Re-discovering strategic autonomy — thank you, Ukraine Crisis!

[Russian tank on a Mariuopol street — Day 26 of invasion]

Diverted by the prospect of easy pickings west of the Dneiper River, which did not materialize with the Ukrainian resistance showing more mettle and staying power than Moscow expected, Russia is getting back to achieving its original goal. As predicted in a February 23 post [“There will be no war over Ukraine, here’s why”] when hostilities were initiated, that limited goal was the absorption of the Russian-majority areas of Luhansk and Donetsk in the Donbas region and an eastern border belt comprising Mariuopol, Khersan and possibly Odessa as a logical extension of Kremlin’s 2014 move that annexed Crimea. That’s now the aim now. It will enable Russia to control the Sea of Azov and, more importantly, the Black Sea. The command of the Black Sea coast, in particular, eliminates Russia’s biggest vulnerability — NATO naval forces potentially exploiting the maritime approaches from the south.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s declaration in Parliament yesterday that India’s stand on Ukraine is guided solely by the national interest and, hence, that it can no more ignore the availability of Russian oil at discounted prices needed for growth than the looming China threat, which requires the military supply line to Russia be kept well oiled and the historically warm relations with Russia maintained, was a formal reassertion of India’s policy of strategic autonomy. It is several steps away from the conspicuous tilt to the US and the West manifested in the 2008 civilian nuclear cooperation deal with America that Jaishankar, ironically, had engineered as Joint Secretary (Americas) in the MEA. The three Indo-US foundational accords (LEMOA, COMCASA, BECA) that followed during Narendra Modi’s time as Prime Minister were merely the icing on the cake.

The relentless campaign waged by Washington and West European governments to pressure New Delhi into siding with them against Russia, was not a surprise. Washington pulled out all the stops, including a ham-handed effort by the Biden Administration’s advertised economic “hitman” and deputy National Security Adviser, Daleep Singh. He visited Delhi only to end up firing blanks and sounding silly with his public threats of “consequences” to India if it failed to fall in line with respect to imports of Russian energy and weaponry. “The more leverage that China gains over Russia, the less favourable that is for India. I don’t think anyone would believe that if China once again breaches the Line of Actual Control, Russia would come running to India’s defence,” he said. Appropriately, Daleep Singh said this on April Fool’s Day, because the obvious riposte to that is: Is there anyone anywhere who believes the US, India’s “strategic partner”, no less, will “come running to India’s defence” in the same situation?!

This makes one wonder why the US and the West expected India to make common cause with them on Ukraine, in the first place. Is it because of Jaishankar’s success in smoothtalking the US, in particular, into believing that New Delhi had turned a corner, was now more firmly with the West than ever before, and even gradually aligning its armament-sourcing accordingly?

That the sale of military hardware is, in effect, the lifebouy that’s keeping Indo-Russian ties afloat was accepted as a given by Messrs Lavrov and Jaishankar — a condition both agreed would not be upset. Referring to the same condition, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin informed the US House Armed Services Committee on April 6 that the American government agencies “continue to work with [India] to ensure they understand that it’s not in their …best interest to continue to invest in Russian equipment.” Coincidentally or otherwise, these exchanges happened just when Boeing is preparing to conduct a fly-off of the twin-engined F/A-18 from the static ski-deck at INS Hansa in Goa. This aircraft is competing with the Rafale-M[arine] and the Russian MiG-29K fleet air defence aircraft to outfit the first Indian (Kochi) shipyard-built aircraft carrier now undergoing final seatrials. The deal is for some 27 carrier aircraft worth several billions of dollars.

The sale of armaments is the lynchpin-reason persuading US and Russia to desist from pushing the Modi regime too hard on Ukraine lest it react by going the other way, the former because it hopes to replace the latter as prime arms supplier, and the latter because it expects to hold on to its pole position as the main high-value arms vendor.

In any case, had the Ukraine crisis not occurred, the Modi government would have had a more difficult time of shrugging off American and Russian pressure. Still, with the Ukraine issue front and centre, the Indian government rediscovered the joys and strategic benefits of remaining conspicuously neutral in disputes that do not directly involve India, and of exercising policy latitude and freedom of manoeuvre that such positioning affords it. Neutrality has allowed India to reassert its strategic autonomy and to play off the US and Russia against each other for strategic gain.

