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Why Ukraine’s fight is key to defeating Russia-China-North Korea alliance

Defense expert Mykhailo Samus warns that Ukraine’s defeat by Russia would critically strengthen an aggressive bloc of China, North Korea, and Iran.
Ukrainian troops. Photo: General Staff of Ukraine
Why Ukraine’s fight is key to defeating Russia-China-North Korea alliance

Beyond Ukraine’s frontlines, an undeclared global war is unfolding as China’s vast proxy network stokes conflicts worldwide to undermine the US. The growing Russia-China-North Korea-Iran alliance exchanges arms, tech, funds and plants deadly technology in the hands of rogue states. 

Ukraine is key to dismantling this rising “axis of evil,” says Ukrainian defense expert Mykhailo Samus. If Ukraine falls, this undeclared war could spiral dangerously out of control.

In an interview with Euromaidan Press, Samus sheds light on how these powers support each other, emphasizing why Ukraine’s victory is crucial to defeat this “axis of evil.”

This is a shortened summary. Read the full interview here

Ukraine’s victory is critical in the fight against the “axis of evil.” Western partners monitor Ukrainian resolve, as losing the will to fight risks aid cutoffs. The US aid six-month delay tested Ukraine’s intentions, believes Mykhailo Samus.

The expert warns, “If Ukrainians stop fighting, the US and Europe will ultimately lose, despite thinking otherwise. China and Russia will then dictate terms.” 

The US aid approval suggests Donald Trump changed stance, realizing appeasing Russia by allowing it to take Ukraine would only empower Beijing. A Ukrainian victory could pull Russia away from China, Trump’s priority foe, allowing him to dismantle the axis before confronting Beijing alone.

Although China downplays its importance, the front in Ukraine is critical to Beijing’s interests. North Korea acts as China’s proxy in providing military aid to Russia against Ukraine through a complex trilateral economic-military alliance:

  • Russia obtains yuan from selling oil to China and reinvests it in North Korea.
  • North Korea uses those yuan to procure Chinese materials to produce weapons for Russia’s Ukraine invasion.
  • Russia acquires industrial goods from China using the yuan proceeds.
  • Russia bolsters North Korea’s missile, nuclear, and submarine programs through tech transfers.
The growing Russia-Iran-North Korea-China military-economic alliance

This arrangement allows Russia to circumvent sanctions, funds North Korea’s military development, and provides China economic leverage – all indirectly challenging US power through allies.

Iran is more self-sufficient but parallels exist. It supplies Russia with Shahed drones while Russia provides Iran with jets and tech assistance, likely aiding Iran’s missile and nuclear programs.

Russia utilizes Iran as a proxy force in the Middle East to undermine US and Western influence, aligning with China’s objectives against the West. This exemplifies an emerging “axis of evil” dynamic:

  • Russia uses North Korean missiles against Ukraine
  • Iran deploys Shahed drones to Russia for use in Ukraine
  • Combat experience in Ukraine directly enhances Iranian capabilities used elsewhere, like the recent drone strikes on Israel.

Significantly, Iran’s attack on Israel overtly showcased Teheran’s potential nuclear capabilities – a warning of possible nuclear retaliation if escalation continues. By urging Israeli restraint, the US projected weakness, reminiscent of pressuring Kyiv to limit Ukraine’s response against Russia’s invasion.

China is the lynchpin enabling the “axis of evil,” wielding Russia and North Korea as proxies to undermine US power. Beijing viewed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a calculated strike against American influence, but miscalculated as Ukraine’s resilience only amplified US sway with Europe rearming.

As the expert explains, “China’s strategy was clear: Russia subjugating Ukraine would erode US influence in the post-Soviet sphere and Europe, while leveraging North Korea to marginalize the US presence in East Asia – a comprehensive, multi-domain campaign.”

A parallel dynamic plays out in the Middle East, where China maintains the core interest of diminishing US regional clout, even if not overtly involved.

However, the US currently lacks any coherent strategic vision to address these multi-pronged “axis” challenges – in the Middle East, against Russia and China, or even regarding Ukraine. A comprehensive strategic reassessment is urgently needed, Samus warns.

Had Russia succeeded in occupying Ukraine, it could have emboldened China to militarily move against Taiwan while undermining US influence. However, that window has closed with Ukraine’s resilience.

Samus warns attempting to seize Taiwan now would be disastrous for China – facing sanctions, European isolation, and a severe economic blow. Such an attempt would isolate China economically, against Beijing’s interests deeply integrated with the global economy and reliant on US/European markets.

Isolationism holds no appeal for the US either, as regaining economic leadership requires globalization. America aims to reshore advanced manufacturing and drive the next tech revolution.

“The US strives to build powerful, cutting-edge industries as the global leader in new-generation technologies like AI and robotics,” explains an expert.

As AI’s globalizing nature makes isolationism impractical, the question remains – who will lead the next industrial revolution under these principles? 

The “axis of evil” advocates a “multipolar world” – imposing new orders through force. They currently attempt to dismantle the existing order via hybrid tactics like proxies and mercenaries, aiming to dictate their vision post-victory.

“They have not abandoned these ambitions. But the US and Europe are gradually engaging, recognizing that further complacency risks awakening to a reality where dictatorships dominate and democracies are diminished to a civilizational dead-end,” Samus believes. 

Triumph in the AI race will shape whether a democratic or authoritarian vision defines the future global order. The stakes are existential as powers vie for technological supremacy. Ukraine’s victory against Russia would deal a major blow to the authoritarian axis, demonstrating democratic resilience.

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