Russia and Ukraine: What is a “Proxy War” and Why Moscow Blames NATO for Starting It

Russia and Ukraine: What is a “Proxy War” and Why Moscow Blames NATO for Starting It

Russia and Ukraine: What is a “Proxy War” and Why Moscow Blames NATO for Starting It

This type of conflict occurs when a state fights another, but instead of using its own military forces, it uses the forces of others.

NATO countries supply Ukraine with sophisticated weapons such as anti-tank system
NATO countries supply Ukraine with sophisticated weapons such as anti-tank system

These were the “hot wars” of the Cold War. for a while More than four decades, Soviet Union and the United States They competed aggressively to gain spheres of influence around the world so as not to meet each other in armed conflict.

It did not even mean that there were no wars between them during this half century, but rather that It happened with all their rudeness and destruction, but in other places and through other actors. There were calls “Proxy Wars” Or puppet wars.

this week Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Sergei Lavrov, NATO has blamed such a war on Moscow. The official warned that the advanced tools provided by the West to the Ukrainian government would be a legitimate target for Russian forces conducting a “special military operation”, a term used by Moscow to refer to it. Invasion of Ukraine.

Lavrov warned that Western weapons arriving in Ukraine were a legitimate target of Russian forces.
Lavrov warned that Western weapons arriving in Ukraine were a legitimate target of Russian forces.

“Warehouses in western Ukraine have been repeatedly attacked [por las fuerzas rusas]. How else can it be? NATO, essentially through a puppet (third party) is involved in the war with Russia and this puppet side has weapons. “War is war,” Lavrov said in a televised interview.

But what exactly is a “proxy war” and what does it mean when Russia blames NATO for its production?

Indirect conflict

“A proxy war occurs when a state fights another state, but instead of using its own military forces, it uses the forces of another state, which may be another state, militia or commander.”Tells BBC World Daniel Byman, Professor of Foreign Policy at Georgetown University (USA) and Senior Middle East Analyst at the Brookings Institution.

Remember that this type of conflict was very common during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, when, for example, there were opposing forces in civil war in places like Somalia or Ethiopia and each superpower supported one. Parties. , So they fought for influence through these third parties.

Wars of this type have also been fought in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.As it happened in Nicaragua in the 1980s.

Vladimir Rauta, Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Reading (UK), notes that these interventions can be implemented in a variety of ways. “This support can be provided through the transfer of weapons, intelligence or funding. “The most common form of support is to provide shelter, safe haven,” he told the BBC Mundo.

“Medium war means some or all forms of support, but never sending troops, because when the state sends troops, it already becomes a direct military intervention,” Rauta said.

Lavrov’s assertion that NATO is involved in such a conflict with Russia in Ukraine was previously made by Leon Panetta, who was US Secretary of Defense and head of the CIA under Barack Obama. “This is a puppet war with Russia, whether we say so or not,” he told the agency in mid-March. Bloomberg.

In an interview with BBC Mundo this week, Panetta reiterated his position by stressing the unity of the United States and its NATO allies against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“They are working to make sure that Russia pays the price for this invasion. They imposed tough economic sanctions on Russia. “They are supplying weapons to the Ukrainians to help them fight the Russian invasion, and they are strengthening NATO countries to make it clear that they will resist further Russian invasion,” he said.

As much as the United States and our allies are doing everything they can to support Ukraine in its war against Russia, you can say that it is the equivalent of a puppet war.He added.

Panetta also highlighted recent statements United States Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, Who said this week that one of the goals of this war is to see Russia weakened. These statements were made at a press conference in Poland, during which the American official was asked whether he would now define Washington’s goals differently than they were set at the beginning of the invasion.

“We want Ukraine to remain a sovereign country, a democracy that can defend its sovereign territory. We want to see Russia weakened to the point that it can not do what it did with the invasion of Ukraine.Replied Austin.

Since the invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. Congress has approved about $ 3.5 billion in aid to that country, which, according to the White House, is almost exhausted, for which the Biden government demanded $ 33,000 this Thursday, millions in additional aid. Fight in war.

A few months before the invasion, when Russia mobilized its troops along the Ukrainian border, Western countries began sending weapons to Kyiv.
A few months before the invasion, when Russia mobilized its troops along the Ukrainian border, Western countries began sending weapons to Kyiv.

Washington handed over all kinds of ammunition and weapons to the government of Volodymyr Zelensky, including anti-aircraft and anti-tank systems, helicopters, drones and grenade launchers. According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the Alliance has provided more than $ 8 billion in military assistance to Ukraine as a whole so far.

War and propaganda

On Thursday, the President of the United States, Joe Biden, Rejected the notion that his country or NATO was involved in a puppet war against Russia. “This is not true and it bothers me because it shows the desperation that Russia is experiencing because of its deplorable failure to be able to do what it originally said it would do. “I think it does not reflect the truth, but its failure,” he said.

Biden asked Congress for more resources to support Ukraine.
Biden asked Congress for more resources to support Ukraine.

“Instead of saying that the Ukrainians, who are equipped with certain capabilities to resist Russian forces, are doing this, they are telling their people that the United States and NATO as a whole are involved in the elimination of Russian troops and tanks.”

Daniel Byman argues that Lavrov’s accusation is actually part of Moscow’s propaganda efforts. “He is trying to change the narrative so that instead of Russia – which has invaded its neighbor – being the aggressor, saying that Russia is on the defensive, it is being attacked.. And that the enemy is not Ukraine, but NATO and the United States are Russia’s target. “He is just trying to find a new enemy because of the failure of Russian policy so far,” the expert said.

Vladimir Rauta points out that the fact that the United States and NATO support Ukraine is not the equivalent of a puppet war, as it is the states that help the country being attacked.

Lavrov is completely wrong. The United States and the European Union are providing military and economic support to the legitimate government of Ukraine. This is completely legal. “They are allies and partners who help each other,” said the expert.

Baiman also denied Lavrov’s characterization and pointed to the origins of the conflict. “Russia started this war and NATO is just helping Ukraine defend itself. So NATO did not want to fight Moscow. ᲡIn fact, This is a war that Russia started“- he pointed out.

“It is possible that the United States or other countries have other goals than to protect Ukraine,” he said, referring to US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. “But, as I said, the primary nature of this conflict is not a puppet war, but a Russian invasion of another country, defending itself with the help of other countries,” he added.

Both Baiman and Rauta agreed that, paradoxically, the classic example of puppet warfare is evident in the role that Moscow has played in Ukraine in recent years. “If there was one country that waged a puppet war in Ukraine, it was Russia that has been supporting and supporting separatist insurgents since 2014. In south-eastern Ukraine. “Moscow created this whole situation as a result of the puppet war it waged against Kiev,” Rauta said.

BBC World

Source: La Nacion

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