Whatever plans Russia may have, conflict resolution greatly depends on the West.

By Andrei P. Tsygankov, Canadian Dimension

Western political and media circles are convinced that Russia has decided to invade Ukraine. They frequently speculate that the invasion will happen in late February, or earlier, because winter creates favourable conditions for Russian tanks and ground troops. US President Joe Biden announced that Russia’s invasion is now “imminent.” British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss accused Moscow of fomenting regime change in Kyiv. The United States, Britain, and Germany have already announced the evacuation of their diplomatic personnel from the Ukrainian capital.

USA and Ukrainian flags

Determined to stop Russia, Western nations regularly reveal new measures to punish Moscow should it choose to use force in Ukraine. The West promises new tough sanctions including those against Russian President Vladimir Putin. The US and NATO are also planning to put 8,500 troops on high alert and move them closer to Ukraine.

The contrast between the two sides’ positions could not be more revealing. Russia views its actions as a purely defensive response to increasingly offensive military preparations by NATO and Ukraine (according to Russia’s foreign ministry, half of Ukraine’s army, or about 125,000 troops, are stationed near the border). Instead of pressuring Ukraine to de-escalate and comply with the Minsk Protocol, however, Western nations continue to provide the Ukrainian army with lethal weapons and other supplies. The Kremlin fears an attack on the Donbas, the Russian-supported eastern separatist territory, by Kyiv. As a deterrent against possible military provocations, Russia has conducted military exercises and amassed 100,000 troops along the border.

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