of the territory of any NATO member state.” (Al-Jazeera 2/3/2022)
He announced the closure of NATO airspace to Russian aircraft, as did European countries and Canada. These statements from the US President tempted Russia and encouraged it to carry out and continue its military operation in Ukraine. This was followed by statements by NATO, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said during a press conference with the Polish President in the capital Warsaw on 1/3/2022: “NATO will not be a party to this conflict. But it will provide all kinds of military support to Ukraine. No soldier will be sent to it. The alliance is defensive and does not seek confrontation with Russia. We try to help Ukraine as much as possible, and the NATO allies have imposed a heavy cost on Russia” (Anadolu 1/3/2022), he expressed the American opinion exactly.
3- America was dealing with Russia provocatively, so Russia was waiting for its Foreign Minister Lavrov to meet with US Secretary of State Blinken in Geneva on 24/2/2022, but Blinken canceled the visit, [US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced yesterday that he canceled the scheduled meeting between him and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov after Moscow’s recognition of the two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine and sending troops to them. Blinken said during a joint press conference with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in Washington, “Now that we see the invasion is beginning and Russia has made clear its wholesale rejection of diplomacy, it does not make sense to go forward with that meeting at this time.” (Albayan 23/2/2022)].
This may have failed the meeting before it was held, and thus provoked Russia. Then the American warnings successively and provocatively began about a Russian invasion of Ukraine, while Russia was declaring that it did not intend to invade Ukraine. Everything that was issued by Washington provoked Russia, as if it was pushing it to invade Ukraine. America increased in pushing Russia to invade by declaring several times that it would not fight in Ukraine, because the latter is not a member of NATO. At the same time, America increases shipments of new weapons to Ukraine, which are transported by American planes every day, and with shipments of American Stinger missiles and anti-armor materials!
4- America increased the frequency of its announcements about the imminence of the Russian invasion, and that what it announced was based on intelligence information, thus increasing the international sense of danger. Everyone was watching out for the Russian invasion hour by hour based on what was issued by US President Biden, his Secretary of State, the Minister of Defense and their spokesmen, and even from the American press. America also increased the risks of war in Ukraine when it decided to withdraw its personnel in the Contact Line Observation Mission in the disputed Donbass region between Ukraine and the separatists. And these American employees are part of the European security mission, and Russia felt a great danger of their withdrawal. Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said: [“Some countries” decided to withdraw their citizens, employees of the organization’s special monitoring mission in Ukraine, on the grounds of “exacerbating security conditions.” Zakharova added that these decisions raise Moscow’s grave concern, warning against “deliberately dragging the mission into military hysteria fueled by Washington and its exploitation as a tool for possible provocation.” (Sada Al-Balad, 13/2/2022)]. In the sense that Russia may have seen that America wants to inflame the very sensitive conflict in the Donbass. The conflict that has been freezing since 2015.
5- This increase in American provocations to Russia coincided with America’s announcement that it had almost secured gas to the European continent as a substitute for natural gas from Russia, which Russia is expected to cut off or that its Ukrainian supply pipelines will be affected by the war, meaning depriving Russia of the European market and finding alternatives to American and Qatari gas and from importers of Asia, especially the Japanese, who hold gas futures contracts. This comes in light of the light winter and the approaching spring, when the need for natural gas is less… Also, there were very dangerous events taking place in the far east of Russian, the Russian army announced that an American nuclear submarine had entered the Russian territorial waters in the Kuril Islands, and that they did not respond to the Russian warnings, and that Russian ships used rougher methods to force it to retreat. The process of pushing them out of Russian territorial waters took 3 hours. And these Kuril Islands are Japanese islands occupied by Russia during World War II and Japan is still claiming them, and because of Russia’s failure to respond to these Japanese demands, Tokyo, since 1945, has not signed any cease-fire agreement with Russia, meaning that Japan has been officially and since 1945 in a state of war with Russia. This meant that Russia’s fear from America has increased. So, will America push Japan to occupy the Kuril Islands?
6- Thus, things will continue in the direction of provocation and escalation. It will increase step by step until Russia is immersed in the Ukrainian mud. Until then, the American provocations will continue along with the British provocations, and European provocations, such as Germany stopping the Nord Stream project, on the one hand, and the American temptation to Russia to continue the war in Ukraine. America does not effectively threaten Russia, rather, it merely shows its intention to impose sanctions. Its foreign minister, Blinken, calls the Russian military preparations a prelude to a “successful” invasion of Ukraine! On the other hand, Ukraine’s demands to join NATO has increased and so has Ukraine’s demands from the West for more armaments, which increases the stacking of risks to Russia and accelerates its accumulation. This continues until it is the only open door for Russia to solve its security risks around Ukraine, by invasion, war and drowning in the quagmire. This is what America wants, which is setting up Ukraine with traps for Russia. It does not seem that Russia is able to stop going in this path today, after it has fallen into the ropes of its stupid plan!