Abstaining from voting on resolutions in the Security Council has so far served India’s purposes. The resolution in the UN General Assembly later today (Thursday, April 7) moved by Lithuania to suspend Russia’s membership in the UN Human Rights Council on account of alleged Russian human rights violations, however, is a more testing proposition. Because an abstention will help the West, Moscow has warned it will be construed as an unfriendly act. Did MEA anticipate such a situation and alert the visiting Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov last week that Delhi could not not be consistent and not abstain? If it did, then India is in the clear. If it did not, then the question arises why not? And were the Indian Permanent Representative and his office and MEA at this end all sleeping on the job? After all, Vilnius aided by the US and Western delegations at the UNHQ in New York would have been busy this past fortnight getting the resolution up and marshaling the support for it.

If an abstention is unavoidable but Moscow was informed beforehand, it will be Kremlin’s call on how punitive it wants to get with India because that will possibly incur for Russia huge cost. Considering India has been firm about not taking sides and, given what’s at stake — global correlation of forces-wise, Moscow will likely lump it, as the US and its camp followers did on previous Indian absentions. This aside, the anodyne statements that Delhi has issued urging end to the conflict and offer of India’s good offices as peacemaker are par for the course. Not that either Kyiv or Moscow will accept Indian mediation when the direct line of communications between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky is buzzing, and it is only a matter of time before Kyiv accepts a compromise solution around Moscow’s original intervention aim.

The funny thing in all this is to see how the lot of Indian-origin academics and such in US universities and thinktanks have uniformly echoed the Washington line about India needing to come in on the side of the great and the good, of democracy and freedom. Their unsolicited advice, it is evident, is less owing to any conviction than personal professional gain: On such drivel are tenure tracks to the professoriate firmed up and “research funding” finagled. In which case why does the media in India take these guys seriously or feature their writing in op-ed space? May be because most Indian newspapers and television media intentionally or otherwise too are serving foreign interests?

Strategic autonomy is a function of India’s size, location, resources and potential. It is a necessity if India is to make anything of itself on the international stage. The leverage it gives India is something Modi, perhaps, is only now beginning to appreciate. Except, the correct lesson needs to be drawn, which is that when China next attacks India, New Delhi should at most expect sympathy but no material or other support from the US and Western European states, or America’s Asian allies (Japan and South Korea). Not because India “faulted” on the Ukraine issue, but because that’s the natural position for the uninvolved with their own national interests to look after, to alight on. It will be prudent, in the event, for Delhi to prepare to fight China on its own — no quarters asked or given, and whatever it takes, which last is what I have all along been advocating that India do.

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
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37 Responses to Re-discovering strategic autonomy — thank you, Ukraine Crisis!

  1. Amit says:

    Professor,

    Apart from Indian academics, media personalities like Fareed Zakaria, a Europhile and an India baiter, have brazenly ridiculed India’s stand. Yet Indian news channels regard him as a ‘foremost’ strategic expert on IR, and he waxes eloquent on grand strategy. I also think that there is an IR cabal in Yale, Harvard and Georgetown, who feed the US Govt. Policies based on liberal hegemony rather than realism. Professors like John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have been sidelined. Guys like Joseph Nye rule the roost. Professor Mearsheimer has called it the foreign policy ‘blob’ in the US state department. It consists of cold warriors and neocons who are still behaving as if the world is unipolar.

    Unless these guys move out or change their thinking, the US is headed for disaster I’m afraid. But you are right – to keep one’s job, people bend their ways. However, I must note that many of these think tanks also invite Indians from Indian think tanks (like ORF and Takshashila), who have represented India well. And there are Indian political observers on CSIS and Atlantic Council who did a good job of analysing the recent state elections in India. It’s a mixed bag.

    • Indians in US thinktanks tend generally to be objective when analyzing state elections but get wonky when proferring foreign policy advice to India.

      • Itanium says:

        @Prof Karnad. @Amit

        Good thing is that the general newspaper reading mass in India do recognize the “wonkiness” of these so called “personalities”. They do recognize that they are in it for themselves and their careers.

        Risk of course is that some real dolt in higher chambers of GOI will fall for this trap, which unfortunately seems very probable.

  2. Gaurav Tyagi says:

    “When China next attacks India…”

    It won’t happen. Chinese have tested the waters and have realized that 2020 cannot be repeated again furthermore, looking at all the sanctions imposed by the West on Russia, China will not engage India in a conventional warfare.

