by Raffaele Crocco

On the eve of the second anniversary of the Russian invasion, there is no news from the battlefield. The strategy is changing, the objectives are changing, at least for some of Ukraine’s allies. The Washington Post leaks that the US has a new plan: to help Kyiv repel Russian attacks, without claiming to regain lost territory.

All this while the US Senate is debating whether this war should be refinanced and some European allies are beginning to waver. It is a fierce clash that is also reflected in the political struggle in Kyiv. President Vlodomir Zelenskyy remains the herald of the thesis of the total reconquest of the territory, unlike General Valeriy Zalunznyi, the head of the armed forces, whom Zelenskyy has just dismissed and replaced with General Oleksandr Syrskyi.

Zalunznyj wanted to consolidate the defences rather than waste resources on futile counter-attacks. The clash between the two was now obvious, with Zelenskyy increasingly intent on getting rid of the general. The European Union and NATO also seem to be on the President’s side, still convinced of the need to arm Kyiv in order to force Putin to let go and return to his own territory. Meanwhile, the fighting continues.

Moscow continues to bomb cities. Kyiv was even hit: part of the capital was left without electricity. Russian forces also bombed the city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine. Meanwhile, the head of the military administration of the region of the same name, Oleg Synegubov, said that the Russian army had launched at least four attacks in the area. The attacks continue, destabilising an ever more precarious international situation. The direct link with what is happening in Gaza is becoming increasingly clear.

The strategic and economic implications of the two scenarios continue to overlap, revealing a single struggle for control of the planet. Everything seems more and more connected. The Israeli Government, with prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has reiterated that it wants to get to the bottom of Gaza. The war does not stop and civilians continue to die. The death toll may have reached 30,000. International pressure is not enough to stop the Israeli war machine. In Ramallah, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met the President of the Palestinian Authority, Abu Mazen. He reiterated the “support of the United States for the reform of the Palestinian Authority and the creation of an independent Palestinian State.”

A strong signal to Tel Aviv, but not enough to stop the massacre. And, above all, not enough to stop the escalation of the conflict. In the Red Sea, in the name of solidarity with the Palestinians, the Houthis continue to attack the ships of Israel’s allies, suffering the military response – in the form of air strikes – of the coalition created to guarantee commercial maritime traffic. Now it seems they want to cut the underwater cables that guarantee Internet connections.

The war is becoming hybrid and, somehow, more and more total. The clash between the two alliances polarising the world could open up new fronts. The pro-US, committed to blocking its expansion, and the “alternatives” face each other, with alliances expanding and touching even distant places. One need only think of Aukus, the politico-military treaty between Australia, Britain and the US to maintain control of the Pacific to the detriment of China, which is now expanding into Southeast Asia and the islands. Places far from where the fighting is taking place today. But even there, the echoes of the clash could arrive at any moment and ignite the flames of war. In an escalation that everyone says is under control, but no one knows where it will really lead.