When Russian President Vladimir Putin could not obtain the response he demanded from the negotiations with the West, he first recognized the independence of Donestk and Luhansk, which are separatist structures in Ukraine. He then gave the order to launch a “Special Operation” to Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Many soldiers and civilians have lost their lives in the military operation, in which missile attacks were carried out in many regions, including Kyiv, Kharkov, Maripol and Kramatorsk. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called everyone with military experience to join the army. At the same time, Zelenski stated that they were left alone by expressing that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the West were afraid of giving security guarantees. Putin made the statement: “The security risks for our country were so high that we had no other choice. Russia is part of the world economic system. Why should we destroy the system we are a part of ?”.
Although there have been a variety of reactions to the operation that has alarmed the world, Russian forces have destroyed many military sites in the country. While Russian military were marching into Kiev, Zelensky called Putin to broker a cease-fire. “We are ready for high-level conversations with Ukraine,” Putin said in response to Zelensky’s demand. The re-establishment of the diplomacy desk in the midst of growing tension piqued interest.
Experts, who evaluated the operation launched by Russia in Ukraine to Ankara Center for Crisis and Policy Studies (ANKASAM), state that it is unclear in which direction the process will progress.
ANKASAM International Relations Specialist Dr. Sabir Askeroğlu: It is difficult to predict what Russia will do.
Noting that Russia has launched an operation in many regions of Ukraine, ANKASAM International Relations Specialist Dr. Sabir Askeroğlu stated that the situation may change according to the course of the process, and said that it is difficult to predict the steps to be taken by the Moscow administration.
Recalling Putin’s statement that Ukraine will not be invaded, Askeroğlu said, “It was stated that there would be no intervention in Ukraine, but this operation took place. Statements made by state officials in Russia do not coincide with the steps on the ground. In fact, this has always been the case. Regarding Syria, Russia intervened despite the statements made that they would not be involved in the issue.”
Askeroğlu emphasized that there is no consensus on the operation among the state officials in Russia, and asserted that it is not known in what direction the process will progress in the current situation. Commenting on the West’s declaration of sanctions against Russia, Askeroğlu said, “The nitty gritty here is the answer to the question, “Does the United States (USA) want to punish Moscow as a result of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine?” If the US really wants it, there will be no return to diplomacy. Otherwise, Russia would have lured itself into a trap; however, the sanctions announced by the West will not deter Moscow. A step that will deter the Kremlin will be the significant arming of the Ukrainian Army. Some moves are being made towards this.”.
Nisantasi University Faculty Member Prof. Vişne Korkmaz: What happened in Ukraine is a result of NATO’s open door policy.
Claiming that the target of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine could not be fully predicted and that this was known only by those who planned the operation in Moscow, Prof. Dr. Vişne Korkmaz said, “Even if the procedure is scaled back or transformed into a job, the outcome will remain the same. What was crucial was that we did not arrive at this position today. When the world’s attention was drawn to Ukraine, Russia demonstrated its ability to carry out its revisionist strategies. The important issue is that the operation was unavoidable.”.
Evaluating NATO’s approach to the process, Korkmaz said, “Russia showed that it could take aggressive steps with the Georgian intervention in 2008; but NATO maintained its position as an open door policy. What is happening in Ukraine today is a result of NATO’s open-door policy. It is obvious that the West is making a certain provocation here. Ukraine was told that it is not possible to become a member of NATO at the moment. There is a political message here. A calculation was made that the message in question could deter Russia; however, it has now been revealed that this calculation is extremely inaccurate. There were things that were already predicted, but no one wanted to accept them. It was thought that the messages given could deter Russia, or it was believed that even if do not, it could be used as a punishment mechanism.”
Stating that the sanctions announced by the USA and the European Union (EU) are not a deterrent tool, Korkmaz referred to Putin’s statement that the intervention against Ukraine was compulsory and said, “I do not think that Russia entered Ukraine because it had to. Russia voluntarily entered Ukraine in order to achieve strategic gains. Russia can legitimize the intervention under the name of necessity, with the rhetoric that it is surrounded; but it was not very possible for Russia to be surrounded in the Black Sea, especially after the Georgian and Crimean attacks. Therefore, it is seen that Russia is more focused on geopolitical gains here. That’s why he didn’t deter. Moscow thinks its potential gains are more than the price it will pay.”.
