NEW DELHI: Amid reports of Russia’s renewed military campaign in Ukraine, Europe has stepped up its own response, agreeing (albeit some reluctantly) to send Leopard tanks to aid President Zelensky’s troops. There is even talk of sending fighter jets, which could mark a significant escalation of the war. In this conversation marking one year of Russia’s invasion, Velina Tchakarova, head of the AIES think tank in Vienna, argues that the war is being driven not as a result of deliberations by the Russian general staff but by the coterie around President Putin. These include the head of the FSB, defence minister Sergei Shoigu, key oligarchs and some others close to the president. While Russia has suffered tremendous losses in men and equipment, it is not giving up the fight. Rather it will step up the war, emboldened by the fact that there are no large scale public demonstrations against the conflict. So Europe will have to fine tune its narrative. There are divisions apparent with the Soviet satellites of East Europe far more belligerent against Russia than say France and Germany. Tune in for more in this conversation with Velina Tchakarova.
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