Shaurya Path: Discussion with Brigadier Tripathi on issues related to India-Russia, Israel-Hamas, Russia-Ukraine, Turkey-Syria

This week in CricketInFocus News Network’s special program Shaurya Path, we discussed with Brigadier Shri DS Tripathi (Retd) on issues related to India-Russia relations, Israel-America relations, Russia-Ukraine war and the ongoing tension between Turkey and Syria. Here is the detailed interview-

Question 1. How do you see Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to Russia?

Answer- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin will review the entire gamut of bilateral relations including areas such as defence, investment, energy cooperation, education, culture and people-to-people exchanges at the upcoming annual India-Russia summit. Modi will visit Russia on a two-day official visit from July 8 to 9 at the invitation of Putin. He will attend the 22nd India-Russia Summit, which will review the full range of multifaceted relations between the two countries. Putin will host a private dinner for Modi on the day of his arrival. The Prime Minister will also lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Kremlin. He will then visit the Rosatom pavilion at the Exhibition Ground in Moscow. These meetings will be followed by a restricted meeting between the two leaders, followed by delegation-level talks led by the Prime Minister and the Russian President. The annual India-Russia summit is being held after three years and we attach great importance to it. The issue of early return of Indian citizens misled to work in the Russian army is also expected to be discussed. This will be Modi’s first visit to Russia in nearly five years. Earlier, he attended an economic conference in Vladivostok in 2019. This will also be his first visit to Russia after the conflict in Ukraine.

Brigadier Shri DS Tripathi (Retd) said that so far 21 annual summits have been held alternately between India and Russia. The last summit was held on 6 December 2021 in New Delhi. Putin came to India to attend this summit. He said that the India-Russia summit will provide an opportunity to discuss the entire spectrum of bilateral relations including defense, investment, education and culture and people-to-people relations. He said that both sides are working on documents regarding the 22nd India-Russia summit.

Brigadier Shri DS Tripathi (Retd) said that Russia is also very excited about the visit of Prime Minister Modi. He said that describing India as an old friend of Russia, the Russian envoy to the United Nations has said that his country has special strategic partnership relations with New Delhi and he hopes that bilateral relations will improve even further after the possible visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Russia. He said that apart from this, the Kremlin spokesman has also said that given the “extremely trusting nature” of the relationship between Putin and Modi, no topic will be untouched by them in the meeting between the two leaders. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that Putin and Modi will discuss regional and global security, trade and all other topics of the agenda during their meeting.

Question-2. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is going to visit America soon where he will meet US President Joe Biden. Meanwhile, some Israeli generals have expressed their desire that this war should be ended. How do you see this?

Answer- It is true that some people in the Israeli army also want the war to end but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to completely destroy Hamas so that there is no problem in the future. But their problem is that there is a shortage of weapons and war material. The Israeli army also knows that if it has to survive for a long time, weapons will be needed. It also does not want to face defeat, so some generals have presented the idea of ​​a ceasefire. As far as US-Israel relations are concerned, there is not much bitterness in it. America stands with Israel. It is hoped that Netanyahu will be successful in getting help during his US tour. But in view of the elections in America, due to domestic political compulsions, Joe Biden may not be able to help Netanyahu that much right now.

Question-3. There seems to be no sign of the Russia-Ukraine war ending. There are reports that Ukraine will now try to harm Russia with the help of AI.

Answer- At present, many Ukrainian companies are helping their army through AI so that Russia can be defeated. He said that the pressure on Ukraine to defeat the enemy is increasing because many countries are now tired of helping. He said that at present Ukraine has become the Silicon Valley of technical weapons. He said that companies here are bringing such technology which accurately targets the target according to human thinking.

