Fear, trauma and grief are now woven into the fabric of Ukrainian life. Russia continues to terrorize its people. But, as a rule, the older men who start wars keep a safe distance from all moral character and even more clearly shun any sense of personal responsibility.
It is therefore up to those who protect peace and hard-won values to bring them down.
Eight weeks after trampling on democracy and invading a country, Putin remains unconcerned. Several countries, including our own, pledge to hold him accountable for war crimes. His dreams remain undisturbed despite the nightmare he caused.
The Kremlin looks on with contempt. They reckoned that the West would not strike back. They will no doubt present the paralysis in producing an appropriate response as evidence of weakness. There is no denying that an effective means of exerting maximum pressure on Moscow has yet to be agreed upon. The EU and the UN are obviously not indifferent to what is happening in Ukraine, but given the scale of the civilian carnage, their involvement has been far from decisive.
A gentle pragmatism pervades, despite the devastation of Putin’s delusional seizure of power.
“History will not forget the war crimes committed in Ukraine,” European Council President Charles Michel said yesterday after an unannounced visit to Kyiv.
The EU is again preparing measures to prevent Russia from circumventing sanctions.
All that paperwork may pay off, but not enough to end the war.
While Brussels flexed its bureaucratic muscles, the Ukrainian defenders in Mariupol received a final ultimatum. “The world is watching the murder of children online and is silent,” Presidential Advisor Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter.
A Ukrainian naval commander fighting in Mariupol said his forces are “perhaps facing our last days, if not hours”.
“The enemy outnumbers us ten to one,” said Serhiy Volyna, a commander of the 36th Separate Marine Brigade, in a video message posted to Facebook. “We appeal and ask all world leaders to help us. We ask them to use the extraction process and take us to the territory of a third country.”
The vastly outnumbered Ukrainian forces are the last stand defending Mariupol. They know they are on their own, as are the estimated 1,000 civilians believed to be sheltering at the Azovstal steel mill in Mariupol. If Russia remains so ruthless and contemptuous of international humanitarian laws protecting civilians, its prospects are bleak.
After eight weeks of barbarism, EU countries are still fattening Moscow’s coffers with gas purchases. Obligations to provide personnel transporters also have yet to be met.
The number of refugees who have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded has exceeded five million. The fact that “history will not be forgotten,” as Mr. Michel assured Ukrainians, may be of little consolation when the worst comes to the worst.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/editorial/talk-of-solidarity-is-scant-comfort-for-ukrainians-41571919.html Talk of solidarity is no consolation for Ukrainians