Has the West fallen for Putin’s tricks in Ukraine? | Keir Giles

Russia wants to see Nato rolled back – and Ukraine is far from its only pawn in the game

  • Keir Giles works with the Russia and Eurasia programme of Chatham House

The west has been fixated for more than two months on Russian preparations to mount a new land invasion of Ukraine. Except, it hasn’t happened – and it’s not likely to happen, at least in the form that’s most commonly imagined. Russia has used the bright, shiny object of an obvious troop concentration to panic the west into considering seriously its demands for rolling back Nato. But by focusing on the wrong problem, and joining in negotiations on Russia’s terms, the US and Nato have fallen for a massive strategic deception operation.

By all accounts Russia’s preparations for conflict are genuine. But then, they have to be. When it conducted a dry run for the current deployments last year, Russia saw how foreign analysts swiftly discounted the likelihood of a major assault because they saw forces had not arrived with essential materiel, such as medical supplies or ammunition, or the support elements necessary to mount and sustain combat operations. This time Russia has made sure they are there, and visible. And Russia is continuing to move troops westwards in order to keep up the pressure on western decision-makers.

Keir Giles works with the Russia and Eurasia programme of Chatham House. He is the author of Moscow Rules: What Drives Russia to Confront the West

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Source : Has the West fallen for Putin’s tricks in Ukraine? | Keir Giles