The geopolitical tensions of the decades of the Cold War have come to the surface once more as Russia attempts to claim its sovereignty over Ukraine.
Tensions have long boiled over between the two nations during the last three decades, following the collapse of the previous Soviet Union.
The Soviets longed to be the global superpower, vying to unseat the United States as the world’s most powerful nation.
In the process of staking their claim on power, the Soviet Union created enemies with the democratic nations which saw the Russian muscle flexing as a slap in the face to
transparent, free government.
Millions died as a result of the micro-wars which took place around the world as a result of the conflict.
Soviet countries were repressed from transformation and progress as the democratically-elected countries which opposed the regime surged ahead during the many economic, scientific, industrial and technological advancements that took place in the last half of the century.
These sobering lessons that emerged from decades of conflict have largely been ignored.
The latest deterioration in Russian-Ukrainian relations signals an alarming push in Russia to regain its glory days as the powerful Soviet bloc.
It marks another chapter in the long running saga of President Vladimir Putin putting the days of new Russian democracy in the last years of the 20th century to an end.
Putin has firmly shifted the powerful nation from new-found democracy to authoritarianism with his jailing and repression of political opponents, attacks on free press and an aggressive attitude towards military and sovereignty.
An executive order to amend the Russian constitution in July 2020 effectively allowed Putin to remain as commander-in-chief of the nation for his lifetime.
Similar to America, the Russian president was only able to serve two consecutive terms.
A loophole in the law saw Putin return to the role following his one term as the nation’s second-in-charge.
Many world leaders and academics would argue that Putin was truly in charge in his one term as Prime Minister.
Putin’s history as a former KGB agent and published remarks which indicate support for the Soviet era spark alarm in a world where dictatorial regimes are few and far between.
It’s a red flag for Europe which long remembers the hard and brutal years of the Cold War and has established itself as a continent of economic prosperity.
However, Russia’s latest moves to reclaim Ukraine are of no surprise given the previous annexing of Crimea and the continued fallout between the two nations.
The attacks on Ukraine come from a nation wielding its extreme force over a smaller nation with less power – both militarily and economically.
Ukraine is ill-equipped to deal with such a conflict against a global power which wants to relive the glory days of extreme influence.
Understandably, Australia and other nations will use sanctions rather than armed forces to address the situation, however, the world needs to maintain a close watch on the conflict and its potential ramifications.