Referring to diplomatic efforts, Korkmaz made her assessment as “Russia’s Ukraine campaign is a costly operation, and Moscow is doing it for a reason. It will stop when it reaches its destination. It is not known exactly what this purpose is. The field of diplomacy will also be determined according to this process; but in the current situation we are not at the old point of peaceful resolution of the crisis. Because Russia rejected the Minsk Agreements. Therefore, only the point where the Russian operation stops will tell where the new diplomacy process will be established.”.
Retired Colonel Coşkun Başbuğ: Russia, by intervening in Ukraine and saved NATO, which is to collapse.
Saying that no one expected such an intervention by Russia in Ukraine, retired colonel Coşkun Başbuğ stated that the operation in Ukraine revealed a picture contrary to Russia’s rhetoric and actions.
Başbuğ made the following statements regarding the allegations of a secret cooperation between the USA and Russia, “Such a thing is possible. We need to learn a lesson from Syria in this regard. The dirty cooperation between the USA and Russia is evident in the Syrian geography. Because neither side touches each other. Both of them unite against Turkey as a single block. Therefore, the actors who made such a cooperation there, why not agree here? So you have to ask: If theater is being played here, what is the purpose? The only purpose of the USA; Reviving NATO. Because the USA managed to open up areas for itself in different countries by opening bases through NATO. He sold weapons through NATO and attempted coups in various states with different organizations. In other words, it would be a great loss if the power given by NATO was lost to the USA and the USA would collapse. That’s why the Washington administration needs a justification, a game to keep NATO alive. This game is also a reenactment of the Russian threat. For this, Russia had to be provoked and aggressive. In my opinion, this is how what is happening at the moment can be summed up.”
Başbu drew attention to a NATO report published in the United States, claiming that the report contained facts indicating that NATO had lost its soul and that the organization should be revitalized. “The job of the United States is to provoke Russia,” Başbu remarked. The US administration will tell countries in the former Soviet sphere of influence that the “Red threat” still exists, and that they must demonstrate unity. In order to achieve this goal, the US has already promoted NATO’s eastward expansion. This is viewed as a threat to Russia’s national security.”
Claiming that Russia’s intervention in Ukraine saved NATO, which it to collapse, Başbuğ made the following assessment: “Russia will not be limited to Ukraine. Putin wants to revive the Soviet Union over time. Although this will take a long time, Moscow is moving towards the plan in question step by step.”
Hüseyin Diriöz, a retired ambassador, says: “I do not expect Russia to launch a large-scale invasion of Ukraine.”
Emphasizing that Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity were violated by referring to the Helsinki Convention, Retired Ambassador Hüseyin Diriöz underlined that the Minsk Process was not successful. Stating that the sanctions from the West can be a deterrent for Russia to a certain extent, Diriöz said that trade difficulties and exclusion from international or Western monetary systems will cause serious difficulties for Russia. Diriöz said, “Sanctions create problems for both Russia and Europe.”
Retired Ambassador Hüseyin Diriöz emphasized that the Minsk Process failed since Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity were breached by referring to the Helsinki Convention. While Western sanctions may act as a deterrent to some extent, Diriöz believes that trade difficulties and isolation from international or Western monetary systems will cause Russia considerable problems. “Sanctions generate challenges for both Russia and Europe,” Diriöz remarked.
“There may be difficulties within Russia itself,” Diriöz said, adding that the West should not be expected to fight alongside Ukraine in the current situation. As a result, a procedure has been developed to bring people closer together face to face. It is possible that the Russian people will object to this. There is considerable displeasure with the Russians, as it turns out. As a result, I believe Russia’s intervention in Ukraine will come to an end soon. As a result, I don’t anticipate a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.”
Russia’s Ukraine campaign, according to journalist Maryna Rakhlei, is a tragedy for Europe and the rest of the globe.
Journalist Maryna Rakhlei stated it’s tough to remark on Russia’s activity in Ukraine, claiming that Russia launched an unjustified and one-sided war.
Rakhlei warned that the operation poses a threat to the security of all of Europe and the world, and that states should assist Ukraine, saying, “The world has changed with Russia’s Ukraine operation.” “A new age has begun.”.