The last one year proved itself to be a very tough year, and it brought many new challenges for the international relations. Among these new challenges, the most striking one is probably the Russia’s unleashing a war of aggression on Ukraine. As Russia's invasion stepped up on the 24 February 2022, many Western experts and policymakers predicted that the Ukrainian armed forces wouldn't be able to defend Kyiv, and that it would fall to the invaders before the month ended. Nonetheless, the government and people of Ukraine are still fighting, and you can see evidence of this everywhere you walk in Kyiv thanks to the flag of free Ukraine flying from rooftops.
As Russia's invasion stepped up on the 24 February 2022, many Western experts and policymakers predicted that the Ukrainian armed forces wouldn't be able to defend Kyiv, and that it would fall to the invaders before the month ended. Nonetheless, the government and people of Ukraine are still fighting, and you can see evidence of this everywhere you walk in Kyiv thanks to the flag of free Ukraine flying from rooftops.
It is clear that we are entering a new era in international relations, one that has revived the horrors and catastrophes of the past and paved the way for "The Return of History," regardless of the outcome of the conflict in Ukraine. Now that a full year has passed since the beginning of the attack, TPQ has devoted this issue to exploring the implications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on many spheres, ranging from energy security to agriculture. At the same time, we' are raising the question of whether the current era deserves to be classified as the "new Cold War." If so, who are the competing parties, and in what ways is this new Cold War differs from the one that ended in 1991, with the United States and the liberal world emerging victorious?
To come up with sufficient and informative answers for these critical questions, we assembled a large number of extremely valuable articles written by eminent researchers, policymakers, journalists, and young experts. All around the world, from the United States to Russia, and from Türkiye to Sweden, manuscripts came in from our contributors. Hence, it is with great pleasure that we provide you with this very qualified issue, which investigates several facets of the emerging global order from an international perspective.
Professor Richard Sakwa investigates the causes of the resurgence of the Cold War and examines the differences between it with the original confrontation. He thinks the Cold War mentality is once again ruling world relations. These arguments suggest that the hope that the conclusion of the Cold War in 1989 would usher in a more universal and permanent peace has largely been disproved; instead, by 2014, the centennial of the beginning of World War I, Europe was once again in the grips of bloody war. The United States and the rest of the Political West, as it had been reshaped by the Cold War, remained on one side. On the other hand, he claims that a considerably diminished Russia has replaced the defunct Soviet Union, and that this is happening alongside a China that is determined to regain its great power position.
Professor Li Bennich-Björkman argues that Russia is using bombings, attacks, and cruelty to obliterate Ukraine's history. As a result, she sees the current conflict as a struggle to maintain the recollection of what a peaceful Ukraine looked like, smelt like, tasted like, and felt like. She contends that a split between Russia and Ukraine is inconceivable for Putin because of Ukraine's strategic importance to Russia. Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk understood this as early as 1991. She says that he and other Ukrainian leaders sought to defend Ukrainian territory while assuring Moscow that amicable ties remained a possibility. Russia, she complains, has never undergone a comparable transformation.
Professor Ziya Öniş, who believes that we are in the midst of a Neo Cold War, focuses more on the conflict between "the West" and "the Rest." He claims that the clash between democratic and authoritarian capitalism, the defining conflict of the new era, was exacerbated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. According to him, the concerted effort of Western nations to end the conflict was evidence of the resurgence of the democratic club of Western governments and their allies (G7 plus). He also argues that a significant schism in opinion has developed between "the West" and "the Rest" as a direct result of the War. He claims that the Russian War in Ukraine ushers in a new era in the post-Western world, one in which territorial conquests are accepted as the norm, setting the path for more armed clashes in a globe already riven by war.
Professor Nicolai N. Petro maintains that the healing of the Ukrainian people is often forgotten among the numerous conflicting narratives that drive the war in Ukraine. He argues that this is because the West is ignoring the "Other Ukraine," whose dissatisfaction with the actions of the Ukrainian government since 2014 has stoked tensions. According to him, the West's reaction to Russia's incursion has focused on punishing Moscow but hasn't done anything to ease the tensions within Ukraine. His work indicates that permanent societal harmony in Ukraine and peace in Europe can be achieved only via reconciliation inside Ukraine.
We encourage you to learn more about “A Year Since the Return of History: A New Cold War?”. On behalf of Transatlantic Policy Quarterly, I would like to express my gratitude to all the contributors who committed a significant amount of effort and work. The TPQ team has had a great time putting together this special issue. An important acknowledgment goes to our premium corporate sponsor Tüpraş. In addition, we would like to thank our online sponsor, and the sponsor of this issue, Monaco Economic Board. We also like to thank our other sponsors Gordon-Blair, Halifax, Kalekim, TEB, The Ritz-Carlton, and Uluslararası İlişkiler Dergisi for their ongoing support.
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