The eyes and ears of the world are on the news from Ukraine… While efforts for peace continue at full speed, there are still reports of conflict from the country. Russia’s failure to achieve a military victory raises the question ‘Will Ukraine be Putin’s Afghanistan?’ Because there are many similarities between the war that led to the destruction of the Soviet Union 43 years ago and the developments today.
The war in Ukraine is in its 4th week… The Russian military, which began advancing into Ukraine on February 24th on the orders of Russian President Putin, has still not been able to bring down the capital Kiev.
Western intelligence reports suggest the Russian military has suffered far more losses than it expected and is lagging behind its targets.
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Naturally, there is only one question in mind: What’s going to happen now? Many experts say Ukraine could be a new Afghanistan for Russia.
On December 27, 1979, Soviet special forces seized key buildings in Kabul, and an airborne unit seized the airport near the capital Kabul as large armored units crossed the border.
With these moves, a puppet government was formed in the capital quickly and without blood. But the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan cost Moscow dearly.
CAN MODEL IN UKRAINE OCCUPATION
Russia followed a similar pattern in the Invasion of Ukraine. At the beginning of the war, Russian special forces and paratroopers headed for the airport near Kiev. But it failed.
This was perhaps the first indication of the negative trajectory of the war on behalf of Russia. According to The Telegraph’s Mark Almond, this Afghanistan was a copy of the operation, but everything went wrong.
The Ukrainian refusal to surrender and the support of weapons from the west could mean Ukraine becoming a ‘second Afghanistan’ for Moscow.
NO LONGER SURROUNDED BY SOVIET SATELLITES
According to Almond, who underlined that Ukraine showed all kinds of resistance to Sovietization in the late 1940s, but that moscow got what it wanted after Stalin’s harsh policies, the situation is very different today.
Because Ukraine is no longer a country surrounded by Soviet satellites. He buys a large number of military equipment right next to him through Poland, and thus continues his resistance to the Russian army.
‘EVEN if the army is defeated, there may be a war of tensions’
This brings to mind the U.S. assistance to Afghanistan during the Cold War. Naturally, many experts say that the Ukrainian army will be difficult to defeat, and even if it is defeated, it will not be the end of the war.
According to Almond, putin has two options here; Either the Russian Army will invade all of Ukraine to the Polish border, or it will occupy only the southern and eastern half of Ukraine up to the Dynaper River.
It is also frequently cited that even if the Ukrainian army is defeated, the conflict could possibly be the beginning of months or even years of guerrilla conflict.
“Ukraine does not have the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan, but its vast forests offer hiding places for guerrillas,” Almond said, stressing that the Russian military has already suffered casualties in Afghanistan.
How President Carter stopped the Soviet Union
Bruce Riedel, a US foreign policy expert, says it is necessary to understand how the USSR was defeated by the mujahideen in Afghanistan to see if Ukraine would be a repeat of Afghanistan.
Underlining that then-U.S. President Jimmy Carter quickly mobilized a strategic alliance to fight the Russians, Riedel said:
‘Within two weeks, the Pakistani leader had been persuaded to support the mujahideen with shelter, bases and training in Pakistan. The United States and Saudi Arabia would jointly finance the uprising. Pakistan’s intelligence service (ISI) would be the bosses of the mujahideen; The CIA and the Saudi intelligence service would be financiers of the war.’
Today, Poland is in a Pakistan-like position, the expert said, and whether Ukraine will be a new Afghanistan for Russia will be directly proportional to how much support the United States and NATO will provide to the country and whether the Ukrainians will risk prolonged war.
The Russians underestimated the chechen will to defend their homeland, just as they did in Afghanistan. Similarly, Putin seems to have underestimated the ukrainian will to defend their country.
The shock attacks had severe consequences for the Russian command, which thought it would yield results in both Chechnya and Afghanistan.
A similar situation is happening in Ukraine today. In 2003, during the Iraq War, he was killed in the 101st century. That’s not surprising, according to Retired Gen. David Petraeus, who leads the Airborne Division and commands U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
According to Petraeus, speaking to CNN International, the Russian military clearly has very low standards for performing basic tactical tasks.
Russia’s loss of six generals in the war, which has not yet completed its first month, sums up the situation the Russian military remains in.