Ukraine Conflict and India’s Hard Choices 

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On 24th January 2022, I assessed and tweeted from my account (@InsightGL) that Russia will invade Ukraine after 20th February, the closing day of the disastrous Beijing Winter Olympics. Unfortunately, my predictions came true, and activities started on 21st February. The invasion of Ukraine is part of history now.

The question, “Who to side with”, has already put many nations in a quandary; India is one of them. Does India have many choices? If yes, then what are India’s options in this very complex situation?

Should India remain neutral the way it is now, or side with Russia or go with the Western block?

I (@InsightGL) present an in-depth analysis on India’s premier ‘Think-Tank’ organization Chanakya Forum:

31 thoughts

  1. Thank you for explaining what India’s considerations are regarding this unfortunate conflict. Unfortunately, Putin’s chest beating behaviour means a decision will need to be made sooner, rather than later, meaning that India may no longer find itself neutral. The World has become a very small place, and I don’t think a nation can remain unaligned anymore, even if they believe it’s for the greater good – however, I am more than happy to be proved wrong on this point. That being said, India has a real opportunity here to help the World be as one, and I admit, from a very western viewpoint – one that allows Russia to retreat gracefully and for the Ukraine to rebuild. The gate to Europe needs restoration as soon as possible.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing an excellent thought. The main point is that we should be open to ideas and counterpoints. That helps us grow and opens us up to a galaxy of ideas right in front of us that we cannot see.

    1. More than afraid it is India’s dependence on Russian military hardware. What Indian forces have built in the last 75 years can’t be done away with in a jiffy.

      1. Jokes apart, I seriously feel some malfeasance to expand the war in Ukraine.

  2. I don’t really see it as a case of siding with Russia or The West. It’s deciding whether a country wants to side with right or wrong. Even though the West may have made mistakes since the end of the Cold War there is absolutely no justification for invadling a sovereign county whose people only want the freedom to choose their own destiny. I’m disappointed with India’s response so far.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I understand what you are implying, but similarly, the whole world is disappointed with the meek response the EU has displayed. Hollow words have no meaning; we have the United Nations for that. Who has come to rescue Ukraine? None!

      1. Don’t get me wrong Sandomina, I do understand India’s position, and the EU has put itself in a similar situation for no real reason at all. Many of us in the UK who voted for Brexit could see the bigger picture and didn’t want to be a part of it. The West has brought this upon itself in some ways – but Putin (and not the Russian people) is completely out of order. As you well know if Nato intervened directly it would only make matters worse – and none of us would relish the consequences.

        I really enjoy reading your posts my friend and learn a lot from them, so please don’t think I’m being harsh on India – just disappointed.

    1. This is not indecision; it is a calibrated decision. India has its genuine concerns, and the US can not fulfill those. 70% of Indian military hardware is still Russian, with China at the gate; who would look after it?

  3. The central issue is how a nation becomes aligned with its allies. E.g., a nation can be invited or can request to join NATO or EU. No one forces or pushes this; it is up to the people of that nation to decide.
    Alternatively, a nation can be “aligned” with another who comes in with guns, rockets and murder of its population. While the idiot, Putin, claims to be “de-nazifying” Ukraine, what he should do is grow a short mustache like his mentor, Hitler. Putin WILL be remembered, but not the way he is stupidly hoping.
    He will stand before the LORD of all the earth one day, and meet his judgment.

    1. It is like this; even the US had concerns and reservations about Russian missiles in Cuba. Fortunately, Cuba doesn’t share a land border with the US. Still, every country has the right to choose what they want.

      1. It is my understanding that NATO does not stockpile offensive weapons, but focuses on defensive ones. The missives Kruschev tried to put in Cuba were to threaten the US. And again, joining NATO is voluntary. If Cuba had free elections, how long does one think Fidel would have remained in office? Freedom must be defended especially when another country invades without provocation. Blessings on you, my friend.

  4. In an idealistic world, one can blindly side with the right against the wrong. In practicality, every decision path bears a weightage, the Cost of Decision.

    The WW2 was stopped but at the cost of nuclear devastation. US and Japan were at opposition then, but now with a Treaty of Mutual Co-operation and Security !

    “The world is not binary.
    It is no black and white.
    Solution lies in a ternary,
    Difficult than taking a side.”

    As far as I could see, India has a way greater role to play, if could stay neutral…..

    However, the stance of neutrality too, is not limited to one path. Hence, different viewers have different understandings and hence agree differently. With rising crisis of geopolitical severity and changing dynamics of global economics, chalking out the various conditional paths is the readiness that India is likely to focus upon, for the decision could lie in one of those, although such decision might not be the perfect solution, but the best possible that one can apply, or should I say, afford.

    This reminds me of an old post which attempted to theorize exhaustively 6 directions, amongst which lies an approach, that humankind has already been adopting since the past, during different times and types of crises. This is now a 21st century time and a geopolitical type.

    For reference : Readiness of Posterity
    https://thelinearlearner.wordpress.com/2020/04/22/34-will-future-generations-be-crisis-resistant/

    Sometimes, the times are so critical but fortunately, critical does not last longer, however, its consequences do !

  5. I am of the opinion that Ukraine and Russia war has thrown some foreign policy challenges for India; which side to take (Russia or US with members of EU). India’s policy of sitting on the fence is one of the best option. It is also in consonance with the support Russia handed out to us many time in UNO resolutions. Your writeup is really timely and most relevant. Regards.

  6. Whatever happened to the option of non-alignment that was a movement many years back? I suppose a much richer and powerful China does not leave that as an option any more.

  7. The issue of how we react to the war between Russia and Ukraine is essentially one that Europe has to solve. The countries that make up Europe have been subjected to the horrors of WW2 and then many to the brutality of Stalin’s Soviet Union. European countries must determine how they prevent such conflict. I do not think it is a sensible move to try and say to other countries that they have a choice of being ‘with us or against us’. We have to figure out for ourselves how we bring stability and peace to Europe.

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