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Yerevan 11 ℃

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The Russian-Ukrainian war and the lessons of the Ottoman Empire

Opinion

4 July 2023, 20:04

Now, when the second year of the Russian-Ukrainian war is underway, when the front has somewhat stabilized, and Ukraine is trying to counterattack with the support of Western allies, let us draw historical parallels and comparisons between today's Russia and the Ottoman Empire of 1830, their foreign political weight, regarding the qualitative characteristics of the empire and the changes in their role in the region.

It took two Balkan wars for Ottoman Turkey to realize it was no longer a regional superpower. Through bloody and irreconcilable wars, the Balkan peoples, Greeks, Serbs, and others could "understand" Ottoman Turkey that it was no longer the former regional hegemon and that they were already capable of having an independent state. The Ottoman Empire could no longer keep them colonized and dictate how they lived. Moreover, the Balkan peoples were helped with all possible resources by tsarist Russia, which, based on its regional interests, was interested in the weakening of the Ottoman Empire, and the establishment of its presence in the Balkans. For this, it paid tribute to the liberation struggle of the Balkan peoples. It should be remembered that at the mentioned stage, Russia, an empire like the Ottoman Empire, was much more advanced than the Ottomans in terms of technology and management bureaucracy.

But the regional resolution was not bilateral. Britain and France also played an active role in the region, which accepted that the Balkans could become independent and that Turkey should leave the region. Still, they also did not allow Turkey to fall into dependence on Russia and cede its former domains to it after being defeated.

Similarly, if we draw parallels, today's Russia cannot come to terms with the loss of its imperialism, the loss of Eastern Europe and Ukraine, and goes to war, trying to change the government in Ukraine de facto and return it to its sphere of influence. The first "war" can be considered the events of 2014, and the second - 2021. But, at the same time, for the Ottoman Empire (Russia) not to fall under the influence of Russia (China), it was necessary (is) not to be definitively defeated. But also, Russia should give up its Ukrainian ambitions. The main problem for the Allies was the containment of the Russian Empire through the reshaping of Turkey. In that format, the founder of modern Turkey, Kemal Ataturk, allied with Britain and France against Russia. Similarly, the West's goal is to keep Russia out of China's sphere of influence and not to make it dependent. So, all possible resources are put into defeating Russia, and Ukraine cannot move military operations into Russian territory. This way, space is left for the losing Moscow to maintain its subjectivity and not depend on China.

To be continued...

 

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