Ukraine-Russia Conflict: In this Game of Chicken, Who Will Yield First?
The Big StoryJanuary 28, 2022
00:18:5817.41 MB

Ukraine-Russia Conflict: In this Game of Chicken, Who Will Yield First?

The Russia-Ukraine crisis can be explained as a modified version of the conflict game "chicken”, where two players force each other to yield to avoid the worst possible outcome. 

And the reason I call this crisis a modified version of “chicken” is because one player- Russia-has suddenly planted over 100,000 troops along the Ukraine border, escalating tensions to unprecedented levels. And the other player, the US and NATO, has been presented with a list of security demands by Russia which include banning Ukraine and other former Soviet states from joining the military alliance. And the worst possible outcome in this case may be war. 

The US and other NATO allies have so far made no concessions to the demands, terming it as a non-starter since they go against NATO’s core principles of an open-door membership policy. US President Joe Biden has gone to the extent of warning that “Russia will pay a heavy price” if it chooses to invade Ukraine. 

Russia has stated that it does not want war and will not invade Ukraine but the presence of troops and tanks at the border has stoked fears in the West that the Kremlin is ready to start a new war if needed. The present crisis also puts India, a close long-term ally and trade partner of both US and Russia, in a bind if the crisis does translate into a war scenario. The big questing here being- will India remain neutral or choose a side?

But the first issue to understand is why is Russian fielding soldiers at the Ukraine border? What is President Vladimir Putin’s gameplay, and what does this crisis mean for India?

Professor Harsh V Pant, Director, Studies and Head of the Strategic Studies Programme at the Observer Research Foundation, a global policy think tank. 

Host and Producer: Himmat Shaligram
Editor: Shorbori Purkayastha

Music: Big Bang Fuzz

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