KYIV, Ukraine — Before 1721 the Muscovite kingdom was known as present-day Russia.
After the inclusion of a number lands from the former Kyivan Rus (a medieval poli federation), into the Muscovite Kingdom, the Russian king Peter I changed name of the Muscovite Kingdom to the Russian Empire.
Since then, many forms of the name Russia has been used. Russian Federation is the current official name.
Russia considers it to be the legitimate heir of Kyivan Rus based upon the claim that Moscow was officially founded in 1147 by prince Yuri Dolgorukiy, the contender for the Kyiv throne. Because he was the sixth son of Vladimir Monomakh, the reigning Kyiv prince, Dolgorukiy was given the name “Dolgorukiy” or the Long Arm meaning “far reaching”. He became the prince of Kyiv at the age of 59. His tomb is located in Kyiv.
Moscow’s desire is Kyiv because it is here that Prince Vladimir the Great baptized the Orthodox Christianity in his kingdom.
Russia doesn’t feel perfect or flawed if Kyiv is not there. This means that Russia poses a threat to Ukraine.
Lenin, a Bolshevik leader, expressed the idea that there was no Russia without Ukraine in recent history. He did this in 1918. It was the basis for the invasion by the Red Army troops in Ukraine. Ukraine had gained independence shortly before 1917’s Russian October Revolution.
However, Russia’s dependence on Ukraine’s industrial and agricultural potential was the reason for the occupation.
At the moment, the desire for Ukraine to be subjugated is more driven by geopolitical considerations. However, modern Russia’s agenda includes the ability to manage and control 40 million people in Ukraine, with the possibility to transfer some to the Far East. The European part of Russia is home to 120million people, while the territory stretching from the Baltic Sea to Russia’s Ural Mountains is home to 20 million.
This means that Siberia’s entire territory is not protected against possible China annexation. China considers these territories to be her historical territories.
Putin views the collapse of Soviet Union as the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th Century, but he ignores two very destructive world wars: WWI/ WWII.
Therefore, in his head there is the idea of restoring Russia within the borders of the Russian empire of 1914, that is, including Poland, Finland and the Baltic states and all the republics that seceded from the USSR after its collapse, including Ukraine.
Russia’s attempts at appropriating the history of ancient Russia are in fact claims on the territory today of Ukraine. These are existential threats to Ukraine’s very existence and should therefore be considered permanent.
A military invasion
Russia will have a difficult time convincing Russia of the need to intervene. Ukraine is not a military threat; there are no NATO bases or foreign nukes on its territory.
The Russian invasion is still possible.
Information about a possible invasion in Russia of troops into Ukraine is based on consideration by the Russian parliament of the possibility to recognize independence of territories controlled by separatists in South-East Ukraine and then incorporating these territory into Russia.
This perspective will see the Ukrainian-Russian border growing by approximately 400 kilometers, which is roughly 3,000 kilometers at the moment. Ukraine will be at greater risk if Russian troops are deployed to these territories.
Since 2015, the Russia-Ukraine border has been practically stable with 100,000 troops.
A contingent of 100,000 troops would not be sufficient to inflict a large-scale incursion, according to the Ukrainian military experts. This is due to the length of the Ukrainian-Russian frontier. According to Ukrainian military experts, a force of at most 500,000 people is required for a full-scale invasion. Additional 4 million may also be needed to secure the territory.
It will also be necessary to establish military administrations to manage the population and provide food and other services to the population. This is a significant challenge for the Russian economy, given the size of Ukraine.
Russia will need to supply troops with weapons, military equipment, fuel, and ammunition. This means that Russia will need to provide troops with weapons and military equipment, as well as reliable logistics and strategic reserves.
The number of mobile hospitals that are being deployed and the speed with which medical units are being staffed is one indicator of Russia’s readiness for an invasion. There is no evidence at this time that medical facilities are prepared to assist in a possible Russian incursion.
Putin’s main reason for invading Ukraine and grabbing Kyiv, “mother of all Rus towns”, may be to seize the Kherson region to restore fresh water supply to annexed Crimea.
Other reasons include the occupation of strategic mining, industry, and energy producing regions in East and Central Ukraine like Kharkiv (Dnipro), Zaporozhzhia Kryvyi Rih or Mariupil.
