Dr. Olexiy Haran

Research Director of the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, Professor of Comparative Politics at the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy

Petro Burkovskiy

Executive Director

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4 January 2023

Fighting for Freedom: Ukrainian Assessment of the Implications of the Russian Invasion for South Asia

IPRI Journal 2022, Volume XXII, Number 2

Olexiy Haran & Petro Burkovskyi

Since the 2000s, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s policy towards Ukraine was aimed at restoring full control of the nation’s political, economic, and security systems. It contradicted Russian legal obligations as Ukraine had given up its nuclear weapons and Russia was among the guarantors of its territorial ntegrity. Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 resulted in heavy sanctions which Moscow did not foresee, while Kyiv demonstrated better adaptability to the changing war situation and accelerated its EU integration. Russia has been losing its status as a great power and the invasion has cost it dearly. Russian foreign and security policy in South Asia since 2014 is being questioned. The war between Ukraine and Russia created a profound global strategic and economic crisis for the South Asian countries. At the same time, it showed how smaller nations can defend themselves by building networks of close partnerships with other neighbouring nations. The conflict also proved how manipulations with energy resources and food supplies can constrain such cooperation and how spread of narratives helps the aggressor state to disguise plans to build spheres of influence. Despite some attempts in South Asia to stay neutral between aggressor and its victim, or even to benefit from the war, withdrawal of the Russian troops from Ukraine would be beneficial for South Asian countries.

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