    Hybrid warfare though will continue.

    • Itanium says:

      @Gaurav Tyagi Yes very true!

      A small disarmed Ukraine with stand by army, national guards and city police were able to defend their capital from invading superpower.

      Now think about invading India with millions of active soldiers, millions of reservists, millions of CAPF soldiers, hundred thousands of stationed missiles and thousands of fighter jets, battle tanks, AFVs, MBRL and hundreds of ships, subs, ICBMs etc… . Wont happen!

  3. abhiram ps says:

    professor do share the link of last video
    it is not uploaded yet

  4. Sunil Kumar says:

    Now that India cannot rely on the West and Russia could be more easily pressured by China, it is time to re-look at the Nuclear posture, till India becomes self-sufficient in conventional weapons.

  5. Email from Dr V Siddhartha
    To:
    bharat karnad

    Thu, 7 Apr at 7:59 pm

    … and this is what I exchanged with [Kanwal] Sibal:

    “Pursue Atmanirbharta in S&T across the board — keep India-based globalist economists away, as also insufferable Non-Responsible Indians (NRIs), and Indian-origin more-American-than-Americans officials and commentators”

  6. Email from Joydeep Sircar
    Joydeep Sircar
    Fri, 8 Apr at 8:28 am

    The Ukraine war is the first strong blow against the empire of the dollar and the Russia-China duo needs to keep striving to create a dollar-free self-sustaining ecosystem.

    J. Sircar

  7. Ayush says:

    Militarily speaking, the real reason behind the current ,awful bloody mess in ukraine is russia’s complete and absolute failure in ISR-EW-ELINT, as i pointed long ago.So called “mil superpower” lacks the standoff jamming capability to suppress UKR mil comms and air defenses.They clearly lack the capability to locate and then destroy UKR command bunkers which are very well hidden.This is why UKR’s command and controls are still intact.Otherwise, zelensky’s head would have been on a spike long ago.
    The West has a golden opportunity to thoroughly humilitate and get rid of putin.but they are not giving ukraine what it needs to crush an incompetent soviet era russian military employing wwii tactics.The message is loud and clear for us: don’t count on either US or russia to bail us out in the event of a conflict with the mighty PLA.Make no mistake,They are not going to attack us the way russians have struck ukraine.They will target only our command and control centres and comm nodes as per their “systems destruction warfare” doctrine which 95% of the guys in this forum haven’t heard of.

  8. Amit says:

    Professor,

    I was watching an interview with Manjari Chatterjee Miller who has done some recent research on rising powers in the last two centuries. Her view is that India is a ‘reticent’ rising power with no clear internal narrative of being a great power, unlike China which is an ‘active’ rising or great power which has matching internal narratives. She compares India to 19th century Netherlands and post Cold War Japan. Her views are based on interviews with top Indian Govt. Officials.

    Her views do resonate. I can imagine our babus and netas not talking too much about being a great power and I don’t read such statements coming out of their mouths. But the Indian public may have different aspirations as the media does talk about this issue. Certainly your book expresses that desire. On the other hand we have authors like R. Guha who state that India does not need to be a great power.

    Is there a disconnect between the Indian public and Govt here?

  9. Debanjan Banerjee says:

    My couple of observations on the current situation in Pakistan. 1. What is amazing is the kind of disgust and unpopularity that is found in the twiterverse amongst retired Junior Army officers about Gen Bajwa following his bowing to the US sponsored regime change plans. The amount of Anti-Americanism that is present among this particular populace is huge. Since last 10 days I have not found a single retired Pakistani officer in the twitterverse who supports Gen Bajwa over Imran Khan. Even BBC reporter secundar Kirmani admits this over his tour to Rawalpindi.
    2. Another interesting observation here is the utmost respect and appreciation this particular group of people in Pakistan have over India’s strong stance against the US on the Russo-Ukrainian war and the strong sense of self-interest. Prime minister Imran Khan represents this attitude. Dear Dr Karnad what are your thoughts on this?

    • This is why I have always been for India taking care of its own business, keeping its own counsel, unbeholden to any big power for any reason.

