The atmosphere of international security suffers more and more from the purposeful confrontational activities carried out by the Russian Federation. Putin acknowledged his readiness to cross the red lines in relations with Western countries if the points of his ultimatum are not implemented.
Moscow demands to re-divide Europe into zones of influence, returning to the logic of the Cold War. Putin seeks legal guarantees from the collective West, consisting in the priority transfer of Belarus and Ukraine under Russian control. The events of 2020-2021 clearly showed what Belarus had become under the influence of the Russian special services. However, , this is not enough for the Russians, and they are aimed at undermining the sovereignty of Ukraine by expanding the aggression, which began in 2014 with the occupation of Crimea and the largest armed conflict in Europe in the Donbas. Putin wants to deprive Ukrainians of the right to pursue their Euro-Atlantic aspirations. If Ukraine becomes a NATO member, then the Russian Federation will no longer be able to annex its territory.
The Russian leadership is enraged by the position of NATO Secretary General J. Stoltenberg, who confirmed the validity of the decisions of the Bucharest summit, suggesting the prospect of Kyiv joining the North Atlantic Alliance. To this end, Ukraine will continue the modernization of its security and defense institutions to meet NATO standards, seeking consensus among 30 member countries on the issue of joining the NATO.
The Russian Federation launched a multi-level campaign of counteraction to paralyze Ukraine in its confident movement towards joining the Alliance. This campaign consists of attempts to destabilize the country from within by stimulating political divisions, including organizing a coup d’etat or separatist riots.
Russian special services form the appropriate information background, implying that “Ukraine is a terrorist country”, in the form of fake detentions of “Ukrainian saboteurs” on the territory of the Russian Federation. It further implies the organization and conduct of real bloody provocations by the Russian Federation, in which the Russian leadership will accuse Ukraine and thereby justify its further actions. Regular troops and equipment of the Russian Federation are being deployed for possible use near the border of the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
Returning to Putin’s ultimatum, it is necessary to point out its second component, namely, a direct attack against the West with reference to the readiness of the combat use of hypersonic weapons. This is a strategy of massive military intimidation of the West, multiplied by the investment of vast resources to keep Ukraine in the “gray zone” of political uncertainty. Any dialogue with the Russian side is doomed to failure with such destructive approaches by Moscow, because the Kremlin’s goals are incompatible with the ideology of peaceful coexistence, and the stake is solely on terror and endless intimidation. The situation is very serious, and therefore it is extremely important for the civilized world to realize the seriousness of the threat and make every effort to strengthen the eastern borders from the “Russian world”.