How the Russian-Ukrainian war redrawn the world geopolitical map in a few days?

Beyond the heroic resistance of the Ukrainians and their president against the Russian forces, and the obvious change of strategy in the Kremlin's attack plan returning to a more conventional but also much more violent strategy vis-à-vis the civilian populations, Vladimir Putin's decision to launch this offensive against Ukraine caused, on an international scale, a geopolitical tidal wave of unprecedented magnitude since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Because if the Russian military seriously underestimated the resistance capacity of the military but also of the Ukrainian civilians, the Kremlin, for its part, profoundly underestimated the unity and the response that Westerners will show, and Europeans in particular, transforming this conflict which was initially supposed to last only a few days, into a showdown between Russia and Europeans of an intensity comparable to that of the Euromissile crisis. From now on, it is Vladimir Putin's regime itself that is in the sights of Europeans, so determined that Americans and Chinese remain, for the time being, remarkably discreet.

The brutal awakening of Europeans

Until the beginning of the Russian offensive, very few European leaders envisaged that such a massive attack could take place. It is true that between the very effective influence campaigns carried out by the media and Russian diplomacy towards many opinion leaders and Think Tanks, and the direct or indirect support given by Moscow to certain political parties and some of their leaders , many European leaders and elected representatives preferred to look away from the many signs that, since 2012, were showing the trajectory followed by the country's military programming, its increasingly firm grip on its own public opinion, and the radicalization of its discourse on the international scene. Comforted by the passivity of Westerners and especially Europeans, Vladimir Putin forged the certainty that the latter would never get in the way of his ambitions, whatever his actions, while at the same time, the United States could not systematically confront Russia and China.

zapad2021 sept2021 Germany | Military alliances | Defense Analysis
To carry out the military operation in Ukraine, the Kremlin has undertaken a modernization and investment plan for its armed forces, which began in 2012, aimed at creating the largest modern military force in Europe.

From the beginning of the Russian attack on Ukraine, and the surprise engendered by a global offensive aimed at objectives going far beyond the Donbass alone, a majority of European leaders, and more generally of national and European elected representatives, suddenly became aware of their error of judgment, leading to a dynamic of a growing determination on the old continent going far beyond the borders of the Union or even of NATO. In just a few days, Europe then transformed itself into a political power, managing to put aside all the tensions that opposed them a few days ago, and which now seem quite insignificant in the face of the suffering in Ukraine and the risks of conflagration posed by the postures of the Kremlin. Thus, in less than a week, the Europeans managed to implement a plan of economic sanctions of great determination which had already had severe repercussions on the Russian economy, to engage in active support to Ukraine, and even to meet President Zelensky's expectations for his country to join the Union, close to a worst-case scenario for the Kremlin.

Massive support for Ukraine and rapid European rearmament

Beyond these much more than symbolic political and economic postures implemented by the European Union, the latter has also transformed itself, in just a few days, into a major geopolitical power in the making, by announcing its decision to militarily support , alongside the aid provided by the European countries themselves, Ukraine in its fight. If this desire had long been supported by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission and former Defense Minister of Angela Merkel, by Charles Michel, President of the European Council and former Belgian Prime Minister, and that she represented the strategic objective of the French president, it came up against the rejection of the majority of the other European capitals, fearing a weakening of NATO. Today, however, it is the EU, not NATO, that is leading the charge against the Kremlin, with NATO acting in a more discreet but equally effective way to strengthen the defensive posture of European countries themselves, showing in fact that the two authorities could not only collaborate, but that they found in this articulation a complementarity reinforcing their respective and common effectiveness.

Mig29 Bulgaria Germany | Military alliances | Defense Analysis
the European Union wants to transfer to Ukraine combat aircraft taken from the air forces of Eastern Europe, which use aircraft of the same type as those traditionally used by the Ukrainian air force

But it was undoubtedly Germany's change in posture that gave the start of the European shift, through the voice of Chancellor Olaf Sholtz in a speech before the Bundestag on Sunday, announcing the rapid reconstruction of German military capabilities through a plan of investment including an exceptional package of €100 billion and a budget that will exceed 2% of GDP. Suddenly, the Europeans understood that they had the economic and demographic capacity to build sufficient military power to neutralize the Russian armed forces, especially since it is now more than likely that Paris and London will also engage in a similar program, these 3 European countries having always balanced their defense investments since the remilitarization of Federal Germany.

Transformed world balances

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