Another reason could be the total control of the natural-gas transportation system, through which Russian natural gas is pumped to Central and Western Europe via the Ukrainian territory.
Putin will want to seize all of the South coast of Ukraine, including strategic ports on Black sea, in order to accelerate the surrender of Ukraine. This will effectively cut off Ukraine from international trade.
Russia could blockade the ports of the Black Sea in Ukraine as an alternative to its occupation. This may be countered using the help of support countries’ fleets.
The hackers may be responsible for hacking critical infrastructure and government services in Ukraine and Russia, and could lead to a war between the two countries.
On the night of January 14, 20,22, it was believed that Russian hackers hacked several government sites, including the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They also hacked the digital platform Action (the digital government).
The economic and humanitarian consequences
Despite the fact that there is not panic in the Ukrainian population at the moment, the situation could change dramatically with the onset of military actions.
The active military conflict between Russia, Ukraine and Russia has no effect on Ukraine’s agricultural production. It has not had an impact since the annexation in 2014 of Crimea.
The entire economy of Ukraine would collapse if Russia invades Ukraine. This includes agriculture and the collapse in production, input supplies, and logistics chains. This means that there will be no significant agricultural exports and that this collapse may continue for a undetermined period.
The invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine is certain to be a force majeure event for exporters and importers. This will cause significant damage to world trade. It will also be one of the reasons why Western countries, as well as countries that import Ukrainian products, will have to oppose Russia’s plans.
Even rumors of a Russian invasion can have a negative impact on the agricultural markets. Mid-January saw a drop of 17 percent in shares of the most important Ukrainian enterprises on London and Warsaw exchanges.
This could further exacerbate the financial situation of agricultural producers, considering the rising cost inputs such as natural gas, fuel, and fertilizers, due to the devaluation and rise in oil and natural gas prices around the world.
However, there is no evidence that Ukrainian farmers intend to alter their acreage plans in the next season.
The major crop seasons in Ukraine are similar to the U.S. calendar of April-October.
The massive wave of refugees that accompanied the Russian invasion may have had a major impact on the neighbouring countries. Ukraine shares a border in Europe with Belarus, Poland Slovakia, Hungary Romania, Moldova and Hungary. The number of refugees can be estimated at millions.
The Ukrainian nuclear power stations are another concern. The global disaster could be caused by the destruction of the Ukrainian nuclear reactors (all in all, 4 nuclear plants).
Some Ukrainian military experts are considering the possibility of destroying the natural gas transportation system and cutting off Russia from European consumers. This could cause a humanitarian disaster in Europe in the winter months.
Russia’s troops have no easy task
However, Ukraine is not totally defenseless. Some Western countries have begun to supply the lethal weapon to Ukraine, and they also provide training for the Ukrainian military personnel.
Unlike 2014, when the Ukrainian army was almost non-operational, the current army has extensive experience in military operations as a result of the ongoing conflict with the separatists from South-East Ukraine.
The Russian troops could suffer huge losses during the land operations.
Russia may use its aircraft to bomb Ukrainian military units, but the civilian casualties from the bombing of cities will be too great for the world.
The self-identity of Ukrainian patriots has increased sharply among youths, especially since the annexation and support by the Russian military to the separatists in South-East Ukraine.
According to polls, the majority of the population is against a Russian invasion. This includes volunteers and guerilla movements.
It is important that we remember that resistance to the Red Army in Western Ukraine continued 15 years after the end World War II. This resistance will be stronger and last longer in our time.
Ukraine has recently launched a campaign to place females on military records and provide military training for citizens. It is also possible to open military stockpiles to civilians.
A general mobilization will be announced in the event of a Russian invasion into Ukraine and arms will be distributed among the population. This means that even if Ukraine is occupied, there will still be significant underground resistance in the cities.
All of the above is a partial list of actions and consequences. One can conclude that Putin’s escapade will have catastrophic consequences not only for Ukraine, but also for neighboring countries.
This is a very similar situation to 1938, when attempts at talking out Hitler about his plans failed. The world then experienced the greatest disaster in its history.
Putin’s plan for invading Ukraine in its earliest state may be stopped by the international opposition.
Iurii Mykhailov in Ukraine is an agricultural journalist. He is a contributor of Successful Farming.
Source: Successful Farming