Putin’s military invasion of Ukraine shows no signs of stopping. What will happen if Russia wins the war? The answer is an upside-down geopolitical state.
Russian hegemony left the world disturbed after it invaded the sovereign land of Ukraine on Feb 24, 2022. The full-scale military operation ordered by President Vladimir Putin is being denounced by countries all over the world. Heavy sanctions are being imposed by the Western nations, targeting the bank, energy, oil and food sector of Russia.
However, despite the criticism, there is no military aid extended to Ukraine. Neither organizations like the UN and the EU, nor the U.S. have pledged to support Ukraine in combat against Russia.
As the situations are turning bleaker for the nation, a valid question crosses mind-
What happens if Russia wins the war and overthrows Ukraine government?
Whether Russia wins the war or not, the geopolitical order has already gone through extraordinary tremors in the last few days. However, if Putin’s forces take control of Ukraine and overthrow their government, the world would not be the same in a lot of ways.
There are different possibilities that would come to life if Ukraine loses the war to Russia. Let’s take them one by one:
Erruption of economic and psychological warfare globally
Let’s begin with the most immediate possibility. The one that has already come to life to some extent. EU nations and the U.S. have responded to the Russian anarchy with heavy sanctions with the aim to cripple its economy.
However, it’s the 21st century and Russia has multiple avenues to counter the situation. One way is the famous cyber-attacks that Putin’s administration has successfully used in the past to create turmoil overseas. Cyberattack and manipulation by Russia during the U.S. Presidential elections is a good example of the same. If situations escalate, Europe might have to face a similar challenge before it.
The motive here for Russia would be to influence public opinion and sentiments in the West.
Given the current geopolitical situations, it is also evident that China would stand in support of whatever countermeasures Russia takes.
Europe’s energy dependence on Russia is another bargaining chip that gives Putin a massive advantage.
Cryptocurrency, too, is going to play a monumental role in the economic tit-for-tat tussle between the regions. Digital currency will be the prime way for Kremlin to mitigate all the financial and economic sanctions levied against it.
Elite Trap- how Moscow can divide EU and NATO
This is one of the many valid answers to the question “what happens if Russia wins the war.” So what is Elite Trap? It is the practice of manipulating influential political and business figures in a nation by Russia through money and election support.
By now, it is clear that Russia has multiple bargaining chips that are highly significant in nature. The best examples are natural gas and titanium. Given the option of blocking the supply of these resources, Putin has a clear path to divide the European Union and NATO by extending supply to a few nations in return for diplomatic treaties.
Geopolitics in Russia’s favour
If Putin wins the war that he waged on Ukraine, global geopolitical conditions would become exceedingly favourable for Russia. This begins with the access to Europe which will consequently lead to a massive increase in defence expenditure by the EU and U.S.
The unfavourable victory of Russia would also redefine the place of the U.S. and E.U. in NATO. Unfortunately, not in a good way.
The failure to save Ukraine from the fallout would put a dent in the legitimacy of these global alliances. This might in turn lead to some nations, dropping out of these groups.
The chances of dropping out are highly likely in Eastern Europe- the region most proximate to Russia. The defence would be a priority and therefore, Eastern European nations might end up setting alliances with Russia.
This would leave U.S. and big nations in Western Europe together while East Europe might side with Russia.
Moment of contemplation for the U.S.
The U.S. is falling weak on multiple fronts and the world is witnessing it. And the failure of the world’s superpower to protect Ukraine is the most recent addition to its list of fallbacks. As such, Russia’s victory might be a serious chance for the U.S. to rethink its policies.
U.S. and E.U. are the greatest alliance to each other. However, with the chances of the fallout of Europe, the U.S. stands at a position of risk of becoming weaker.
In the last few years, the U.S. has spent most of its resources forming policies to counter China given it witnessed Xi Jinping’s administration as the biggest threat. However, Russia’s hegemony in Europe would shift the focus. As a result, the U.S. would be more aligned towards the EU than ever.
NATO troops and refugee crisis
Given the high possibilities of Eastern Europe succumbing to Russia’s dominance if it wins the war, NATO is most likely to permanently station troops in small nations like Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, among others.
Moreover, fleeing Ukrainians to the surrounding nations would also escalate the refugee crisis of Europe. This would also influence the domestic politics of these nations.
Fate of Ukraine will never be the same
Despite the vague chances of complete settlement of Ukraine for Russia, Moscow would still be able to set up a government in the country. This might lead to the division of Ukraine with Eastern Ukraine falling majorly with Russia, including Crimea. The political state of the rest of the region might turn autonomous.
However, in a distinct possibility of failure of Ukraine’s military, the country’s fate might end up like that of Afghanistan. But that’s a slim chance given the strong sentiments of their forces in their country’s favour.