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Ukraine and the threat of Russian and Chinese authoritarianism

Russia’s war against Ukraine, the analysis of the rise of authoritarian revisionism and the competition between different visions of the world order are some of the main topics on the agenda of the 59th Munich Conference on security which will open on February 17 in Germany.

Conference President Christoph Heusgen notes that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine demonstrated a disregard for even the minimum standards of international law.

“We are far from powerless. Revisionism can be resisted. The people of Ukraine, above all, have shown remarkable resilience and determination in the face of direct aggression,” Heusgen noted in the preface to the report, titled Re:vision, published on the Conference website. of Munich on safety.

The research team produced a 174-page report that outlines changes to the Munich Safety Index, a proprietary annual risk perception index developed in conjunction with global consultancy Kekst CNC.

“On February 24, 2022, Russia not only launched a war against Ukraine, which has already caused tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilian victims, millions of people fleeing their homes and hundreds of billions of euros in war damage. With its brutal and unprovoked invasion of a sovereign state, Moscow also launched an attack on the founding principles of the post-World War II world.

The section on opinion polls in Ukraine during the war speaks of the resilience of ordinary Ukrainians in the face of a Russian invasion and states that “premature peace talks, called for particularly loudly in some Western capitals, are likely to meet fierce resistance among the Ukrainians. population”.

In November 2022, according to one of the polls published in the Munich Security Index, 63% of Ukrainians would like to live in the world according to European rules, 22% – according to American rules, twelve percent of respondents were undecided.

An acceptable condition for a ceasefire, 93% of Ukrainians polled called for the withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of the country, including Crimea.

An unacceptable condition 97% called the possibility for Russia to leave its troops in occupied territory.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to speak at the opening of the conference.

About China and Russia

The report focuses not only on the situation in Ukraine, but also on the relations between Russia and China, their impact on the global international agenda.

“Sino-Russian cooperation to undermine and alter elements of the international order is not a new phenomenon. Over the years, the two countries, with China in the lead, have attempted to restore order, advocate undemocratic forms of government and autocratic narratives and interests in the international system,” notes the report’s section on relations between Moscow and Beijing.

The human rights section points out that China and Russia “have long viewed the human rights efforts of the United States and its European allies as an existential threat to the security and stability of their diets”.

In the published Munich Security Index – “China” is mentioned 480 times, “Russia” – 409, “Ukraine” – 187.

The International Security Conference and Program

Andrey Buzarov, an international observer accredited to participate in the Munich Security Conference, believes that in addition to the key aspect of discussing the situation with the war, there will be a big discussion in France, Germany, Poland on the future security system.

“And this system will start to take shape right now… Ukraine is included in any configuration of the European security system as an important partner and ally – that’s obvious,” Andriy Buzarov told the Russian service correspondent from media.

At the same time, he stressed that the main theme of the event is an analysis of the war, ideas about the options that can be developed for defense and security in the conditions of this war, and not only for the European countries. which were released on the eve of the conference, twelve potential countries of potential risk and conflict were discussed. The main task of Ukraine in this situation is that the formats of military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, the types of weapons, the period of their supply will be discussed publicly and not publicly,” Buzarov notes.

Nor does he rule out that Germany could present elements of its new defense strategy within the framework of the European Union.

Decisive Action Conference

Center for Global Studies “Strategy XXI” President Mikhail Gonchar believes the conference should sound a wake-up call to those in Western Europe who are trying to push through the idea of ​​a truce, recognition of the status quo – “if only it there was no war.”

“This is not a solution to the problem, it will be a respite for Russia and a disservice for Ukraine and Europe, it will provide a break for the Putin regime to strengthen and continue aggression, and not only against Ukraine,” Gonchar said.

At the Munich conference, according to him, a manifesto prepared by representatives of Ukrainian civil society should be heard.

“He talks about the need not only for the de-Putinization of Russia, but also for its demilitarization, the decolonization of the country. This formed the idea of ​​what Russia should be so that it does not pose a threat to the world as a whole, ”underlines the analyst.

He also believes that this event should contribute to the transformation of Western security structures from “fear – to a resolute alliance”.

“So far, since the invasion, the Western alliances continue to be ‘alliances of fear’: repeating the mantra – don’t allow an escalation, don’t provoke Putin’s regime to go to war outside Ukraine. These are just indicators of the West’s fear of Putin automatically turning on the “green light” for him to move on. I hope that the Munich conference will serve as a stimulus for a radical revision of these positions among Western security structures,” continues Mikhail Gonchar.

According to him, the task of the conference is not only to give another assessment, vision, to look for ways and solutions to overcome the “Ukrainian crisis”, but to present an honest and objective picture of the state of affairs in Europe regarding with Russian aggression.

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