India should prepare for Obama visit, keeping likely Russo - Ukraine war in view: By Hem Raj Jain


Sub:- (i)- Even regime change in Russia wouldn't solve Ukraine crises
(ii)- After huge bloodshed in Donetsk & Luhansk region, even returning Crimea is now no option for Russia (iii) More sanctions against Russia by West will also not solve problem (iv)- Russia can not afford to tolerate further bloodshed of Russian speaking Ukrainians (v)- Russia will have to take militarily - Donetsk, Luhansk and neighboring region (vi)- Coming winter will be crucial.
After Putin-Bashing by Western Leaders and even humiliating treatment of Russian Team by host Australia at just concluded G - 20 meeting in Brisbane, the media reported that “Russia on Saturday accused the West of seeking regime change in Moscow, raising tension over Ukraine conflict”. This regime change is not possible for the simple reason that even regime change in Russia wouldn't solve Ukraine crises and Russo - Ukraine war is the likelihood, as explained below:-
(1)- This grim situation has not come as a surprise. In my letter “Instead of Kashmir / Pakistan - India should alter priorities of foreign affairs” dated June 2, 2014 and letter “India can still help resolve Ukraine crises” dated June 6, 2014 - I argued that if Ukraine problem is not addressed immediately by World-community then war is inevitable.
(2)- Even after Russia (out of unnecessary panic due to coup in Ukraine) committed mistake of annexing Crimea, this problem could have been solved if (after President Poroshenko got elected and assumed office in May end) the West & Ukraine had pressed (as declared by them during electioneering) for retrieve of Crimea. Because by that time (though referendum for independence or merger with Russia like Crimea had taken place in Donetsk & Luhansk region) much blood had not been shed by Russian speaking Ukrainians of this region for independence.
Therefore with Crimea back with Ukraine and by invoking patriotism (among Russian speaking people too) things would have settled down in due course of time.
(3)- But for the reasons best known to West & Ukraine they (despite Budapest Memorandum 1994) did not press for retrieve of Crimea which was their third ill-conceived policy to destabilize Ukraine by West.
(i)- First was when violent protests & problems were created for elected President Yanukovych by West (USA & its European Allies for Ukraine’s business with EU though it could have been easily achieved by Federal constitution). This violent interference by West in Ukraine was criticized by even US congressman Dana Rohrabacher. (ii)-Second was when military coup (ironically after February 21 accord reached between government and opposition leaders of Ukraine in presence of Germany, France, Poland and Russia) was supported by West
.(iii)- With the result after this third mistake of West huge bloodshed (coupled with immense sufferings of resident and displaced civilians) of Russian speaking people in Donetsk & Luhansk region have taken place. Therefore even returning Crimea is now no option for Russia. Because now the alienation of blood soaked Russian speaking people in Donetsk & Luhansk region is complete and irreversible.
(4) Therefore regime change in Moscow or more sanctions against Russia by West will also not solve the problem. Because Russian speaking people in Donetsk & Luhansk region (along with ~7,500 Russian troops who are fighting with them as alleged by the West) will keep on shedding their blood and laying down their lives till they get independence from Ukraine or merge with Russia (like Crimea).
(5)- Government in Moscow knows that Russia can not afford to tolerate further bloodshed of Russian speaking Ukrainians, who under new laws are almost Russian citizens. Hence their further and prolonged bloodshed and loss of lives will arouse immense national & patriotic passions among mainland Russians. In similar situation in other countries this may (if nothing is done to stop such bloodshed) even trigger government overthrow (may be even by military coup). Though this may or may not happen in Moscow but in a country which once witnessed government - overthrow by Communist revolution of 1917 with huge bloodshed, nothing can be ruled out.
(6)- President Putin and PM Medvedev are not political greenhorns and they will certainly prefer to go to war (for taking Donetsk, Luhansk and neighboring region to get geographical continuity with Crimea and may be much more) with Ukraine than to sacrifice their office in government overthrow (however remote its chances may be) or to get atrophied & emasculated by increasing sanctions by West against Russia. For starting this war coming winter will be crucial for two reasons (i)- Winter always suits Russians in war ( as they know from the wars with Napoleon and Hitler) and (ii)- The need for Russian Gas for Ukraine & Europe will be hugely more during winter hence it will give immense leverage to Russia over them in war during winter.
