With each new allegation, we prepare for the worst. Vladimir Putin’s latest ploy to set up a false flag campaign suggesting Ukraine is preparing chemical weapons for the US is just as absurd as the rest of his black propaganda. But experience has shown that he only ever accuses someone of atrocities as a precursor to committing a crime on his own.
That is why the latest reports that he is planning to stage a terrorist attack on Chernobyl to distract the world from the more barbaric carnage he intends to unleash must be seriously considered. After all, he bombarded a nuclear plant. The fact that the Russian president has gone through so many stages of delusion is no reason to underestimate their destructive power. His detachment from the heinous crimes he was committing against an innocent population was innate.
His crafting of aircraft and artillery makes the deception all the more pernicious, but Beijing’s willingness to buy into denial is becoming more and more troubling.
Since Putin moved his forces across the border, the Chinese government has played a neutral role. Failure to do so as the carnage increases risks making China more visible as an accomplice.
Moscow’s fall to an even darker level of violence than anything else is all too vivid. With plans for a lightning strike quickly thwarted due to heroic resistance and the incompetence of his forces, Putin dismissed the most primitive Plan B.
Russia has bomb sights in more cities. Hospitals and daycares will not be left out. Every day China’s refusal to condemn barbarism moves it further and further away from the international order.
Meanwhile, confusion between the US and its Nato allies over the delivery of Polish jets to Ukraine has drawn rebuke from President Volodymyr Zelensky. “This is not ping pong, this is human life,” he said.
As the whole world is obsessed with economic costs, it is impossible to forget that a price war is taking place in Ukraine.
The EU has moved closer to agreeing to higher defense spending and reducing Russia’s energy dependence, but Brussels also lacks ideas on how to avert the consequences of deeper bloodshed.
Kyiv has shown a willingness to discuss neutrality. It could mean giving up on Nato membership in exchange for a collective security pact with major economies and neighboring countries. Both Kyiv and Moscow will be secured. Negotiations with Putin, although difficult, must remain open.
He is too shrewd to not see that, far from restoring Russia as a global power, he is undermining the country’s stature. The loss of “most-favored-nation” status makes it even more remote. President Zelensky felt his country had reached a strategic turning point in the war. Surely Putin’s strategy of blatant destruction can’t be the only one on the table?
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/editorial/a-path-to-peace-can-still-be-found-despite-the-carnage-41437915.html The path to peace can still be found despite the carnage