The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has now entered its second year, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Despite international efforts to mediate a peaceful solution, fighting has continued and even intensified. According to the British Ministry of Defence, Russia is likely to expand conscription in order to increase its military power. The proposed bill would raise the conscription age bracket to men aged 21-30, up from the current 18-27, and is expected to become law in January 2024.
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 18 March 2023.
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?? #StandWithUkraine ?? pic.twitter.com/UEtuzv53WD
— Ministry of Defence ?? (@DefenceHQ) March 18, 2023
In this context, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and founder of SpaceX, recently claimed that the conflict was unavoidable, illustrating his point with an image of a rooster standing in front of a KFC restaurant. KFC represents the West, and Ukraine is represented by the rooster, which has made friends with Russia’s adversary. Putin regards NATO and the European Union as threats to his country’s sovereignty and has demanded that they commit to never expanding NATO again and refrain from conducting military operations on Ukrainian and other Eastern European, South Caucasus, and Central Asian territories.
Peace was never an option pic.twitter.com/XgdgGeFcNy
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 18, 2023
The Ukrainian conflict highlights the ongoing conflict between Russia and the West, particularly NATO and the European Union, over sovereignty and security issues. NATO’s expansion into former Soviet Union countries, including those within Russia’s sphere of influence, has been viewed as a threat to Russian national security by Moscow. This has prompted Russia to demand that the US refrain from establishing military bases in former Soviet Union countries that are not NATO members, as well as limit military cooperation with these states.
Finally, the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine serves as a stark reminder of Russia-West tensions over issues of sovereignty and security. The risk of further conflict remains high as long as these tensions persist. It is critical that international actors continue to work towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict and address the underlying issues that have led to it.