Frontlines: National interests vs ideology, Indian separatism, and Western support for Ukraine


Welcome to the third episode of a new podcast: “Frontlines — Geopolitics affecting agriculture,” with co-hosts Shaun Haney of RealAgriculture and Jacob Shapiro, geopolitical analyst with Cognitive Investments and Perch Perspectives.

Eagle-eyed (eared?) listeners will note this is a brand new name for this collaboration, but not the first episode. Tune in each month for a new episode of the podcast, or hit that subscribe button below. Hit the video player to watch/listen to this latest discussion, and scroll further for a full summary of talking points.

In this episode, the two unpack the India-Canada diplomatic nightmare of the last few weeks and how the Ukraine/Russia war might end.


  • Indian PM Modi’s Hindu nationalist ideology and its impact on minorities. As a majority Hindu population, India’s minorities (Muslims, Sikhs, etc.) are likely to suffer under Modi’s leadership, with the Sikhs being a particular focus in the Canada-India spat
  • The complexity of India’s political landscape, including the country’s diverse backgrounds and regions, and the ongoing conflict between India and Pakistan
  • A brief history of the Sikh community in India, including their struggle for an independent state known as Khalistan.
  • What about the latest news with Canada? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in a difficult position. He tried to talk to Modi about the issue, but the Indian government blamed him for supporting separatists.
  • Trudeau’s actions towards India and its impact on trade agreements — public criticism of India may jeopardize trade agreement and national interests
  • Trudeau’s actions on India may have ruined opportunities for Canadian farmers and industry, despite good intentions
  • Interest-based foreign policy is more effective than ideologically-based policy
  • Moving on to the Ukraine/Russia war: Ukraine’s success in war is dependent on Western support (money)
  • Zelensky is facing challenges in securing support for Ukraine due to public fatigue with the war, with poll numbers flagging in the West
  • Zelensky needs to show tangible progress in the counteroffensive to cut off Russian supply lines to Crimea, which is the key to long-term success
  • The complex history of World War II and its relevance to the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia
  • The complexities of World War II-era Eastern Europe, highlighting the rivalries between National Socialism (Nazism) and communism, as well as the involvement of various ethnic and political groups
  • Potential peaceful resolution to Ukraine conflict? Former Finnish Prime Minister Asana Moran suggests a peaceful solution to the Ukraine-Russia conflict, with Russia returning to its pre-war borders and achieving peace
  • Russia has shown no willingness to negotiate a settlement that would satisfy Ukraine’s desires, according to French President Emmanuel Macron
  • Putin has surrounded himself with oligarchs who are dependent on him and don’t gain from getting rid of him
  • Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict and Nagorno-Karabakh situation are seen as indicators of Russian weakness, with Turkey and Azerbaijan gaining influence in the region.

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