Russia’s invasion of Ukraine six weeks ago has been a disaster for the people of Ukraine and for the Russian military, who have suffered incredibly high losses.
Russia has failed to take over the capital Ukrainian capital of Kiev and also failed to take Odessa and Mariupol. At this point, the main city the Russians hold is Kherson and various areas in Donbas and the south.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin says this is all about freeing Ukraine from corruption and “Nazism.” However, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United States have been clear they view Russia’s actions as an unprovoked war crime.
NATO is made up of the United States, Canada, and many European nations, including in Central Europe and the Baltics.
This angers Russia and part of the reason Putin invaded Ukraine was, according to him, because Ukraine was being moved into NATO’s sphere of influence.
Now, Russia’s nightmares are about to get much worse.
Finland and Sweden to Join NATO
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has pushed two more nations into wanting to join NATO. Sweden and Finland are two European countries that have not been part of NATO since it was founded in April 1949 in Washington, DC.
Other European nations have steadily joined the alliance, such as Germany in 1955, the Czech Republic and Poland in 1999, and the Baltic states like Lithuania and Estonia in 2004.
However, Sweden and Finland have so far held out, preferring to pursue their own defense policy separate from the alliance. Now that is changing; Helsinki and Stockholm say they want to join the alliance.
It is expected to happen by this summer and Russia is furious. Putin previously warned that if Sweden and Finland do join NATO, they will face unimaginable consequences, with many believing this could be a threat of nuclear war.
Would Putin actually press the button? That is anyone’s guess, but he’s been seen carrying Russia’s nuclear briefcase around to events.
As Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine get more fully exposed and sanctions increase, the country is increasingly backed in a corner and desperate.
The most humiliating minute of Peskov’s career: pic.twitter.com/oKakPeWUon
— Michael Moroz 🇺🇦 (@MorozMichael) April 9, 2022
Russia’s View of NATO
Russia views NATO as a fraud and aimed at “confrontation” with Russia, as Putin’s top spokesperson Dmitry Peskov recently explained.
They believe NATO should not ever have expanded past West Germany.
Russia also thinks the West led Moscow on with false promises in order to steadily encircle it since World War Two and work to collapse Russia’s military power and reach.
If Sweden and Finland join up, NATO balloons to having 32 member states. In-depth discussions are already happening; the Swedish and Finnish public have a surge in support for joining NATO, due to seeing Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
Since 1997, NATO has steadily expanded, bringing numerous security and funding benefits to member states.
However, leaders like President Trump complained member states weren’t paying their fair share in military budgets and were freeloading off the United States.
It’s very likely that #Putin will achieve even more geostrategic ‘victories’ coming summer. #NATO will invite #Finland and #Sweden to join its ranks. That would be a huge boost to the security of our region. We need you! Tervetuloa mukaan! Välkommen ombord! #WeAreNATO! pic.twitter.com/BlOul5jOmw
— Linas Linkevicius (@LinkeviciusL) April 11, 2022
The Bottom Line
Russia hasn’t only stalled in Ukraine, but they’ve also managed to strengthen their enemies.