By Mohammad Mazhari

Ukraine war signals rise of multi-polar world: professor

May 15, 2022 - 12:0

TEHRAN – A professor of international human rights at the University Of Pittsburgh School of Law says that the Ukraine war solidifies the rise of a multi-polar world.

“It is clear that this war, and the West’s reaction to it, accelerates the rise of a multi-polar world, replacing the unipolar world in which the United States was the sole superpower,” Daniel Kovalik tells the Tehran Times.

“This development is a good one for the world which has been held hostage by the United States since the collapse of the USSR in 1991,” Kovalik notes.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict is likely to accelerate a long-standing transition to a multi-polar world, one that will be increasingly shaped by competition over strategic connectivity.

“The U.S. is the country that bears the most blame for this situation as the prime instigator of the war and the prime mover of these sanctions.”
This war showed the interconnected nature of the global system and how significantly those connections can be redirected due to conflicts such as the Ukraine war. Financial, energy and weaponry flow, and indeed even the flows of people in the form of refugees and internally displaced persons have been starkly impacted as a result of the Ukrainian conflict. The war has thus shaped the architecture of connectivity flows of the world, with Russia, Ukraine, and the West each trying to shape such flows to secure and benefit their respective positions.

Just as importantly, these shifts in connectivity flows can be seen as indicators and precursors of a broader shift in the global power architecture.

The Ukrainian conflict has impacted power relationships throughout the world, namely by accelerating the transition to a multipolar world order that was already underway well before the war began. 

Russia is directly challenging the global power position of the U.S. and its Western allies in Ukraine, while other actors are playing increasingly important roles in shaping both sides of the conflict and its impact on the broader world order, from China to Turkey to India.
 “The U.S. has used its power to invade and bully countries at will, destroying nations and causing the greatest migration crisis in world history.  From now on, the U.S. will not be able to act militarily with the impunity it has now enjoyed for over 40 years,” the American academic argues.

Following is the text of the interview:

Q: Western countries call the Russian attack on Ukraine “invasion” while the Kremlin call it “special military operation”. Do you think that Russia's military operation in Ukraine is legitimate?

 A: I believe that Russia was put in a position in which it had no choice but to intervene in Ukraine, both in its own defense and the defense of the people in the Donbas region. 

 In other words, this is a classic case of collective self-defense.  Ukraine was threatening and preparing to re-take Crimea by force and launch a massive invasion into Donbas after 8 years of already brutalizing that region in a conflict that claimed 14,000 lives even before the Russian intervention.  On the weekend before the Russian Special Operation, there were over 2000 ceasefire violations between the Ukrainian military and the Donbas, according to official EU observers in the theater.  Meanwhile, Russia had strong intelligence that the massive invasion of Donbas was imminent.  Russia had the choice to wait for that invasion to come and then face a situation in which it either could not stop it or only be able to stop it with a much larger loss of life than the Special Operation will entail, or to act pre-emptively, which is what it did.  I think that this was a defensible decision.

Q: How may the Ukraine war change the current world order?

 A: It is clear that this war, and the West’s reaction to it, will solidify the rise of a multi-polar world, replacing the unipolar world in which the United States was the sole superpower. This development is a good one for the world which has been held hostage by the United States since the collapse of the USSR in 1991.  The U.S. has used its power to invade and bully countries at will, destroying nations and causing the greatest migration crisis in world history.  From now on, the U.S. will not be able to act militarily with the impunity it has now enjoyed for over 40 years.

 Q: How do you see the global alignments when it comes to the Ukraine war? While Western powers condemn Moscow for the war the Eastern states are reluctant to denounce Russia.

A: For the most part, the only countries actively opposing Russia at present are those situated in the “West,” meaning the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan (an honorary Western country).  The rest of the world, both East and Global South – meaning most of the world – are either supportive of Russia or neutral.  I believe that these latter countries are taking such positions because they have suffered greatly under Western imperialism and will not support the West in what is clearly a proxy war against Russia.  I also believe that they welcome the multi-polar world which is now in birth.
 
Q: How do you see the role of mainstream media in representing this war?

 A: The Western mainstream media is unanimous in propagating anti-Russian propaganda on a level I certainly have not seen in my lifetime.  The media has whipped up hysteria against Russia to drum up support for the proxy war in Ukraine and possibly a war directly against Russia.  It is very difficult to find a counter-narrative to the mainstream version of events, and those journalists and outlets that are providing another point of view are being marginalized and silenced.

Q: What are the global fallouts of sanctioning Russia?

A: The sanctioning of Russia is and will continue to cause suffering throughout the world, including in the West.  Food prices are rising around the world and food is becoming scarce in certain parts of the world, for example in the Middle East which is experiencing a shortage of wheat and bread.  Fuel prices continue to rise which will cause a rise in the price of all consumer goods, hurting the poor and working-class in every country.

It looks like most of the world may be facing the prospects of a recession, if not depression, as the result of these ill-conceived sanctions.  The situation is quite dire, and the U.S. is the country that bears the most blame for this situation as the prime instigator of the war and the prime mover of these sanctions.


 

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