    • Ayush says:

      Junior officers are 2 rupee people, essentially cannon fodder.Bajwa only Listens to Two/three stars(corps commanders).All of whom store their Ill-gotten wealth in US.Besides,Bajwa wants US weaponry after having timely realized that their Chinese platforms are junk which the Brahmos “accident”proved.Lmao, HQ-9B is deployed near Lahore, it failed to detect forget about intecepting a Brahmos LACM flying at 40,000 feet altitude.Our Israeli MRSAM would have easily shot it down.It shot down a supposedly “invincible” iskander in ngorno-karabakh.Speaking of ngorno-karabakh, I m not at all surprised at the bloody mess in Ukraine.Many people had seen it coming.
      https://theprint.in/india/stung-by-issues-with-china-made-tech-pakistan-military-is-back-to-wooing-us-for-defence/903465/?amp

  10. Sankar says:

    “Diverted by the prospect of easy pickings … which did not materialize with the Ukrainian resistance showing more mettle and staying power than Moscow expected, Russia is getting back to achieving … ” –

    This is just unsubstantiated and, in my understanding, accepts the western narrative without any scrutiny.

    I have been trying to follow the war also from Moscow’s planning, as can be filtered out from the scanty news in the public domain (e.g. Sputnik, Tass, … and some other western reporting). Russia’s foray into Kyiv and other western parts of Ukraine was for the purpose of destroying the military infrastructure there and the warfighting capability of Ukraine. Explicitly, to destroy the ammunition depots, the military airfields, the concentration of western mercenaries, lines of communications crucial for command and control, and so on. There never has been any plan for Russia to occupy Ukraine. And the Red Army has achieved that plan splendidly. Once completed, there was no point for the Russian Army continuing its presence there.

    Moscow has subsequently moved its forces to the South-Eastern part of Ukraine to consolidate its hold on Donbas and its surrounding, as well as to make sure that the Black Sea remains in its full control from now on. Ukraine is incapable to mount any military action to dislodge the Russians there having its warfighting potential destroyed in the west and north (Kyiv area). This is evident from the desperate posting of the wife of Zelensky in the women’s Vogue magazine in recent days for military assistance from the western powers.

    Here is a link worth following up:
    https://www.thestatesman.com/opinion/whose-hubris-talking-1503058690.html

    • Expectation of “easy pickings” because otherwise Kremlin would have had a more realistic and forceful military plan — the absence of which is manifest.

      • Ayush says:

        “Kremlin has shifted to its original objective…”.
        Have you checked out the current situation.Russia had committed 130 out of its 168 BTGs back in Feb.Out of that only 80 btg’s are intact right now-that is an insane casualty figure.UKR is actually advancing in the south, there is heavy fighting in the outskirts of Kherson.In fact, it might actually be retaken in the coming days/weeks.Their dreams of taking mykolaiv and finally odessa(the real prize) are now over.They are digging in fortifications in Kherson.Britain has supplied anti ship missile to defend Odessa.At best, they might mount a diversion by carrying out a suiciadal attack from occupied part of Moldova.

        They are calling in whatever BTGs there are left from Georgia, kaliningrad and even Wagner and assembling them near Izyum.Attacking and taking donbas is easier said than done.UKR has been hardening it since the past eight odd years with unlimited pentagon support.The real reason why they initially chose Kiev was because it looked like a “blind spot” at first sight-undefended unlike very heavily fortified Donbas.Fighting in built up areas(FIBUA) that too without air superiority is pure quick sand.West has pumped in multiple regiments of s-300 into Ukraine.Moreover, they have received huge numbers of night vision goggles.Russian night vision has absolutely failed just like everything else.forget about infantry,Their tanks lack basic night vision, thermal optics.They will easy targets for UKR javelin crew with night vision.Somebody has got to tell all this to Putin .

      • “Russia had committed 130 out of its 168 BTGs back in Feb.Out of that only 80 btg’s are intact right now-that is an insane casualty figure” — not sure where you got these figures from. 175,000 Russian troops were initially committed which do not amount to 130 BTGs. There is, moreover, more open ground in eastern Ukraine that will make the type of partisan warfare tactics in and around built-up areas to-date in northern and western UKR, hard for UKR forces to replicate.

  11. Amit says:

    Professor,

    I was reading an article on RT which said the BRICS nations are considering an alternative to SWIFT payments. This Would be a good economic counter balance measure to the extreme sanctioning of Russia and perhaps the only way to make the US back off in Ukraine. It’s clear that the Indian strategy and US strategy are at odds over Russia.

