| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine… Will NATO intervene?

For months, Russian President Vladimir Putin denied intending to attack Ukraine. Today, Putin is beating the drums of war, announcing the start of the invasion.

Geographically, Ukraine is besieged on three fronts:

  • From the north, the Belarusian forces are ready to support the Russian army
  • The east, which is the border with Russia
  • Comoros to the south, captured by Russia since 2014

Recently, the Russian president recognized the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which broke away from Ukraine in 2014, allowing Russia to build military bases there.

Politically, Russia has long opposed Ukraine’s move toward European institutions, specifically NATO and the European Union. The Kremlin has repeatedly demanded guarantees from NATO that Ukraine will not join the alliance, while Washington and NATO allies insist that Putin cannot deny Ukraine this right.

Militarily, for months, Russia, on its border with Ukraine, mobilized more than 100 thousand soldiers, 13,000 tanks and 1800 artillery pieces. Russia has also deployed S-400 air defense systems in Belarus On the western side of Ukraine, that is, in Romania and Bulgaria NATO forces are stationed. The United States has deployed 4,400 American soldiers. The Americans also deployed a number of their forces in Poland, Germany and neighboring NATO countries.

Economically, Russia is the largest exporter of natural gas in the world, as the Russians provide about 40% of European gas needs, through two main pipelines, Nord Stream one and Nord Stream two, which annually generate more than $15 billion. Today, with the start of the invasion, the US President announced that Nord Stream 2 will be closed.

On the ground, with the start of the invasion at dawn on Thursday, Russia bombed vital targets and Ukrainian military bases from land, sea and air, and the Russian Defense Minister announced the destruction of all Ukrainian air defenses and the disruption of infrastructure.

On the Ukrainian side, the military authorities announced the downing of a number of Russian warplanes, the destruction of tanks and a column of Russian military vehicles, and the killing of dozens of Russian soldiers.

A state of emergency was imposed in the country and the airspace was closed to civilian aircraft.

If the war began, the Ukrainian-Russian arena is open to all possibilities. The most prominent question remains: Will the United States and NATO really intervene to support Ukraine militarily in the coming days?

  • Sawt Beirut International