Russia is gathering 175,000 troops in eastern Ukraine and it is probable that Russian army will start an invasion operation early next year. It’s an unpleasant situation. The rallying of Russian troops to the Ukrainian border may also have the purpose of guarding and restraining Ukraine from joining NATO. Russia merged the Crimean Peninsula in March 2014, but the battle between Russia and Ukraine continued, and although a ceasefire agreement was reached between the two countries in February 2015, 14,000 people were killed after the ceasefire agreement.
President Putin has appealed to nationalism to maintain the support among the people. Russia expanded its geopolitical influence amid the international isolation of the former Trump administration in the United States, including the intervention in Syria and Libya. Territory is an extremely effective tool for appealing to the patriotism of the people. Russia’s amendment constitution also includes an item prohibiting the ceding of territory, and a monument was erected to commemorate this on Kunashiri Island, emphasizing that the Northern Territories of Japan would not be returned.
This tension with Ukraine may also have the purpose of concealing many domestic crises. In Russia, support for Putin has declined, the number of people infected with the coronavirus has increased, and the government has forced military personnel to inoculate the domestic vaccine Sputnik V, but the vaccination rate has not progressed to 30%. The country is pursuing crackdown politics, in order to justify it, it seems that it is strengthening its confrontation with the West, as in the recent crisis in Ukraine. The economy that depends on oil and natural gas has not been linked to sustainable economic development.
President Putin will give top priority to Russia’s national interests, as seen in the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, and will not be able to make concessions to Japan unless he has got very good at economic cooperation. Putin’s Russia, which seeks to expand its sphere of influence as seen in intervening in Syria, is undoubtedly a troublesome neighbor for Japan as well as China, and Japan will have no choice but to carry out wise diplomacy.
Russia has also begun to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan after the Taliban came to power. The Russian Supreme Court recognized the Taliban as a “terrorist organization” in 2003, but President Putin has revealed that he is ready to loosen the “terrorist organization” recognition. For Russia, when hostile forces take control of politics in Afghanistan, there is a serious security threat to the south of Russia, and radicals from Central Asia operating in Afghanistan are sent to Central Asian countries and Russia. Russia must consider cooperation with the Taliban administration to prevent extremists from invading.
Hitler said, “This land was not originally reserved for future use by a particular people by nature, but for the people who have the power to acquire it, and for the hard development.” President Putin, who merged the Crimea Peninsula and did not return the northern territory of Japan, may be similar to Hitler. President Putin tried to tighten the country by creating an external crisis. He wants to maintain his own centripetal power. As a result, it goes without saying that the victims are Russians and Ukrainians.