Ukraine Conflict
Moscow launched a special military operation in Ukraine in February 2022 with the aim of saving the people of Donbass - primarily the Russian-speaking population - from Kiev's constant attacks.

Kuleba's India Visit: Ukraine Remembers Mahatma Gandhi a Little too Late

© AP Photo / Efrem LukatskyUkrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba attends a joint news conference with European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell following their talks in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba attends a joint news conference with European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell following their talks in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) - Sputnik India, 1920, 27.03.2024
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba will undertake a visit to New Delhi on 28-29 March, India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Wednesday. Kuleba will hold talks with EAM S Jaishankar in New Delhi during the visit.
Ahead of his visit to India, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba invoked Indian freedom fighter and global non-violence icon Mahatma Gandhi in a video to announce his upcoming trip.
"According to Gandhi, the future depends on what we do in the present. Hence, supporting Ukraine today means supporting freedom and independence, supporting the legacy of the great Mahatma," the top Ukrainian diplomat remarked, in what is being viewed as another attempt to lobby India's support for the 'Peace Summit' to be hosted by Switzerland in coming months.
However, Kuleba's appeal, especially the invocation of Gandhi, hasn't gone down well in India.

"Ukraine has remembered Gandhi a little too late," Brigadier V Mahalingam (Retd), a former commander of a Mountain Brigade and former Force Commander of the National Security Guard, told Sputnik India.

The strategic affairs analyst jibed that Ukraine should have remembered Gandhi when it took the call to junk the Minsk II Accord and instead opted to escalate tensions with Russia, ultimately leading to Moscow's decision to launch a special military operation to liberate Donbass territories in 2022.
Noting that the 10-point peace plan floated by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stressed on restoring Kiev's territorial integrity, Mahalingam recalled that "guarantees of territorial integrity of the Donbass region had also been enshrined in the Minsk II Accords, which were all but rejected by Ukraine subsequently".

"What happened after the Istanbul peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, which by the way was initialled by both parties in March 2022? Ukraine decided to listen to the former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who in turn was tutored by US. Why Mahatma Gandhi now? Ukraine should now get back to Boris Johnson instead of remembering Gandhi," Mahalingam criticised Kiev.

'No Useful Purpose Served for India' in Attending the Switzerland Summit

In a telephone call between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on 20 March, the Ukrainian leader "emphasized the importance of India's participation in the inaugural peace summit".
New Delhi has so far refused to confirm its participation at the so-called 'peace summit'. Russia has refused to participate in the summit, which seeks to advance Zelensky's rejected 10-point formula.

Mahalingam underlined that there won't be any "useful purpose" for New Delhi in attending the upcoming Switzerland peace conference.

"The 10-point agenda floated by Ukraine, whether accepted by Russia or not, is unacceptable to any right-thinking individual and this peace process is bound to fail," the Indian veteran confidently predicted.

Echoing New Delhi's official stance right from the start of the conflict, Mahalingam stressed that any peace talks in the future must be held between Ukraine and Russia.
"The reasons Russia has cited at the start of the special military operations cannot be forgotten. These will have to be implemented for a permanent peace," he underlined.

US Doesn't Appear in Favour of Peace in Ukraine as Yet

Dwelling on the question of fixing accountability for the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack in Moscow which left 139 people dead, Mahalingam opined that the deadly assault was possibly engineered with the help of the US.

"The assumption in the wake of the deadly Crocus City Hall attack is that US might have got an inkling that Zelensky may be changing his mind in favour of peace due to growing battlefield. So, the CIA and Ukrainian elements may have been involved in the terrorist attack in Moscow. Ukraine isn't capable of carrying out such a terrorist attack on its own," the strategic affairs analyst reckoned.

He noted that media reports in the lead-up to the attack, claiming that the Ukrainian Embassy in Tajikistan had been on the lookout for people to fighting for Ukraine against Russia.
All the four Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP)* gunmen arrested and put on trial for the attack have been identified as citizens of Tajikistan.
Importantly, Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Alexander Bortnikov and Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev have pointed to the role of Ukraine in the attack.
Mahalingam echoed the concerns of Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Sergey Naryshkin that the US was training ISKP militants at the Al-Tanf military base at the border of Syria, Jordan, and Iraq.

"There are certain linkages between the US and Islamic State (IS), though we can't say to what degree. Therefore, I would believe that this particular attack in Moscow would have US hand," he estimated.

"Another question that pops up in the mind is what would IS gain by carrying out a terrorist attack in Russia? What would they gain?" wondered Mahalingam.
A law enforcement officer is seen near the burning Crocus City Hall concert venue following a reported shooting incident, near Moscow, Russia. - Sputnik India, 1920, 26.03.2024
Ukraine Behind Moscow Concert Hall Terrorist Attack: Russian Security Council Secretary
*banned terrorist group in Russia and many other countries
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