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From Iran to Israel: Russia’s Diplomatic Chess Moves

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In recent times, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to significant changes in its foreign policy.

The British Defense Ministry’s daily intelligence report on the conflict highlights how international isolation resulting from the invasion has forced Russia to recalibrate its diplomatic, economic, and military alliances. Notably, this shift in strategy has led to closer ties between Russia and Iran, particularly in the realm of military cooperation. Moreover, the Kremlin appears to be exploiting the situation in Israel as a means of diverting attention from its actions in Ukraine. This article explores the evolving connections between the Israel conflict and Russia’s war in Ukraine.

 

Strengthened Ties with Iran

 

The British Defense Ministry’s report underscores the strengthening of Russia’s diplomatic and economic bonds with Iran in the wake of the Ukraine conflict. Notably, Iran has provided military aid to Russia, including the supply of one-way attack uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs). These UAVs have played a pivotal role in Russia’s campaign in Ukraine and are now being produced under license in Russia. This newfound partnership illustrates Russia’s willingness to form alliances with countries it may not have previously considered, driven by its quest for diplomatic, economic, and military support in light of its isolation on the international stage.

 

Kremlin’s Utilization of the Israel Conflict

 

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) warns of Russia’s intent to exploit the Hamas attacks on Israel to further its own agenda. The Kremlin is likely to use the Israel conflict to heighten its rhetoric against Western interference in Ukraine. By doing so, it aims to demoralize Ukrainians and reassure Russians that Western attention will be diverted from Ukraine due to the crisis in the Middle East. Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, has called upon the United States and its allies to focus on a “Palestinian-Israeli settlement” rather than intervening in Russia’s affairs and providing military aid to Ukraine.

 

Russian propagandists, such as Sergei Mardan, are also contributing to this narrative. They suggest that Russia stands to benefit from the escalation in Israel, as it distracts the world from the Ukrainian conflict. The Kremlin’s message, both through official channels and propaganda, aims to convince Russian audiences that Ukraine will lose international support as the world’s attention shifts away from its war effort.

 

Ukraine’s Response

 

In response to the Hamas-coordinated attacks in Israel, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reiterated the need to stand firm against terrorism globally. He emphasized the interconnectedness of global crises and called for solidarity in combating terror wherever it emerges.

 

Zelenskyy also held an emergency phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, expressing Ukraine’s solidarity and offering condolences for the victims of the attacks.

 

Ongoing Challenges for Ukraine

 

While Ukraine remains committed to defending its sovereignty, it faces new challenges this winter. Ukraine’s air force anticipates an increase in Russian drone attacks, particularly using Iranian-designed Shahed kamikaze drones. These attacks pose a significant threat to Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, which is still recovering from last winter’s bombardments. The potential for further disruptions to the power grid remains a concern, as rebuilding efforts continue.

 

Russia’s Escalating Nuclear Rhetoric

 

Amidst the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Russia has escalated its nuclear rhetoric. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that Russia’s new silo-based intercontinental ballistic nuclear missile system, known as “Sarmat,” is nearly combat-ready. This development is part of Russia’s strategy to bolster its ground-based strategic nuclear forces. The system, often referred to as “Satan” by NATO allies, reportedly has a short initial launch phase, making it difficult to track.

 

Additionally, Russian parliamentary speaker Vyacheslav Volodin has raised the possibility of Russia reconsidering its ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). This comes after President Vladimir Putin’s warning that Moscow could withdraw from the treaty, citing the United States’ failure to ratify it. The CTBT, designed to prohibit nuclear weapon test explosions globally, has not been ratified by eight nations, including the United States.

 

Concerns and Implications

 

There are growing concerns that Russia may resume nuclear tests in an attempt to dissuade Western nations from providing military support to Ukraine. The situation remains fluid, with potential implications for global security and stability.

 

In conclusion, the evolving dynamics of Russia’s foreign policy in the context of its invasion of Ukraine are complex and multifaceted. The connections between the Israel conflict and the Ukraine crisis underscore the shifting geopolitical landscape and the challenges faced by both regional and global actors in responding to these developments.

Saeed Minhas
Saeed Minhas
Saeed Minhas is an accomplished journalist with extensive experience in the field. He has held prominent positions such as Editor at Daily Times and Daily Duniya. Currently, he serves as the Chief Editor (National) at The Think Tank Journal

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