Fourth: The European position: The European Union High Representative Josep Borrell said on 22/2/2022 that this is a black day for Europe, the day Russia recognized the republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. British Prime Minister Johnson said a few days ago that we have entered into a new strategic competition with Russia that may extend for an entire generation. All of this makes the door open to all possibilities, and nuclear threats are not excluded.
Nevertheless, Europe has tried to calm the situation and reach an agreement with Russia, and its leaders in France and Germany have communicated with it, so French President Macron visited Moscow, and he spoke by phone several times with Putin, most recently after the Russian military operation in Ukraine. The Elysee Palace announced that Macron “repeated in the conversation the international community’s demanded to halt the Russian attack on Ukraine, and reaffirmed that an immediate ceasefire would be in effect, halt all strikes and attacks on civilians and their places of residence, preserve all civilian infrastructure and secure roads, especially the road south of Kiev.” (France Press 28/2/2022). The German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, also visited Moscow and discussed with Putin and stated from there, saying: “There is no doubt for us Germans, but all Europeans, that stable security cannot be achieved against Russia, but only with it… This is what we agreed with the Russian President, however, opportunities for resolving the current crisis in Europe are still present.” (Russia Today, 15/2/2022).
Despite this, Europe was already implicated in the Ukraine crisis, as America wanted. It was forced to declare its full support for Ukraine, its supported it with military equipment and advanced weapons, and the imposition of sanctions on Russia in various fields, amounting to launching an all-out war without sending soldiers. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on his Twitter account on 26/2/2022: “The Russian aggression against Ukraine constitutes a turning point, it threatens the situation that was established after the Second World War… In this situation on our part we have to help Ukraine as much as we can in defense against the invading Putin‘s absurdity.” Germany decided to send 1,000 rocket launchers and 500 Stinger surface-to-air missiles. Scholz said to the German parliament “with the invasion of Ukraine we are in a new era…Germany will invest from now on and year after year more than 2% of its GDP in our defense sector, we will invest 100 billion euros in military equipment this year. The goal is to have a strong, modern and advanced army that is able to protect us reliably” (France Press 27/2/2022). After the Russian military operation, he announced the suspension of work on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that extends from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea. The European Union’s Foreign Relations and Security Officer Josep Borrell said on 27/2/ 2022 that “the Union decided to provide military aid to Ukraine, including weapons worth 450 million euros and protective equipment worth 50 million euros. Which will be financed from the Fund for Peace in Europe, and from the Intergovernmental Fund.” (Anadolu 28/2/2022). At an emergency meeting of the European Union in Brussels, European Council President Charles Michel said, “The sanctions will have an impact on us as well, but this is a price owed to the defense of our freedom.” European Union Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said: “We see before us a new geopolitical birth for Europe. The catastrophe that Europe is facing today forces it more than ever to unite and cooperate.” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, “Europe’s fate is at stake during the war in Ukraine.” (Al-Jazeera 1/3/2022)
Hence, we see that Europe has become involved in this war that overturned the state of peace it has lived since the end of World War II, and made it under the Russian threat, except for its great economic losses due to its loss of energy resources such as gas and oil. The European Union gets about 40% of the gas and 27% of the oil from Russia. America wants Europe to turn to it, to rely on its gas at high costs and with lower quality. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline would have provided it with a third of the external demand, at a cost that was about 25% lower. Putin said at the press conference with German Chancellor Scholz in their last meeting, and in an expression of his favours on the Germans, saying: “The German consumer, whether it is an industrial or domestic consumer, receives gas from Russia five times less (than the current price), so let the German citizen checks his wallet and says he ready to buy gas at a price 3-5 times higher. This is why he should thank the former German Chancellor Schroder who supported the Nord Stream 1 project through which Germany receives about 55 billion cubic meters of gas and this gas is provided on future contracts. (Russia Today, 15/2/2022). Putin stated that Germany holds 60% of the Russian market. And Putin did this only to tempt Europe to cooperate with Russia and not stand against it on the American side, and to reassure it that Russia is not thirsty for its resources. By this Russia wants to keep itself safe from Europe’s side.
Fifth: The Chinese Stance: China has come close to Russia on this issue. China has supported Russia by declaring that the Western countries should take Russia’s security demands seriously. To mobilize international support for Russia’s policy on Ukraine, Russian President Putin visited Beijing (the Winter Games) and met with Chinese President 2/2/2022, and China announced in a joint statement signed by its president with Russian President Putin that it opposes Ukraine’s accession to NATO. The two countries (Russia and China) declared their unified positions in the face of American hegemony and called for international multipolarity and said that a new era in international relations had been launched. They signed major contracts for China to invest in Russia’s gas and oil, and to increase trade exchange between them, raising it to $200 billion a year. However, it appears that China is awaiting to see how will the state of affairs of Russia be in Ukraine, and whether it will take a similar step to annexing Taiwan. Voices began to rise in China: “It’s the best chance to take back Taiwan now,”
This is on the Chinese version of Twitter. China has rejected sanctions against Russia so that it would not face similar treatment if it moved to seize Taiwan by force, and it refrained from vetoing a draft resolution condemning Russian aggression. It chose not to vote to avoid a Western campaign against it. It appeared to be not supporting Russia when it did not veto the draft resolution condemning Russia.
