The recent war in Ukraine before the advance of the Russian army raises the question of what other countries can be invaded?
LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández
The world is shocked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A frontal attack in the heart of Europe that few expected in the 21st century exposed Russia's expansionist aspirations. With the excuse of liberating the Russian villages in Lugansk and Donetsk (eastern Ukraine), the Russian army has launched a full invasion of the eastern country.
However, after what happened in Ukraine, it is not unthinkable that there is a risk of new invasions. Either by Russia or by some other power. All countries have increased the alert to possible operations. Many Western leaders denounce that the intentions of Vladimir Putin, Russian President, do not stop only in the separatist regions of eastern Ukraine, nor in Kiev or throughout the country. Many warn that Putin's real intentions are reunification of the Soviet republics. Which countries are at high risk of being invaded?
In the Caucasus region, in Georgia (sovereignty in question), there is a province called South Ossetia. Here, a percentage of the population wants independence from Georgia and to be able to join North Ossetia, which remains in Russia. Simply put, the desire of the locals is annexation with Russia. However, Georgia refuses to cede territory that it recognizes as part of its sovereignty since the separation from the Soviet Union. Currently, both Ossetia and Abkhazia are under the tutelage of the Russian Armed Forces, although Georgia still considers them part of its territory.
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
These 3 Baltic nations and former members of the Soviet Union may also be under Putin's radar. However, and unlike Ukraine, the 3 are already part of NATO, so an invasion similar to the one experienced in Ukraine in any of these countries would trigger a war between Russia and all NATO members (United States, Spain, Canada, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Turkey, etc.).
Another possibility that Putin can see in the medium term in his dreams of a new Pan-Slavic Empire is the small nation of Moldova (between Romania and Ukraine). It is a former Soviet Union territory that is currently outside NATO (as is Ukraine). Similarly, the country has a pro-Western and pro-Russian divide. In addition, it has the tenth population of Russians outside the Federation. With data from 2004, 30% of the population was Russian.
This population, mainly localized in the Transnistria region, maintains an independentist and pro-Russian spirit, similar to the situation in Donetsk and Lugansk. According to swissinfo.com, there are 2,000 Russian soldiers in the area and, Moldova is not constitutionally required to maintain a position of neutrality.
Taiwan and the South China Sea
Indeed, Russia does not have any priority interest in this area but another global superpower has interests and possible intentions to carry out military operations that would trigger another world crisis. On the one hand, Taiwan, a small island in the Pacific a few hundred kilometers from the Chinese coast, is a territory historically claimed by China. The political elite has been emphatic that Taiwan belongs to Chinese sovereignty and that sooner or later, it will return to its power.
As with Hong Kong, Taiwan will be able to calmly wait for the convenient moment when the annexation takes place. A possible voluntary union between the two countries seems increasingly distant since the Taiwanese identify themselves as an independent country with democratic values that China and the communist party regime do not seem to approve it. For now, the island has the support of the United States and is perhaps the reason why China has remained cautious, but this does not mean that it has forgotten its historical claim on the island
Similarly, south of Taiwan and China, more precisely between Vietnam and the Philippines, there is also an area where China claims its historical sovereignty. It is known as the South China Sea.