For the entire world, Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine represented a turning point, especially when the attack on the European country was met by a limited U.S. response, revealing relative weakness in a critical moment deeply felt by Washington’s European allies.
It is now clear that there is an agenda behind the Russian attack, and it seems like one of its main goals is reshaping the international order.
According to a Russian journalist, Moscow seeks to regain its Soviet unity lost in 1991 and rebuild the so-called “Great Russia”.
Last year, Russian president Putin wrote a long article describing Russians and Ukrainians as “one nation,” calling the collapse of the Soviet Union a “disintegration of historical Russia.”
The Kremlin’s demands in exchange for stopping the war reveal its aspiration to change the international polarity; they include calls for an end to NATO’s expansion, a retreat from the previous expansion, the elimination of U.S. nuclear weapons from Europe.
The Kremlin also demanded assurances that Belarus, Ukraine, and Georgia do not join the Western military or its economic bloc, which will make Moscow effectively the ultimate arbiter of their foreign and security policy.
In addition, Putin wants the West to recognize Crimea as part of Russia and accept the independence of the Moscow-backed East.
This demonstrates that Ukraine has become essential to Russia’s plan for rebuilding influence within the former Soviet space and restoring its status as a global superpower.
Many political leaders view this war as a sign of the possible end to the era of American supremacy, and the beginning of an era burdened with political and economic challenges under a multipolar world order.
Some argue that the United states’ reserved position on the invasion has been influenced by declining U.S. interest in international affairs after a series of failed wars, which left it in need to recover from attrition and exhaustion, without achieving any quantifiable result.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban returned to power after the U.S. withdrawal, and Iran is running Iraqi politics and controlling the country through allied militias.
For Russia the invasion of Ukraine is actually a way to formulate a new geopolitical identity, thus it is adopting a new Eurasian approach based on the idea of revolutionizing Russian society and establishing a totalitarian Eurasian empire, challenging the United States – its permanent adversary -and its Atlantic allies.
On the other hand, Beijing moved on from “hiding and concealment” strategy to utilizing its power to build a parallel global governance system that does not allow the United States of America to sole control over the formulation of the rules of the international order, thus supporting Russian efforts to forge a new international order.
The war in Ukraine is therefore part of a struggle to reduce American power and influence, shape a multipolar world order and pave the way for the post-American era. It is a shifting point with implications that could change the world, as we know it.