Note that it, i.e., China, did not criticize Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and blamed America, but it appreciates the principles of stability and territorial integrity. In a conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, “Concerning the current crisis, the Chinese side calls on Ukraine and Russia to find a way to solve it through negotiations and supports all constructive international efforts for a political settlement.” (TASS 1/3/2022) The Chinese Foreign Minister had announced his country’s opposition to the sanctions, saying: “China not only does not support sanctions as a means to solve problems, but rather strongly opposes the unilateral sanctions that are inconsistent with international law.” (TASS 27/2/2022).
Sixth: The Conclusion:
1- America has “succeeded” of implicating Russia in a complete or almost complete invasion of Ukraine… This will make Russia face local tensions and political, economic turbulence, and may be military as well, for years, whether it is satisfied with occupying eastern Ukraine or bypassing it for larger areas in Ukraine, all or some ...and it is not excluded that it will affect Putin’s continuation in power.
2- Likewise, the international situation of Russia will be impacted by this turbulence, if not make it reach the point of falling! The international campaign has expanded, under American and European pressures, to highlight that Russia is attacking sovereign countries, and at the same time, America and Europe have forgotten or wanted to forget its attacks on many sovereign countries in Asia and Africa… All these countries, Russia, America and Europe, come from the same bases, they don’t value human life.
3- As for the fact that these attacks will lead to a third world war, as was the second world war after Nazi Germany’s attack on Czechoslovakia and its occupation piece by piece in 1939, as stated in the question, the matter is somewhat different… because its occurrence is inseparable from a nuclear war because this weapon It exists in these countries, and they may think about it a thousand times before implementing it, not because it destroys others, this has no weight for them, but because it may affect them, so they have no values except what benefits them even if it harms others! Al-Jazeera published in an interview with Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister on 2/3/2022: (and in response to a question about the danger of a third world war, Lavrov said that the leaders of the five permanent members signed a declaration that the world war should not erupt, because it would be nuclear and with no victorious in it, pointing out that it was US President Joe Biden is the one who said that sanctions against Russia were the only alternative to World War III.) Lavrov’s country does not find an objection to bombing a nuclear plant as long as the damage resulting from it is far from it and close to others! Al Jazeera published this day: [“The most prominent event witnessed by the nuclear plant in the city of Zaporizhzhia, where Ukraine spoke of Russian bombing, which led to the outbreak of a fire that was later controlled; but it caused casualties among its workers, according to the Ukrainian version, while the Russian Ministry of Defense accused the Ukrainian forces of being responsible for it.” (Al Jazeera 4/3/2022)].
4- These are the major countries in the world today, monsters of the jungle, the strong eats the weak, and if they call for help, there will be no help… History repeats itself, and the struggle of the major powers today repeats the conflict between the Persians and the Romans yesterday. The answer to this matter is the same as the first answer: the rule by what Allah (swt) has revealed and jihad in the cause of Allah (swt). It protects the weak and give justice to the oppressed and then the Khilafah (Caliphate) that is the glad-tiding of the Messenger of Allah (saw) will return:
«ثُمَّ تَكُونُ خِلَافَةً عَلَى مِنْهَاجِ النُّبُوَّةِ» “Then there will be Khilafah on the method of Prophethood.”
And in it the strong will be weak until the right is taken from him, as the rightly-guided Caliph Abu Bakr al-Siddiq said in what was reported by Kanz al-Ummal Fi Sunan Al-Aqwal Wal Af’al: On the authority of Abdullah bin Akeem, he said: When Abu Bakr was given the pledge of allegiance, he ascended the pulpit but on a lower step from the seat of the Prophet (saw), he praised Allah (swt) and said:
“...وَأَنَّ أَقْوَاكُمْ عِنْدِي الضَّعِيفُ حَتَّى آخُذَ لَهُ بِحَقِّهِ، وَأَنَّ أَضْعَفَكُمْ عِنْدِي الْقَوِيُّ حَتَّى آخُذَ الْحَقَّ مِنْهُ...”
“...The strongest of you to me is the weak until I give him his right, his, and that the weakest of you to me is the strong until I take other’s rights from him.”
This is how good spreads in the Dar ul Islam (Abode of Islam).
(وَيَوْمَئِذٍ يَفْرَحُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ * بِنَصْرِ اللَّهِ يَنْصُرُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ)
“And that day the believers will rejoice * In the victory of Allah. He gives victory to whom He wills, and He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful” [Ar-Rum: 4-5].