The Next Country To Be Invaded By Russia Is……….

Ukraine marked its Independence Day two days ago – Wednesday August 24 – still in the middle of the country’s invasion by Russia, so there was no celebration. Not after losing thousands of its soldiers and civilians in this senseless war. Wednesday marked 31 years since Ukraine declared independence from the Russia-dominated Soviet Union in 1991.

A few hours before Independence Day, the United States government advised Americans in Ukraine to leave the country immediately, with the warning that Russia was stepping up efforts to launch intense attacks on civilian infrastructure and government facilities in the coming days. The renewed US warning followed similar announcements from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other officials that Vladimir Putin may carry out intense attacks, including missile strikes, to coincide with Ukraine’s Independence Day on Wednesday.

Ukraine President Zelezny

The expected Russian attacks actually came and resulted in many civilian casualties, mostly from air bombardment.

With the increased Russian attacks on Ukraine, two questions have come up. Is Russia trying to end the war quickly and in a more brutal manner so as to face another front? The number two question is more pregnant – who next will Russia invade?

This question has been on many lips ever since the big boy attacked Ukraine in February, with Vladimir Putin’s threats to mete the same punishment to other ‘neighbouring’ countries perceived to be interested in joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, NATO, one of the reasons for the invasion.

Countries like Sweden and Finland have been quick to tell Putin to stuff it by kick starting the process of NATO membership in an effort to avoid Ukraine’s plight by ensuring protection if they are members of the military alliance.

Several activities set in motion the full admission of the two countries two weeks ago, with the removal of the major hurdle to their entry to NATO. Turkey, the main opposing member country, eventually dropped its opposition. Every member of NATO must approve the admission of new entrants and Turkey had stood firmly against Sweden and Finland in the last few months.

US President Joe Biden signed ratification documents last week to bring Finland and Sweden one step closer to joining the NATO alliance. This was after the US Senate voted 95 to 1 to ratify the entrance of Finland and Sweden into the military alliance.

In May, both nations began the formal process of applying to NATO amid the backdrop of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Moscow, long wary of NATO expansion, has opposed the two nations’ plans to join the alliance.

Both Finland and Sweden had already met many of the requirements to be NATO members. Some of the requirements include having a functioning democratic political system, a willingness to provide economic transparency and the ability to make military contributions to NATO missions.

At its summit in Madrid, Spain in May, Sweden and Finland were almost already considered members, bar the formal legislative approvals by the parliaments in the other 30-member countries. But what was sure was that if Russia made any aggressive move towards those two countries from then on, a full confrontation with NATO would be in the works. The two countries are therefore expected to become full NATO members quickly, shoring up the bloc’s eastern flank within months of February’s Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Recall that Sweden and Finland both announced their intention to join NATO in May, when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused a sudden shift in attitudes toward joining the bloc. That announcement was welcomed by almost all of NATO’s leaders, but Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said he was not looking at both countries joining NATO “positively,” accusing them of housing Kurdish “terrorist organizations”. Under NATO rules, just one member state can veto a new applicant’s membership.

As a background to our main question, Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 as part of its expansionist policy borne out of regret for the disbandment of the old Soviet Union. Through that annexation, Russia showed its fangs but it was obviously not taken seriously until it invaded Ukraine this February. The war and how it has gone has helped to focus on the thoughts of how Vladimir Putin and his Kremlin colleagues are thinking.

Russia has been threatening other countries with the same Ukraine treatment if they joined NATO. It is on record that Putin threatened Sweden with military invasion if the country joins NATO. Everyone knew, though, that Sweden’s case would be different because the country had a bilateral defence pact with the USA. However, should such an invasion occur, it is not clear how much muscle the US can provide for Sweden and the other countries regarded as having joined or planning to Join NATO. But now that Sweden and Finland have formally submitted their NATO applications and are under ratification in the various parliaments, we are still waiting for Russia to carry out its threat. Can Putin fight two wars on different fronts?

Some diplomatic and development experts think Putin invaded Ukraine because that country was showing progress and advancement as a democratic country and moving towards advancing as a modern industrialized country. The thinking is that Putin could not have that on his doorstep. Why? Not because of any security threat. No one wants to invade Russia. No. It may be because he could not stand the Russian people seeing the rise in standard of living that the Ukraine was going to see. He could not stand for his people to see how much more pleasant living in a free and democratic country would be. Once they saw those things, they would demand the same.

There are also who do not really think Ukraine has made too much advancement for Russia to be jealous about because the standard of living has not moved up much, but a product driven system will definitely impact economic development and raise living standards in no time. A full blown democratic process and free market can pave the way for the country to take full advantage of its agricultural exports and nuclear power storage, enough to sell heavily to Europe and Africa and boost its economy. Ukraine is one of the top grain producing countries in the world and in a world where food is becoming a major crisis for food importers, Ukrainians are sitting on a gold field type of food basket.