Brigadier Shri DS Tripathi (Retd) said that in this third year of war, the situation in both the countries is that there is a shortage of soldiers and the soldiers who are standing in the field are tired. He said that in such a situation, Ukraine has started targeting Russia by using technology as a weapon. He said that the wide availability of off-the-shelf devices, easy-to-design software, powerful automation algorithms and special artificial intelligence microchips has accelerated this race of modern weapons. He said that now killer robots are being born instead of deadly soldiers. He said that the most advanced version of the technology that allows drones and other machines to act autonomously is made possible by deep learning, which is a form of AI and it uses large amounts of data to identify patterns and make decisions. He said that deep learning has helped in creating many types of drones.

Brigadier Shri DS Tripathi (Retd) said that long range drones are being made in Kiev which use automated systems. He said that these drones send real-time videos. He said that today such a situation is emerging that through technology, a swarm of drones can automatically attack the enemy simultaneously and the day is not far when machine guns with computer vision will automatically kill soldiers. He said that this technology can give Ukraine an edge against Russia but human rights groups and UN officials want to limit its use fearing that this may start a new arms race which will not be under anyone’s control.

Brigadier Shri DS Tripathi (Retd) said that as the war against Russia drags on, Ukraine is emerging as a testing ground for cutting-edge warfare, including drones and other vehicles that are capable of completing parts of their missions on their own. He said that AI-powered drones can do in a few seconds what a human would have to do in several hours. He said that technology has been the pivot of Ukraine’s battle ever since Russian tanks arrived on the Ukrainian borders in February 2022. He said that Russia has also made full arrangements to stop Ukraine’s ordinary drones. He said that Russia has jamming stations every 10 kilometers on the front line, so Ukraine has been forced to take the help of AI. He said that Ukraine, trying to gain an edge over Russia, has started focusing more on developing and testing countermeasures in collaboration with local and Western companies and putting them on the battlefield.

Question 4. Why has Turkey been forced to close its border with Syria?

Answer- Actually, there was an incident of violence against people of Syrian origin living in Turkey, which angered the people in Syria. He said that seeing the violent reaction of the Syrian people on the border, Turkish soldiers opened fire, which increased the tension. He said that after this Turkey closed its main border in north-west Syria.

Brigadier Shri DS Tripathi (Retd) said that in view of the situation, police in Turkey detained hundreds of people involved in attacks targeting the Syrian community across the country. He said that properties and vehicles of Syrians were vandalised and set on fire in the central city of Kayseri. He said that in fact this uproar was sparked by social media reports that a Syrian man had sexually abused a female relative. He said that Turkey’s MIT intelligence agency has said in a statement that the violence spread to the provinces of Gaziantep, Konya, Bursa and Istanbul district. He said that after this hundreds of angry Syrians took to the streets in several cities of rebel-held northwestern Syria. He said that this is an area where Turkey has kept thousands of troops and made it a zone of influence. He said that this move of Turkey has prevented Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from gaining control here.

Brigadier Shri DS Tripathi (Retd) said the Syrian border town of Afrin was the site of the most violent clashes, where four people were killed in crossfire between armed protesters and Turkish troops. He said clashes and armed clashes took place elsewhere, with civilians in several towns pelting stones at Turkish troop convoys and tearing down Turkish flags on some offices. He said many Turkish officials described the unrest in Syria as a “provocation”. He said Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in a speech accused groups linked to terrorist organisations of “planning chaos” and vowed to expose the “dirty hands” behind the recent incidents. “We know who is playing in these games organised with terrorist organisations,” Erdogan said after a cabinet meeting. “Neither we, nor our Syrian brothers, will fall into this cunning trap… we will not succumb to racist barbarism,” he said.

Brigadier Shri DS Tripathi (Retd) said that Erdogan said that more than 670,000 people have returned to areas of northern Syria where Turkey has been working to create safe zones for the past decade. He said that Erdogan has assured that the refugee issue will be resolved humanely and ethically in line with Turkey’s economic realities. He said that we have to keep in mind that Turkey is hosting more than 3 million Syrian war refugees.

Brigadier Shri DS Tripathi (Retd) said Erdogan had said last Friday that a meeting with Assad was possible to help restore bilateral ties. He said Turkey had severed ties with Syria after the 2011 Syrian civil war and supported rebels seeking to oust Assad from power.

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