    But BRICS creating an alternative economic framework would be a good counter to US making the whole world pay for a regional war. It would also be a wake up call to the foreign policy ‘blob’ in the US. However, India should be careful in that it should not encourage two way trade with China, even while cooperating on a non SWIFT framework. Continue to maintain good ties with Russia while sending both the US and China an economic message. India should include Iran also in this mix – after all, the US has blundered in pushing Iran into the Chinese camp too. India needs to give both Iran and Russia an alternative to China and the US.

    There is much India can do to be a good counter weight in global politics. This much is very clear.

  12. Ayush says:

    Destruction/crippling of 50 BTGs is the figure our guys know of.Our side has been in neAr weekly touch with chairman milley since like may 2020.This is further evident from sat images and comm intercepts.Moreover,there were four mil districts committed into combat(central,western,southern and even eastern) around 190000 men thus the figure of 130 BTG.Yes I agree that they are trying to force a major battle and destroy a good portion of UKRs military.It will certainly be very tough for UKR to hold on.But the reality,is that they held the line for five weeks against the 1st guards tank army(the best in russia).They are just sending in an additional 20000 depleted btgs from kiev

    • I’d take anything any USG (Milley) source puts out with more than a healthy dose of skepticism.

      • Ayush says:

        Our side has been carefully intercepting russian mil comms(unencrypted ofcourse).They are dying laughing.UKR is playing heavy metal music on their frequencies.Otherwise,they simply jam them using western EW platforms secretly supplied to them.Those reports of low morale and “completely annihilated” are very authentic.In fact, some people believ that the figure thrown about even by UKR are actually an undercount as they dont consider casualties from artillery strikes.Besides,you know well that we have real time access to US mil satellites that fly over china.Some of them do flypast over UKR.

  13. Sankar says:

    @Professor Karnad:

    Could you please give us your assessment and your agreement with the opinion as presented in the following link:
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2022/04/09/ukrainian-conflict-us-nato-proxy-war-but-one-which-russia-is-poised-to-win-decisively-scott-ritter/
    I look forward to it.

  14. nileshko says:

    When you marinate your people’s mind in English language and culture, then, do not be surprised by the attraction that creates in the minds of your progeny, for whom, the west becomes the motherland. Only through outsiders perspective and framework could they comprehend an issue since they aren’t equipped ( culturally or linguistically) to see it any other way. There’s certainly a monetary explanation for the Indian media and academia’s coverage of internal and external issues so as to undermine Indian interest. But the other aspect of that equation lies in the cultural capture of Indian mind, which is only going to worsen as there’s no plan to reintroduce Sanskrit( Hindi acting as a transistional language) as the Lingua Franca. Brain drain too is going to continue as the western-marinated Indian mind will find its cultural and linguistic home in the west, and when they aren’t allowed in, they’ll serve the western interests by taking policy position that’ll please their cultural and linguistic brethren.

    Victoria Nuland (the tsar of overthrowing democracy) gave an interview to a controversial TV channel long understood to be the western influence operation. The rapport she had with the media and ‘civil society’ is a sign of how deep the west has penetrated in India.

    That’s why one shouldn’t take seriously anyone who sees China as the existential threat, and America as a solution to it. Whereas China wants to annex the northern border, the American strategy is to atrophy the cultural, economic and military muscle of India by making it an American dependency, and then using it as a battering ram against China to extract favourable outcomes for itself. America poses equal, if not bigger, threat to India. For it has made India it’s satrapy.

    • Exactly, the points I made in my last two books — Staggering Forward: Narendra Modi and India’s Global Ambition (2018), and Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet) publishd in 2015!

      • Amit says:

        Professor,
        I think that India does not do a very good job in understanding it’s adversaries and partners. Maybe the MEA has its own understanding, but the depth of understanding in Indian think tanks for example is missing. It’s improving no doubt, but Indians in general don’t have a good understanding of China, US etc. Lot of emotional drivel passing off as analysis.

      • Ayush says:

        People migrate to west simply because the conditions in this coutntry are hopeless.Modi and his minions are responsible for 2-5 milion indian deaths in second wave.I cant believe people still vote for him. China is not just a threat to our northern borders.They seek total dismantlement of india.They are directly involved in funding and arming the NE rebels,nexalites,and now even kashmiri terrorists.They use Pak as a battering ram against us, they would love nothing more than having GHQ lob a shaheen III over new delhi.
        Also,you guys seriously think we have the mil-eco-nuclear capabiities to deal with the mighty PLA singlehandedly? Russia is now just a chinese vassal thnks to enormous eco-mil leverage the latter has over the former.Without US space-cyber support we wont last literally 30 minutes against PLAs “systems destruction warfare” which advocates for intense cyber-EW strikes against the enemy command and controls at all levels.We lack tested Megaton TNs. The chinese are fully capable of destroying our nuclear kill chain crippling our ability to mount a n strike.

