Breaking the Stalemate: Global South as Peacemakers in Ukraine

“Ukraine is my Motherland, my inheritance and fate, I give you my soul, Ukraine, my dear little mother!” ~ Taras Shevchenko, a famous Ukrainian poet, wrote in his poem “Testament” (1861)

“I love my Fatherland with a pure heart,

And would have given it all, had it been asked.” ~ Aleksandr Pushkin, a renowned Russian poet, wrote in his poem “To the Slanderers of Russia” (1829)

It has been one year since I last wrote about this topic, but the memories of my friends in both countries continue to haunt me. I felt compelled to write again. This is the conflict between individuals who were once united but now stand as enemies. This conflict is one in which fireworks of celebration illuminate the Western skies. This begs the question: do we need to witness such brutality and division, perpetuated by the Western mindset dominating our world order? As time has passed, it has become clear that the conflict was not a fleeting event, but rather the start of a long and devastating war that could have been avoided if both countries had recognized the true manipulators behind it and historical heritage among them.

The Russia-Ukraine war, one year on, continues to be a source of immense human suffering and geopolitical tensions. While no justification can be given for war, it has been an unfortunate yet inseparable part of human history. The conflict began when President Putin declared his mission to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine, and since then, the ramifications of this bloody conflict have been felt around the world. Despite ongoing attempts to justify the actions of each side, the desire for peace is felt most acutely by the unarmed people caught in the crossfire. They simply wish to live their lives in peace and die peacefully. It is therefore imperative that a genuine party steps forward to cease the fire and bring both sides to the negotiating table. Unfortunately, the efforts of EU members, the UK, and the US have not borne fruit. Instead, they have acted as spoilers, adding fuel to the fire rather than finding a peaceful resolution. The fear is that if this continues, Ukraine could become Europe’s Afghanistan, mired in conflict for years to come.

In this context, India and China, the global south, represent potential alternative parties who could broker peace between Russia and Ukraine. They have the diplomatic clout and resources necessary to bring both sides to the table without waiting for outside intervention. However, the question remains as to whether they will step up to the plate and take on this challenging task. Ultimately, the key to ending this conflict lies in finding a way to satisfy the demands of both Russia and Ukraine while also ensuring that the human cost of this conflict is not forgotten. Only through negotiation and compromise can we hope to achieve a lasting peace that benefits all parties involved.

It is the common knowledge that the relationship between Ukraine and Russia dates back centuries, with Ukraine having been part of the Russian Empire for much of that time. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine declared independence and became a sovereign nation. Despite this, Russia has continued to exert influence over neighboring Ukraine, particularly in the areas of politics and economics.The idea that larger neighboring countries tend to exert control over their smaller neighbors is not unique to Russia, but rather a common reality around the world. Examples include the United States’ influence over Mexico, India’s relationship with Sri Lanka, China’s control over Taiwan, and the United Kingdom’s historical dominance over Ireland.

It is important to note that Ukraine has also been used as a pawn in the West’s power struggles with Russia. Ukraine has also been used as a scapegoat by the West to fulfill its own interests, particularly in the context of the ongoing conflict between the US and Russia. The US has sought to isolate and weaken Russia by supporting Ukraine, while Russia has sought to maintain its influence over Ukraine to protect its own interests. Overall, the Russia-Ukraine conflict is a complex and multifaceted issue, with historical, political, and economic factors at play. While there are no easy solutions, it is crucial for all parties involved to prioritize the lives and well-being of the Ukrainian people and work towards a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

The Russia-Ukraine war has not only caused immense human suffering and geopolitical tension, but it has also highlighted the inadequacies and limitations of the traditional state structure in a rapidly changing world. The concept of a multipolar world, in which power is distributed among several major players, has long been touted as an alternative to the dominance of the United States and other Western powers. However, the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has shown that this idea may be little more than a farce.

The traditional state structure, with clearly defined borders, laws, and governments, has been mocked by the ongoing conflict, with the lines between state and non-state actors becoming increasingly blurred. The rise of big-tech companies and the blurring of lines between state and non-state actors have further complicated the situation, emphasizing the need for a new approach to global governance that can better navigate these complex and rapidly evolving power dynamics. These companies has unprecedented reach and influence, with the ability to shape public opinion and even influence the outcomes of elections. The fact is that these companies are accountable to shareholders rather than governments means that they operate outside the traditional power structures of the state, further eroding the concept of state sovereignty, so the fundamentals of democracy.

In this technopolar world, where power is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few tech giants, the traditional concept of state power and sovereignty has been challenged. The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has highlighted the need for a new framework for global governance, one that recognizes the changing nature of power and takes into account the influence of non-state actors.

Western countries have often misunderstood or misinterpreted the intentions of foreign leaders, and this is certainly true in the case of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Despite being in power for more than two decades, Putin is still widely misunderstood by many in the West, who tend to view him as a power-hungry autocrat bent on expanding Russia’s sphere of influence at any cost. This misunderstanding of Putin’s motivations and worldview has made it difficult to achieve lasting peace and cooperation between Russia and the West. Instead, the West’s tendency to view Russia as an adversary has led to a cycle of mistrust, sanctions, and tit-for-tat retaliation, making meaningful dialogue and diplomatic solutions all but impossible.

Ultimately, the West’s tendency to misunderstand or deliberate ignorance when it comes to foreign leaders and cultures has made it difficult to achieve lasting peace and cooperation on the world stage. It is only by taking the time to truly understand and engage with these complex issues that we can hope to move past the cycle of conflict and mistrust that has plagued international relations for far too long.The failure of Western powers to effectively address the root causes of this conflict has only exacerbated the situation, and highlights the need for new and innovative approaches to conflict resolution.

In this context, China and India could play a critical role as peacemakers and pathfinders in the region. By bringing both Ukraine and Russia to the negotiating table, and working to establish a framework for normalcy and cooperation, they could help to end the cycle of violence and mistrust that has plagued the region for too long. While the road to lasting peace will not be easy, it is only by taking bold and decisive action that we can hope to move past the divisions and misunderstandings that have caused so much suffering and strife. By working together, China, India, and other global powers can help to build a more peaceful and prosperous world, one that is based on cooperation, understanding, and mutual respect. That is why China’s 12-point plan tabled recently to end the conflict is vital than the US backed EU’s blabbering. 

[Photo by Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, via Wikimedia Commons]

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the policies or official position of any institutes with which he may be affiliated.

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