National Security Vol. V Issue III | July - September 2022
About The Issue

This special issue of National Security carries a set of excellent essays and articles on the global impact of the Russo-Ukraine conflict. Arvind Gupta, Director of the VIF, explains India’s official stance and the factors that have determined it. Andrey Kortunov, the Head of the Russian International Affairs Council, finds similarities in the Russia-Ukraine relationship with India’s troubled relations with Pakistan. Tomiko Ichikawa, the Director General of the Japan Institute of International Affairs, is extremely critical of Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, for its violation of international law, and the sovereignty of an independent nation-state – the Ukraine. She fears that China would be emboldened to act in a similar manner in the Indo-Pacific.

In his analysis of the war, Lt. Gen. Rakesh Sharma states that the “war was on the horizon” since the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia, and the training and strengthening of the Ukrainian forces by the NATO that followed. He argues that the conflict underlines that conventional wars are here to stay, and can start off with limited notice. It is a warning to India to be prepared for such actions by its two hostile neighbours. Strategic analyst Vinod Anand writes that the contestation between Russia and the Western alliance in Ukraine and the ongoing US-China rivalry in the Indo-Pacific have impacted Southeast Asia, and the region is deeply concerned. In the Africa Watch series, Samir Bhattacharya explores the impact on Africa and opines that the war and the sanctions on Russia have seriously affected food, energy, fertilizer and defence supplies to Africa that was already struggling to overcome the effects of the pandemic on health and the economy. He warns that the sanctions are hurting Africa while western finance for development are being diverted to deal with the fall out of the Ukraine crisis.

The issue concludes with PK Hangzo’s review of a recent book on the changes underway in India’s north-east and how they are being viewed and understood by the academics in the region.

Letters and Comments

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CONTENTS: Vol. V Issue III | July - September 2022

Editor’s Note

The Ukraine War and a World in Crisis | Sujit Dutta


The Russia-Ukraine Conflict and India’s Foreign Policy | Arvind Gupta

Russia-Ukraine, India-Pakistan: Two Existential Conflicts in Eurasia | Andrey Kortunov


Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine and Security in the Indo-Pacific | Tomiko Ichikawa

Abstract: This article analyses the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the international multilateral security structure and the response of Japan and “like-minded” nation-states. It argues that Russia’s action violates the most fundamental principles of international law and that the world has entered a new era in which the post-Cold War security assumptions no longer hold. Even the foundation of the United Nations-based security architecture is threatened. The invasion and its severe impact on the rules-based order will have major implications for the security in the Indo-Pacific where China poses a similar challenge. It calls upon the US and the Quad partners to step up their collaboration to enhance the stability and security in the Indo-Pacific region. In light of the limitations of the Security Council (as demonstrated by the Russian veto), it stresses that India and Japan should strengthen their cooperation on the Security Council reform. It argues that India, the world’s largest democracy, needs to take a firm position against the aggression and play a significant role in promoting a rules-based order that respects other nation-states’ territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Russian Military Campaign in Ukraine: Prognosis and Impact | Rakesh Sharma

Abstract: The Russian invasion of Ukraine has raised many issues regarding war aims, strategy, military operations and the far reaching consequences. Russian policymakers and political hierarchy must have determined that this war is worth fighting for, with all its costs, consequences and ramifications. Since the 2014 annexation of Crimea, war was on the horizon. For the past eight years Ukraine with NATO military support and training, was preparing for it. The concentration of Russian Forces over months prior to the war was also clearly discernible. The invasion underscores that conventional wars are here to stay, and can commence with limited preparations or notice. It has lessons for India which has faced for the past two years large Chinese forces prepared to invade across its northern borders, and a hostile Pakistan allied with China. The nature of warfare is undergoing dramatic transformation. The Indian armed forces should build combat capabilities, train for and prepare for the current threats and an uncertain future in total consonance with the larger political goals, on whose shoulders must ride the current military doctrine and future military strategy.

Southeast Asia and the Ukraine Crisis | Vinod Anand

Abstract: It might seem that Southeast Asia is largely unaffected by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, however, this article opines that it cannot be said that the countries of the region remain isolated from its political and economic implications. The article argues that the impact of the strategic contestation between Russia and the US-led Western alliance in Ukraine and the ongoing US-China rivalry in the Indo-Pacific, are being felt in the existing strategic dynamics in Southeast Asia as in other regions. With China supporting Russia on the Ukraine issue, some of the ASEAN states have become even more concerned about a plausible attempt by Beijing to consolidate its territorial expansion in the South China Sea or invade Taiwan. The regional states are also concerned about the rising costs of the conflict to their trade, tourism and oil dependent economies. The article analyses the varied responses of the regional states to the conflict with Singapore and Myanmar as the two extremes. Most of the other states have taken a middle position of neither supporting nor openly criticising Russia, and have called for a cessation and peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Africa Watch

Ukraine Crisis and its Impact on Africa | Samir Bhattacharya

Abstract: While the conflict in Ukraine rages and threatens to morph into a wider global war, Africa remains a divided house. Most African countries seem to be wary of taking any partisan position on the Ukraine crisis and are reacting in keeping with their national interests. Nevertheless, the post-pandemic, and the post - Ukraine war world situation would be turbulent for Africa. Public health and the economy in Africa were already suffering from the negative impacts of the pandemic. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has given rise to fresh challenges that can further stifle the growth and development of the continent. The Russia - Ukraine war has four interrelated dimensions with profound implications for Africa: food, energy, finance and defence. As the deteriorating humanitarian crisis unfolds in Africa, the Western response to the African suffering only exposes its neglect. Instead of supporting Africa to overcome the catastrophic consequences of the pandemic, the food shortage and inflation caused by sanctions, their focus seems to be to counter Russian influence in Africa. The African reaction to the West’s appeal to condemn Russia underlines that sanctions and paternalism are inadequate policies to convince African leaders to change their positions on Russia.

Book Review

Securing India’s North-East | PK Khup Hangzo

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