May 26, 2022

When modern Ukraine first declared independence in 1917, its national identity stems largely from the Eastern Slavic culture that grew up in almost the same area as the modern state of the Middle Ages. This is the era in which national identity emerged in Britain.

While their current realities are quite the opposite, the destinies of Ukraine and Britain are more closely intertwined than any other population in general knows.

The Crimean War, in which Britain and its allies defeated the Russian Empire, led to the resignation of the Prime Minister of Hamilton Gordon, the fourth Earl of Aberdeen George, after a vote of no confidence in 1855. The conflict became a cultural touchstone to reflect the barbarity and futility of modern warfare, which is now almost entirely filled with memories of World War I.

Engagement with foreign conflicts and freedoms is not only a feature of the post-Cold War liberal order, but a constant question for the modern age. To what extent is the security of a distant country the business of other states?


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Currently, the Ukrainian and British governments are relatively warm to each other, as previous governments seek cooperation wherever possible, as Putin threatens to compromise on their borders. However, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has repeatedly insisted – in contrast to NATO’s public briefing – that the panic is unnecessary. Zelensky himself is far removed from the democratic ideal, and has been accused of corruption, attacks on the Ukrainian opposition and Loyalties With far-right groups. Yet for those who want to counter Russian ambitions, the Prime Minister of Ukraine is a clear bad fellow.

The latest analysis shows that 130,000 Russian troops are stationed on Ukraine’s borders with southwestern Russia and Belarus. Last weekend, experts suggested that the crisis had reached its “most dangerous stage” and foreign ministers warned that the attack could take hours or days. While the situation appears to be cooling – at least for now – Russia says it has reduced its presence somewhat – controlling Ukraine remains a constant concern for the balance of power in Europe. Will

Despite presenting war as an ever-present feature of international relations since time immemorial, the nature of modern parliamentary democracy means that the willingness to engage in military conflict is directly related to the fact that those in power It is certain that this will affect their political prospects. It is hoped that the crisis will subside further, but the situation raises important questions about Britain’s willingness – or lack thereof – to involve itself in foreign disputes.

Although some Britons have shared Corbinite’s desire to pin the sole responsibility for the crisis on the aggression of the United States and its allies, this does not mean that they welcome British involvement in another distant war. ۔

The latest research shows that if Russia were to roll up its tanks today, the people would be directly divided on the issue of military aid. YouGov found that 30% of British adults were in favor of direct force for “defending Ukraine”, while 32% were against it. Conservative voters were slightly more biased, with 35% favoring the action versus 29%, while Labor voters, divided by 31 to 34, erred by non-interference.

Of course, as a member of NATO, Britain is already embroiled in some controversy. Anti-tank weapons and advisers were deployed in Kiev a week ago, and 1,000 British troops are ready to help in the event of a humanitarian crisis following the Russian invasion. However, the chances of British and Russian troops engaging in direct combat are slim.

On Saturday, Armed Forces Secretary James Happy reiterated that “there would be no British troops in Ukraine if there was a conflict with Russia.” Although all such statements by crisis officials should be taken with a pinch of salt, experts agree. Is That the Western response to the attack would be to provide equipment and funding to anti-Russian opponents without jeopardizing the outcome of the recent global war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This does not mean that the British are generally sympathetic to the actions of the Russian state. According to the latest YouGov poll, 47% of British adults “dislike” Russia. After the Cold War-era feuds continued to rise in British perceptions of the country, they fell after the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the poisoning of two Russian citizens in Salisbury by suspected Russian agents in 2018. gone.

The perception of Ukraine is very neutral, with 48% of British adults neither liking nor disliking the country. In other words, the British are more likely to be skeptical of the Russian state than of Ukraine, but they do not support the latter enough to use all available resources to defend it.

It is also a fact that not all NATO members share the same views on Russia, which is somewhat disappointing to any attitude by Britain or other states. Germany, for example, seems more anxious to appease its one-time Eastern fighters in hopes of securing energy supply after its plans to phase out nuclear energy – albeit for environmental reasons. On. However, the reality is that the United States, which contributes half of the world’s military spending, pulls the biggest financial strings when it comes to decision making. Even if the British or German government decides to have a military confrontation with Russia (or vice versa), US financial pressure will greatly influence any final decision.

It may well be that Putin’s latest proposal for a semi-resignation indicates that the crisis is not over, but that he realizes that he may have already won. If Russia now knows that the response to further NATO incursions will be minimal – the United States has denied sending troops to rescue its own citizens – the question of further expansion is no longer a question of whether but when.

After the withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer, the slightest defense of Ukraine’s sovereignty adds to the growing signs of NATO’s indifference to the rest of the world, especially China. What will happen to Taiwan if Kiev is not defensive? South China Sea? At the heart of the general attitude of Britain and its allies is the fundamental controversy: the desire to preserve or promote democracy abroad, but the lack of desire to do so after decades of failed efforts.

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