I read a fascinating article written by an Indian ambassador in The Tribune, India’s oldest English-language newspaper, nearly one year ago. It’s remarkable, because it illustrates that Indian strategists – or perhaps we should say Bharati strategists – clearly recognized what the European governments are still struggling to accept, namely, the inevitable defeat of the US and NATO and the transition to a multipolar world order.
Policy-makers and strategists in Delhi should make a careful note of the timeline. The bottom line is, Russia is looking for an all-out victory and will not settle for anything less than a friendly government in Kiev. Western politicians, including Biden, understand that there is nothing stopping the Russians now. The US’ weapon kitty is running dry as Kiev keeps asking for more.
When asked whether he’d meet Biden at the G20 in Bali, Putin derisively remarked on Friday, ‘He (Biden) should be asked whether he is ready to hold such negotiations with me or not. To be honest, I don’t see any need, by and large. There is no platform for any negotiations for the time being.’
However, Washington has not yet thrown in the towel and the Biden administration remains obsessed with exhausting the Russian military — even at the cost of Ukraine’s destruction. And, for the Russians too, there is still much to be worked out on the battlefield: the oppressed Russian populations in Odessa (which suffered unspeakable atrocities from the neo-Nazis), Mykolaiv, Zaporizhya, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkov are expecting ‘liberation’. It’s a highly emotive issue for Russia. Again, the overarching agenda of ‘demilitarisation’ and ‘denazification’ of Ukraine must be taken to its logical conclusion.
When all that is over, Putin knows Biden will not even want to meet him. Hungarian PM Viktor Orban said last week, ‘Anyone who seriously believes that the war can be ended through Russian-Ukrainian negotiations lives in another world. Reality looks different. In reality, such issues can only be discussed between Washington and Moscow. Today, Ukraine is able to fight only because it receives military assistance from the United States…
‘At the same time, I do not see President Biden as the person who would really be suitable for such serious negotiations. President Biden has gone too far. Suffice it to recall his statements to Russian President Putin.’
India should expect the defeat of the US and NATO, which completes the transition to a multipolar world order. Sadly, Indian elites are yet to purge their ‘unipolar predicament’. Europe, including Britain, is devastated and there is palpable discontent over the US’s ‘transatlantic leadership’. Indo-Pacific strategy is hopelessly adrift. New power centres are emerging in India’s extended neighbourhood, as the OPEC’s rebuff to Washington shows. A profound adjustment is needed in the Indian strategic calculus.A War Russia Set to Win, 22 October 2022
One year later, it is clear that the Indian strategic calculus has, indeed, been modified as recommended, at least in part. The ambassador provides more recent prognostications at his blog, Indian Punchlines.
Looking ahead, further erosion of support for the Ukraine war can be expected and even a possible collapse of support for Ukraine across the collective West cannot be ruled out in the months ahead, especially if the Kremlin leadership finally decides to give a knockout punch to Ukraine’s military and/or orders the Russian forces to cross the Dnieper and take over Kiev and Odessa.