Ukraine Conflict Summary, Ukraine News | UPSC Notes

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Ukraine Conflict Summary, Ukraine News | UPSC Notes

Ukraine crisis


Russia & Ukraine r linked since 9th cen in terms of common culture—But National mov in Ukraine in mid 19th cen—Concept of tripartite Russian nation emerged—Great Russians, Little Russians(Ukraine) & White Russians(Belarusian).

After end of Czar Rule, Ukrainian declared independence in 1918.

After Cold war

NATO started eastward expansion (NATO’s expansionary open-door policy)–Incorporated about

14 East european countries in NATO– Ukraine wanted to join NATO + done millitary exercises with NATO + NATO delivered missiles to Ukraine—Russia considers that NATO will use Ukraine as a launch pad for Missiles—“Legitimate security concerns” for Russia

After Putin came to power, West became worried of Russian started gaining strength & its expansionism (By annexation of Crimea)

So issue is rooted in Russia’s “Legitimate security concerns” related to NATO’s expansionary open-door policy Demand of Russia:-

Want a written security guarantee from West to stop any further NATO eastward expansion

Ukraine should follow “Binding Neutrality”

NATO shd roll back its military from Eastern Europe & Black Sea + Possible withdrawal of US NWs from Europe

Ukraine crisis (civil conflict b/w Kiev & Russia backed separatists in Donbas) shd be resolved through the Minsk process.

Why Russia wants to control Ukraine?

David Remnick’s book—“Lenin’s Tomb: Last Days of the Soviet Empire” mentioned Lenin Quote:- “For us, to lose Ukraine would be to lose our head.”

Resources2nd largest european country

Main Gas pipelines of Russia for Europe passes through Ukraine.

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Strategic—It has major ports on Black Sea & shares borders with 4 NATO countries.


India called for Immediate cessation of war and return to path of dialogue & Diplomacy.

India is in a difficult position. On one hand, there is all time best Rel with USA in present context.

On the other, Russia is an all weather P-5 friend (kashmir) + most trusted defence partner with ToT India abstained from UNSC resolution which called for condemning Russian aggression but expressed uneasiness of the Russian action

Stand is based on Principle of “Strategic autonomy” & Non-alignment

Although Russian invasion is wrong by every Intl law. But the only lasting principle in FP is the principle of national interest.

New Delhi has chosen to

prioritise its interests over pursuing a policy that is shaped by common democratic values

Issues with India’s stand–

While India’s hesitation to take a stand against Russia is understood, New Delhi must now consider whether its aspirations to be a “leading power” can be achieved w/o having a clear position on a conflict that threatens global security.

What can be potential changes in world order?

1. Focus of west may shift away from Indo-Pacific

Even as Quad partners imposed sanctions on Russia, condemn Putin & provide military aid to Ukraine, India recently welcomed Russian FM to New Delhi + he was the only visiting foreign official among the many in New Delhi to get a personal meeting with Mr. Modi. India has chosen to increase, rather than reduce, import of its meagre crude oil supplies from Russia, being offered at a discount. Despite a warning by U.S. Deputy NSA that there will be “consequences to countries that actively attempt to circumvent or backfill the sanctions,” India and Russia are exploring ways of conducting bilateral trade by bypassing the dollarbased financial system.

this might leas to stress in India’s ties with Quad partners– These tensions have been noted in Beijing, which has praised India for pursuing an independent FP. In recent years, Chinese had looked at Indian moves in the region through the prism of their U.S. policy, but India’s stance on Ukraine has triggered a rethink in Beijing. Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to New Delhi in March was driven either by the need to wean India away from the Quad or as an exploratory step towards a larger strategic reset with New Delhi. During Mr. Wang’s visit, China offered to create a virtual G2 in Asia by protecting India’s traditional role and collaborating on developmental projects as ‘China- India Plus’ in South Asia.

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Imposing sanctions on Russia is not a “standalone solution”.

How India is defying US Sanctions?

Jaishankar said India does not recognise unilateral sanctions

After 12 occasions of votes at the UN, India continues to abstain on resolutions critical of Russia’s invasion

In March & April, India has bought more Russian oil, at a discount + now accelerating coal imports as well.

Not putting its defence deals (S-400) with Moscow on hold.

Exploring possibilities of alternative payment mechanism–> Rupee- rouble payment mechanism to be used for purchases that circumvent sanctions

What explains Govt’s refusal to bow to combined western pressure so far, when it gave in to far less pressure on dealing with Iran?

Decision is guided by our firm principles of Non-Alignment & Strategic autonomy AND future challenges–

  1. Defence –60% defence hardware dependency on Russia + 85% dependency for spare parts-These could be offset with more purchases from USA & procurement of spares from CIS countries that produced Soviet weapons–But replacing defence

purchases involving ToT & export capabilities such as BrahMos missile would be harder to replace, as the Govt seeks more domestic production

  1. Global economic trends
  2. Continental border challenges (China & Pak)– So

India’s strategic future is also inextricably linked with Russia.

Moscow facilitated talks with China that have resulted in partial disengagement.

Consistent support as a P5 member + at FATF & NSG Modi-Putin bonhomie

  1. Growing focus by west on HRs in India– But Russia never raised concerns
  2. Energy procurements–Indian oil public sector units have invested $16 bl in Russian oil and gas fields (Sakhalin, Vankor) + In renewable energy too, while India has signed civil nuclear deals with many countries, the only foreign nuclear power plants that actually exist are those built by Russia (Kudankulam).
  3. S-400 waiver
  4. This
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The Normandy Format (French: Format Normandie), also known as the Normandy contact group, is a grouping of states who met in an effort to resolve the War in Donbas and the wider Russo-Ukrainian War. The four countries who make up the group, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, and France, first met informally during the 70th anniversary of D-Day celebrations in Normandy, France.[1]

Security advisors from Russia, ukrain,e Germany & France for talks for de-escalating the tensions

Minsk process

Aims of Sanctions

To limit Russia’s ability to be part of Global economy

Stop their ability to finance military

Impair Russian ability to access 21st century technology

Art 2(4)–countries shd not invade each other

Russia vetoed

UN is not irelevent we have to make it work by political will– urgent reforms needed–Reformed multilateralism

Opp for india to play more proactive role to secure intl co-op to sustain principles of multilateralism