The war in Ukraine, begun in February 2022, has had important reverberations in many parts of the world, including the Middle East.
Almost exactly sixty years ago John F. Kennedy, a first-term Democratic president from the moderate wing of his party, campaigned across the country to prevent his party from losing control of Congress in the midterm elections. Kennedy had come under fire from the liberal wing of his party, and from African Americans marching for their civil rights, for being too timid in advocating for progressive change, but he was also under pressure from others in his party and beyond to revive a slowing economy.
It’s been just over a month since the first Iranian-made Shahed-136 drone (rebranded in Russian colours as the “Geran-2”) was intercepted by Ukrainian forces near Kupians, in the Kharkiv Oblast. This episode marked the first evidence of Russia’s rumoured wide-scale deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s, or “drones”), manufactured and supplied by Iran (still officially denied by Tehran) for its military effort in Ukraine.
Capacity building is an approach intrinsically related to diplomatic practices. According to the United Nations, it aims at improving multilateralism by drawing from different capabilities across various areas of interests to enhance cooperation among countries with the purpose of ensuring international peace, security, and stability.
Environmental consequences have never been the top priority during wars. Crucially, however, a war’s impact on the environment can significantly increase the number of people affected by hostilities. On February 24th, Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, after having already occupied Crimea and the Donbas region in 2014.
Following other publications from this Dossier, this commentary examines the Russo-Ukrainian war by pondering the implications for Asia’s balance of power and multilateral institutions. Despite the geographical distance from the violence, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has rekindled anti-colonial sentiments around Asia.
Russia’s full-scale military invasion of Ukraine on February 24th called for a reaction, both declarative and factual, from world leaders. China has long manoeuvred itself between not antagonising the West whilst also not officially supporting Russia. This approach results from several diplomatic, business, and strategic considerations, including the potential effect on Asian security and stability.
“The Ukraine War” will rank in 2022’s international affairs highlights. While conflicts and wars sadly remain a regular occurrence in world politics, two factors account for the gravity and unprecedented nature of the situation in Ukraine. First, the scale and location of the conflict involved a rising number of victims, from those who became direct casualties of the war to those forced out of their homes and seeking refuge in some of Europe’s major powers.
We all have but one planet. The danger of nuclear war, climate emergency and ecological disasters mean that maintaining peace is an imperative for the very survival of humanity. Wars destabilize not only parts of our globe - they add to the universal insecurity and undermine the possibility of addressing shared threats.
Since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis in 2014, the conflict in the eastern part of the country has not stopped, leading to the deterioration of Russia’s relations with both Ukraine and the West. The situation took a sharp turn for the worse in February 2022, with nearly 2,000 ceasefire violations in the Donbas region on the 19th alone. On the 24th, Russia announced a “special military operation”, and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict suddenly broke out, shocking the world.
Over the last two years, global economy – and the EU’s in particular – has been shaken by two “black swans” in a row: Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine. After the impressive economic rebound in 2021, the conflict has already taken its economic toll: growth forecasts for 2022 and 2023 are heavily revised downwards, public debts are skyrocketing, and inflation is at 30-year high, and likely to keep rising.