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Gaza and Ukraine are part of Putin’s world war

The Israel-Gaza and Ukraine-Russia conflicts are linked — and are part of a world war started by Vladimir Putin in 1999 to restore the Soviet Union’s empire after becoming President of Russia.

This world war has not been recognized because it uses proxies, non-state actors like Hamas or other terrorist organizations, as well as extremist political groups. Russia’s mercenary Wagner Group has also played a surreptitious role in destabilizing Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Russia is behind both wars — and most of the world’s strife — because no concerted effort has been mounted to stop Putin. Catastrophes and chaos are dealt with piecemeal. This is why American politicians argue about funding Ukraine as opposed to Israel, as though the same enemy wasn’t behind both conflicts. Only a global alliance ended World War II, and its allies never bickered about allocations to fight Germany as opposed to Japan.

Israel’s current predicament illustrates why the failure to realize Putin’s intentions can be fatal and damaging to the West as a whole. Israel’s leadership was on good terms with Putin, and lukewarm toward helping Ukraine fight Russia. It was also unaware that Russia was backing Hamas. The slaughter took place on October 7 and, on October 29, a Hamas spokesman admitted publicly, “Russia is our closest friend.”

After the massacre, Israel counterattacked Hamas with bombs and launched a ground invasion as though it was fighting a conventional war, when in fact most of the enemy had already left town. Thousands of civilians have been killed and only a few dozen Hamas operatives died. This outcome handed Russia an opportunity to weaponize the air waves by amplifying the plight of Palestinian civilians and criticizing Israel and the West.

Putin even gave an interview to Qatar-owned Al Jazeera where he expressed concern about the “catastrophic increase” in the number of civilians killed in Israel and Gaza. “The Russian leader also took aim at Washington’s policy in the Middle East, which he said had failed by not taking the needs of Palestinians into account,” read the site.

The failure to take a global approach to stop Russia also resulted in the Ukrainian war. For years, Putin coopted European politicians and “salami-sliced” Eastern Europe by partially invading Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. If the West had understood it was at war, Europe would not have become dependent on Russian energy, and NATO would have allowed Ukraine and Georgia to join.

Interestingly, China has not joined Russia’s global war. Russia would love China to open another front by invading Taiwan, but China has distanced itself from Russia since the invasion of Ukraine, refusing to provide military aid.

Russia’s war also afflicts the United States and Europe because it includes weaponizing migration. As many as 20 million refugees have landed in Europe following Russian military interventions in Syria and Ukraine, and America is inundated with migrants from Russian-influenced Venezuela, Central America and Eastern Europe.

Obviously, Europe and America must secure their borders, but have not. This dereliction, in light of the Russian world war, raises the risk that among the tens of thousands of men who have migrated to the United States and Europe from all over the world, some could be spies, criminals, drug mules or terrorists. America’s southern border is a sieve and Europe is inundated with refugee claimants arriving by boat from the Middle East, or countries in Africa where Russian influence is powerful.

Russia has been conducting war for years and is winning. Only a global alliance, with hybrid war capability, can eradicate its network and end this world war.

Diane Francis is a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington at its Eurasia Center. She is editor at large at National Post in Canada, a columnist with Kyiv Post, author of 10 books, and specializes in geopolitics, white-collar crime, technology and business. She writes a newsletter about America and geopolitics twice weekly on Substack.

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