Experts believe that if the special military operation in Ukraine achieves its stated goal, Russia will be confident in launching another one soon after.
Goals after the Ukraine campaign ?
As the military operation in Ukraine is still ongoing, it is too early to predict what Russia’s next plan will be. However, there is a view that the Americans need to be ready now before Moscow targets a new target.
According to Walter Berbric, founding director of the Arctic Research Group, Russia’s next target is Earth’s northern polar region.
This expert explains that the real cause of today’s crisis stems from President Vladimir Putin’s desire to bring Ukraine back into Russia’s orbit.
At its height, the Russian Empire stretched across northern parts of Europe and Asia, covering almost one-sixth of the Earth’s area. The territory of Russia then included not only the present territory but also Ukraine and Finland, as well as many other countries today.
In 2005, President Putin called the collapse of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical disaster of the twentieth century”. Last year, the Russian leader also emphasized that “what has been built over the past 1,000 years has been largely lost”.
Berbric believes that in the event that the military operation in Ukraine achieves its goals, Russia will be confident in further expanding its influence in the Arctic.
Running along the maritime border of Russia and the United States, this is the shortest maritime trade route connecting Asia, Europe and North America; where nearly a third of the world’s untapped hydrocarbons are found; rich distribution of fish and rare earth minerals; as well as a place to witness the competition of China, Russia and NATO.
In the Arctic, the United States and NATO face a stark reality: the maritime-space-maneuver that the alliance has neglected for the past 30 years is now filled with dense layers of military capabilities. Russia and China’s Distant Forces.
President Vladimir Putin has so much hope in the Arctic that he has devoted much to building an Arctic fleet, a string of ports along the northern coast and ambitious energy exploration projects.
Russia also wants to protect its ability to project military power from the Arctic to the North Atlantic and the Arctic to Europe in the event of a conflict with NATO.
And an important part of that is ensuring the strike capability of ballistic missile submarines on the Kola Peninsula – home to a quarter of Russia’s most powerful nuclear submarine force and naval fleet.
Beware of each other
One of the other reasons why Russia is tightening this area has to do with Finland and Sweden. The military campaign in Ukraine has opened up the possibility that Sweden and Finland will soon become members of NATO.
But like Ukraine, the membership of Finland and Sweden in the alliance is a red line for Russia. As the Kremlin warned last week, this will lead to “serious political and military consequences”.
Another great test for the West is the Bering Strait. In the coming decades, the Bering Strait is very likely to emerge as an important global maritime hub, connecting Asia, Europe and North America.
The Bering Strait provides Russia with the ability to project forces from the Arctic to the Pacific and vice versa. The route also gives Russia a strategic lever to close or control the strait.
In addition, the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard is also said to be an important site. Russia wants to exploit large mineral and energy deposits around the Svalbard Sea. And from a military perspective, Svalbard is important because of its strategic location between the Barents Sea, Greenland and Norway.
Whoever holds Svalbard will control the important gateway from the Barents Sea to the North Atlantic Ocean. And for Russia’s Northern Fleet, Bear Island between mainland Norway and the archipelago’s southernmost island is key to conducting anti-infiltration operations and extending into further maritime areas. to the south, potentially threatening NATO
Berbric said that, when Russia has a clear plan for its next actions, the West may have to prepare soon for the situation in the Arctic in the future.