The battlefields of the Russian-Ukrainian war

(To Antonino Lombardi)

The Ukrainian campaign could prove to be more costly and damaging for Russia than anticipated. Despite a stagnant economy, the former Soviet Union has launched a human and economically demanding war very similar to that waged by Stalin in Korea in 1950 and by the USSR in 1979 in Afghanistan.

Some forecasts point to a 15% decline in the Russian economy this year, partly due to severe sanctions, which the Kremlin chief has likened to "an act of war" and may impede the technology indispensable for modern production of arms Russia spends a great deal of money on defense and has tried to modernize its armed forces but poor logistics, rigid leadership and the military's unwillingness to fight have weakened the military capabilities deployed.

It seems that the conflict, seen up close with atrocious images projected regularly and incessantly on all media as never before, activates in Western peoples a deep feeling of distancing from war and of shared unity between the United States and Europe.

Europe is trying to reduce dependence on Russian hydrocarbons. By August, the EU plans to end purchases of Russian coal and plans to cut natural gas imports by two thirds by the end of the year. This will benefit the United States and other liquefied natural gas suppliers.

Russia's threats to use nuclear weapons are less and less veiled.

What could be the consequences? Certainly a progressive isolation of the Kremlin and an increase in nuclear forces in Europe by other powers even if Biden says that "the sole purpose of our nuclear arsenal is to discourage and, if necessary, avenge a nuclear attack"

The conflict has led to an increase in NATO military spending and even though the president of the United States has declared that his country "He will not fight a war against Russia in Ukraine" the exact opposite appears.

The Russian president appears to be trying to make Ukraine the cornerstone of a sphere of influence, not by recreating the former Soviet Union, but by having on its borders a group of states whose policies and economic relations are subject to the Russian Federation trying to have a real dominance.

Why Ukraine in particular? Probably because it shares a long border with Russia, it is the largest of the six former Soviet republics placed between Russia and NATO and because there are ancient historical and cultural ties that are not to be underestimated. Putin himself said that Ukraine is not even a real country and that Ukraine is essentially a creation of Lenin's Bolshevism and some other Soviet leaders who have ceded this territory.

Meanwhile, in China, while the Russian-Ukrainian conflict continues, President Xi Jinping envisions a new world order to prevent future conflicts. In fact, in an intervention by him al Boao Asia Forum of last April, he proposed a global security initiative that supports the concept of "indivisible security" according to which no country can strengthen its own security at the expense of others and by supporting sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in business interior. Could it be to avoid future US action in Taiwan?

Some Chinese companies downsized their operations in Russia, many continued to operate in line with Beijing's stance to refrain from criticizing Moscow for the conflict. Didi Chuxing, the app of ride sharing Chinese, had already announced at the end of February its intention to stop operations in Russia, and then backtrack several days later. Huawei, a major telecommunications provider in Russia, has allegedly suspended new orders and fired Russian staff, but so far the company has refused to comment on its plans. DJI, the world's largest manufacturer of commercial drones, announced in April to temporarily suspend operations in Ukraine and Russia after critics, including Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, asked DJI to stop doing business. with Russia, noting that DJI drones were used to kill innocent civilians but the same company denied that its move is a political statement on the conflict in Ukraine by declaring through its spokesperson that the suspension of production "It was not to make a statement about any country, but to make a statement about our principles. DJI detests any use of our drones to cause damage and we temporarily suspend sales in these countries to ensure that no one uses our drones in combat."

The European Union and the United States recently criticized China for spreading "disinformation" about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman has accused the Chinese state media of "parroting the Kremlin's disinformation" and conspiracy theories, including claims that the US was producing biological weapons in Ukraine and having "repeatedly drawn false equivalences between Russia's war of aggression and Ukraine's self-defensive actions".

In short, the war is fought not only on the field and with the media also on the economic-financial field at a global level.