By Andrew Korybko
All that Russia has to do is simply continue to exist in defiance of the US’ politically unrealistic “Balkanization” plots in order to ensure the global systemic transition’s ultimate evolution towards multiplexity.
The Ukrainian Conflict, which is actually a US-led NATO proxy war on Russia that’s being waged in and through that former Soviet Republic, is trending towards a military stalemate. This observation is based on the likelihood that Russia’s partial mobilization of experienced reservists will eventually stabilize the line of control (LOC) between Moscow’s newly reunified regions in Novorossiya and its NATO-backed but Ukrainian-fronted opponents.
No major breakthrough by either side is expected. NATO is more than capable of preventing this with respect to Russia by continuing to invest infinite resources into its proxies while Moscow can resort to tactical nukes in self-defense as an absolute last resort to uphold its territorial integrity. For these reasons, the LOC will likely remain more or less the same, with only minor revisions that could at maximum result in Russia extending its writ to the administrative borders of its four newest regions.
Seeing as how this emerging outcome wouldn’t fulfill the goals that Russia declared at the start of its special operation regarding Ukraine’s demilitarization, denazification, and military neutrality, not to mention Donbass’ full liberation, it’s understandable why most observers would conclude that a military stalemate is equivalent to a strategic loss for Russia. There’s another reason for this opinion as well, namely the fact that the US exploited the conflict to successfully reassert its hegemony over Europe.
The EU can no longer be regarded as a strategically autonomous actor in the global systemic transition to multipolarity, having instead become the US’ largest vassal state and thus a continental-wide platform for perpetually threatening Russia’s national security interests, including through hybrid means. Put another way, the exact same security threats that Russia regarded as emanating from Ukraine have been expanded to include the entirety of Europe, which reinforces the above conclusion.
Nevertheless, that selfsame conclusion is still false for reasons that will now be explained. First, Russia remains more than capable of protecting its fundamental national security interests, especially through its global leadership of hypersonic technologies that ensure the integrity of its nuclear second-strike capabilities and thus prevents it from becoming susceptible to the US’ nuclear blackmail. This means that its strategic autonomy throughout the course of the global systemic transition is guaranteed.
Second, that aforementioned transition has been unprecedentedly accelerated as a result of the full-spectrum paradigm-changing consequences catalyzed by its special operation, particularly throughout the Global South. The three relevant outcomes are that developing countries reaffirmed their strategic autonomy by refusing to sanction Russia; India decisively intervened to preemptively avert Russia’s disproportionate dependence on China; and China’s superpower trajectory has thus been derailed.
Third, the present bi-multipolar intermediate phase of the global systemic transition is therefore evolving towards tripolarity a lot quicker than expected ahead of its final form of complex multipolarity (“multiplexity”). Both the American and (aspiring) Chinese superpowers associated with the bi-multipolar concept are therefore losing their outsized influence in shaping International Relations as a result of multipolar Great Powers like India, Iran, Turkiye, and others accelerating their rise.
Fourth, the rapid evolution towards tripolarity and multiplexity creates countless opportunities for comparatively medium- and smaller-sized Global South states, which will naturally practice complex balancing acts between themselves, rising multipolar Great Powers, and the two superpowers. This interplay will further accelerate multipolar processes, thus reducing the previously outsized influence of the two superpowers, enhancing the Great Powers’, and finally giving lesser players their own influence.
And finally, President Putin’s revolutionary manifesto that he shared on 30 September ahead of signing the documents related to Novorossiya’s reunification with Russia will continue inspiring multipolar processes across the Global South, which ensure that the preceding trends remain on track. The cumulative impact of these systemic changes will therefore accelerate the global systemic transition to multipolarity that’s integral to Russia’s grand strategic interests.
Had it not been for the intertwined tripolarity-multiplexity breakthroughs created as a result of the systemic consequences catalyzed by its special operation, the present bi-multipolar intermediate phase of the global systemic transition would have remained the status quo indefinitely. Under those conditions, Russia would have inevitably been compelled to reach lopsided deals with China out of desperation at the expense of its strategic autonomy, thus transforming into Beijing’s “junior partner”.
In turn, India would have been compelled to become the US’ “junior partner” out of its own desperation to restore a sense of balance with China after fearing the consequences of Russia inadvertently turbocharging its neighbor’s superpower trajectory. That South Asian state’s Great Power peers would also have been placed in similar predicaments connected with the zero-sum choice of becoming either of those superpower’s “junior partner” due to the chain reaction created by Russia and India’s choices.
Within that bi-multipolar system, the only truly sovereign states would be the two superpowers since the Great Powers’ sovereignty would be limited by them being forced to submit to “junior partner” status, which would in turn doom comparatively medium- and smaller-sized states. That bottom level of the international hierarchy would have been deprived of any semblance of sovereignty beyond whatever might be afforded to them by the superpowers to prevent their “defection” to the other.
Instead of that dark future, which is essentially bipolar and much more rigid than the system that was in place during the Old Cold War since the multipolar aspect would simply be superficial seeing as how it would essentially be controlled by the two superpowers, true multipolarity is emerging. This represents a grand strategic victory not just for Russia, but for the entire international community, which thus makes it a grand strategic defeat for the US.
By maintaining the emerging military stalemate in Ukraine, whether through conventional means related to its partial mobilization of experienced reservists like it intends or resorting to tactical nukes in self-defense as the absolute last resort if required, Russia is still assured strategic success in the long run. All that it has to do is simply continue to exist in defiance of the US’ politically unrealistic “Balkanization” plots in order to ensure the global systemic transition’s ultimate evolution towards multiplexity.