    • Ashok says:

      Great!

  15. Amit says:

    Professor,

    I watched the recent 2+2 US/India press conference yesterday – it is clear that the US is being ‘realist’ as it relates to China and India. However, it is following a ‘liberal hegemony’ policy as it relates to Russia. As China rises in economic and military power (and it is a safe assumption for at least the next five years), the US will face increasing pressure to balance China and be forced to abandon its liberal fantasies in Europe (not withstanding views of war mongerers in the US who want to be prepared to fight two regional wars and raise the defence budget to >5% of GDP).

    On the other hand, Russia, China and India are all following realist foreign policies. India has done well in standing up to US liberal fantasies in Europe. If Germany and France had stood up to the US on Ukraine (and both of them were opposed to US policies on Ukraine before 2014), we would not be in this mess. So India should continue its current course on Russia, as it is the right realist policy to contain China.

    But what will really force the US to change course will be the rise of China. And any economic changes the BRICS countries may bring about if the US and EU pursue their liberal fantasies. Just the threat of such economic changes will have a significant effect.

    While India does not yet qualify as a great economic or military power, it has tremendous political power due to the strong performance of the BJP in recent elections. So India will not be discounted by the great powers – US, China or Russia. And as far as master politicians go, there aren’t that many cannier than the current ruler of India. I can see how India emerges from all this stronger, contrary to my expectations earlier.

  16. Amit says:

    Professor,

    Here is a link of a YouTube video from Judge Napolitano (who appears on Fox) and Scott Ritter an ex Marine intelligence officer in the US. I’ve read his articles on RT, which felt like being truthful and have kept an open mind to him (was introduced to George Kennan through his article, which led to all my subsequent research on IR). But this is the first time a major US media personality has shown such a video which absolutely goes against the US narrative.

    It also belies the narrative being propagated by some here in these columns that Indian intelligence believes whatever the US is saying. I highly doubt that is true. My guess would be that Indian intelligence is more in line with what Scott Ritter is saying. The Indian military mostly also toes that line. If you believe what Scott Ritter is saying, unconditional surrender by Ukraine is imminent. Whatever the truth, it is worth watching a different perspective in the US mainstream media.

    • Gaurav Tyagi says:

      @Amit- Nice link posted by you.

      I would trust Scott Ritter over mainstream Western/Indian media’s narrative largely because of his credentials in negating the fake Western propaganda regarding Iraqi WMD’s and destroying Iraq.

      • Amit says:

        @Tyagi,
        I’m finally starting to see more contrarian views in the US media (mainly YouTube videos). I also see Prof. Mearsheimer appearing on Indian TV and denouncing the US’ foolish policy on Russia. But I think it’s too late. The US is doubling down on completely defeating Russia, and Russia will not give up till it completely defeats Ukraine. I’m betting that Russia ultimately prevails, but it’s probably a lose lose situation for both parties in the end.

  17. Ayush says:

    https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/a-never-ending-ukraine-war-spells-trouble-for-president-xi-101649305308117.html.
    “The joke in south block is that…”
    This article says it all.Notice that It also mentions the absolute us supremacy in ISR-ELINT which I pointed long ago.This is the final answer all those russophiles in this forum.Besides,the Russian special forces(GRU spetsnatz) are using baofeng crypto radios.Why-they lack encrypted comma of their own.They use Chinese comma for their most secretive forces – this is our “old ally”

    • Gaurav Tyagi says:

      @Ayush- “The joke in South Block…..”

      Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones on others. Majority of the weapons in the Indian armed forces are also Soviet/Russian made.

      Putin maybe expected a 100 meters sprint victory but later turned the whole event into a marathon.

      He has all the time in the world. Putin doesn’t have to contest any election maybe he is getting rid of all the old Soviet era stock first and saving the best for the last round. He will decide when and where.

      • whatsinitanyway says:

        I dont know …. selling the old stocks to other countries would have been a wiser decision though.

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