Putin’s pivot in Ukraine will bring about permanent war in Europe

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Last week, Russia announced that it will make “major changes” to strengthen its armed forces’ during the 2023-2026 time period, a sign that Moscow is recasting its approach in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin’s new strategy is focused on fighting a large-scale war rather than a “special military operation.” Here’s why this change will likely result in a permanent conflict in the European theater.

The roots of the war

Russia and US-led NATO — a proxy party to the war — view each other as their respective top security threats. Biden’s current National Security Strategy describes Russia as an “immediate threat.” Russia’s post-Soviet military doctrine has codified NATO as the “primary danger.” 

Ukraine is the buffer state that each side seeks to rely on in the event of a direct NATO vs. Russia war. Trading territory for enemy’s blood to protect the heartland is the essence of this approach. It is why the question of control over Ukraine has been festering since the collapse of the U.S.S.R. in 1991, and it is where the balance of power in Eurasia has been contested for centuries.

KYIV, UKRAINE – MARCH 11, 2022 – President of Ukraine Volodymyr

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