(7)- No doubt West will react, to this Russian takeover of Ukrainian territory, violently with increased and stringent sanctions and by other war measures which may even drag many countries in it even if it does not assume the proportion of more or less World War III. For the simple reason that Russians will not be deterred by the fear of heavy casualties and other losses because - [(i)- In World War II most of the blood was provided by Russians for the victory of Allied Forces
(ii)- Economic / financial health of Russia is not at all as bad as being projected by West. Because Russia on its territory has vast natural resources (including and especially petroleum oil & gas) and among G-20 countries, Russia has comparatively very less debt to GDP ratio. (iii)- Once Russia in its old 'Avtar' of USSR tried to lead most of the the World therefore Russia may try again to build new global alliances / forums (including non - veto participatory UN type World body) (iv)- Russia may even try to economically harm West (especially USA, fatally) by introducing new global currency with proper asset back-up (v)- Anti - USA sentiment especially in US neighborhood and generally among Muslims (if not their governments) all across the World, may be exploited by Russia in order to bring them in new global forums].
(8)- In such eventuality, India will have to keep its border-sharing-neighborhood in mind that:- (i)- Its traditional rival Pakistan has recently strengthened its strategic relations with China, USA and Russia - [(A)- With China (its traditional ally more so because enemy of enemy is friend) (B)- With USA (especially during recent visit of PAK Army Chief to USA) where understanding between USA, Pakistan and Afghanistan has (as reported in Pakistani media by veteran journalist Najam Sethi) taken place
(also in the backdrop of ISIS threat) regarding fighting Taliban etc especially in view of extension by one year of US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan, which will be now in 2015 end and which has practically excluded India from Afghanistan and ( C)- With Russia through last week defense deal signed between Russia and Pakistan].
(ii)- In order to keep India at its ‘proper’ place, China may use Russia (which will economically become increasingly dependent on China including for recently entered $ 400 billion contract about Petroleum Gas) to harass “US - Japan - Australia etc coalition against China in East Asian Pacific region” (which PM Modi supported during his visit to Japan and which annoyed China).
(9)- It will certainly not be an easy task to do a balancing act of preference between USA and Russia because:- (i)- As far USA, in addition to being economic and military superpower (which can benefit India in many ways) the USA has ideological attraction being the professed champion of 'Federal, Secular, Democratic, Human Rights & Capital friendly, Globalization', though presently USA is betraying all the values of Americanism as I mentioned in my book 'Betrayal of Americanism'. - [But seeds never die and once right people come in White House & in both Houses of Congress or once these incumbents (for change sake) decide to uphold American values, USA will become leader of free-world in true sense of the term].
(ii)- As far Russia, (A)- In addition to being a tested ally and the only country which was prepared to shed its blood for India during 1971 war with Pakistan (when USSR declared that it would send its war ships if USA brought its warship in Bay of Bengal and which decided war in India's favor), India is under moral obligation to pay-back (which India failed to do during cold war in Afghanistan in eightieswhen India did not take POK militarily which could have eased pressure on USSR especially from Pakistani side. But India preferred to ditch not only USSR but people of J&K and even territorial integrity of India). - [Though this wouldn’t have averted the dismemberment of USSR as it was following wrong economic policies by squandering State Capital, but at-least India (as a trusted military ally) would have paid-back to USSR].
(B)- Moreover for geographical considerations Russia is still very important for India in strategic (if not so much militarily) and economic matters especially due to huge surplus of oil reserves with Russia. In ideological matters too India - which follows mixed economy (Joint - capitalism as I call it, where State capital and private capital run the economy of the country jointly) - is closer to Russia (where any time the seeds of State-capital can again flourish) than USA, which practices 'exclusive private capitalism' (though uses State capital too, dishonestly by squandering it in order to discredit State -capital under the pressure of ‘Capitalists’ and which has resulted in ~ 100 % of GDP as public debt of USA in addition to 'Quantitative Easing' of Trillions of Dollars).
(10)- Here one more factor is extremely important. PM Modi may keep on trying (even by foreign visits) to attract FDI and other investments in India but India should be prepared (in view of looming Russo - Ukraine war) to manage its affairs (especially concerning defense matters) within its available resources.
Therefore India should prepare itself for the visit of US President Obama on Republic day January 26, 2015, keeping likely Russo – Ukraine war in view.

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