Some analysts feel that Putin has more or less single-handedly been responsible for the expansion of NATO in recent years. All the former Warsaw Pact countries which used to be Russian allies have joined NATO for defense against Russia, whose threats could be said to have just encouraged Sweden and Finland to join NATO in self-defense. Others say if the two countries are admitted into NATO, and there was a Russian military incursion, there would not only be Swedes and Finns but Norwegians and Danes on the ground shooting at the Russians and sinking Russian ships and submarines at sea, and that Russian airspace would be full of American, British, French, and Canadian jet fighters. Just anybody in NATO with a grudge against Russia would be shooting at Russians. You may say we have not seen this happen in the Ukraine war, but it is good to quickly to point out that Ukraine has actually not joined NATO and had not even applied when the country was invaded by Russia.

The whole point of NATO membership is to provide partners who can contribute to members’ defense. NATO has 30 member countries with over half of the military armaments in the world, and that includes most of the nuclear weapons in the world, including jet fighters all armed with long-distance Meteor missiles. And that is just the European countries. Sweden does have submarines and supersonic aircraft of its own which would come into play in the event of a Russian attack. The US has a lot more.

Sweden and Finland are not super powers by any stretch of imagination and they have small populations, but they have fully modern military and strong economies. Remember that Russia got its fingers badly burnt when it tried to grab Finland during World War II. It would likely happen again if it tried to invade either country.

The pro-Putin school of thought, keep saying he is upset because NATO keeps expanding despite promises not to and that NATO is not for peace in Europe, but aiming to reduce Russia’s influence. Somehow, many hitherto neutral countries who had no interest in joining NATO or felt NATO would bail them out without membership now see it as an option, because NATO has shown that they won’t intercede if a non-NATO country is invaded. Finland which felt joining NATO would provoke Russia is now seeing that Russia is already trying to provoke Finland with threats of “Don’t join NATO or else.” The reality is that not joining NATO means they, like Ukraine, can be left to the wolves.

Many people believe that since Sweden and Russia do not have a common border, an invasion is impossible so the Swedes are safe. Norway and Russia have a very short common border, but Norway has been a NATO member since 1949. Before now, Finland has always been non-aligned as it has never been a member of NATO or the Warsaw Pact. So they ask: “How can Putin threaten Sweden with a military incursion without invading Finland?”

Now note – Russia has a Baltic coastline. So does Sweden. A big invasion is possible, without land borders. It may just be to punish. Any attack on Sweden or other countries can come by sea and require air superiority. Sweden from of old have a very capable navy designed especially for Baltic conditions. They do not make noise about it. Russia’s air capability is suspect, with experts saying lots of their aircraft are old and pilots not as technologically inclined as those in the west.

It would be senseless to be at war on two fronts, when even the first front is not an easy one. And to start another one when there is no element of surprise anymore, unlike in February, will look like a suicide attempt, especially when the morale of Russian troops seems to be quite low.

But who can predict Vladimir Putin? And who can say which country he would try to attack next?


5 Comments on “The Next Country To Be Invaded By Russia Is……….”

  1. Russia cannot afford to fight another with the war in Ukraine still raging. Any attempt to confront NATO may lead to third world war.

  2. My only comment on this is to pray for God’s intervention so that all wars can stop.

    Putin has done enough damage to the world thus far. All economies of the world are crumbling and there seems to be no respite in sight. In addition, Russians are not particularly happy about what Kremlin is doing. Another war started by Putin will likely be detrimental to the people of Russia because the country will not be spared.
    That is why I pray for an end to wars.

  3. Unfortunate. Very unfortunate.

    All these join NATO; don’t join NATO melodrama just reminds me of what Leonardo Da Vinci said to Lorenzo de Medici in the movie “Da Vinci Demons” based on the futility of his commission from the latter to build a war arsenal for the City of Florence in preparation for war against Pope Sixtus’ Vatican:

    If I build one, they build more and the war never ends

    Wars have shown to be masseuses of men’s egos and the art of playing gods on earth

    However, today’s gospel reading is instructive to Putin and leaders of member states constituting what is known as NATO:

    “Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace.”

    So, in addition to the topic question, the next topic question is:


  4. Wr, war, war!! Who suffers most? Women and children. Is it the third world war that Putin is starting ? If care is not taken he will end up like Adolf Hitler. This war is a lesson to Africans and other nations to be self sufficient in Agriculture. Look at the price of bread and other things made by flour and wheat. I guess Putin is jealous of rising profile of Ukraine. I hope that this war will soon come to an end. So much suffering.

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