As Russia’s indiscriminate bombardment of Ukraine escalates, the situation looks increasingly desperate. With thousands of civilians now being slaughtered, there is no doubt that war crimes are being committed every day.
the announcement by oscow that its military “tasks” will now extend beyond the eastern donbass region will make the situation even more intractable. Faced with intense shelling of eastern and southern Ukraine, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia’s targets would expand further if the west continued to supply Kyiv with long-range weapons like the US-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket System.
The intensity and carelessness of the Russian attacks appear to be a deliberate attempt by Moscow to terrorize Ukraine into submission. The indifference to civilian casualties follows bloody tactics used in both Chechnya and Syria.
Behind it is the cold hand of Vladimir Putin. His vision of restoring a “Greater Russia” has become a personal obsession, but the ruinous results are being borne by his people, whom he has manipulated through propaganda and intense repression.
His iron will to stick to his plans should not be underestimated, regardless of the humanitarian or economic cost. The spillover effects of the carnage are having a terrifying human impact, but the geopolitical fallout is mounting as well.
This week we heard Taoiseach Micheál Martin say that 30,000 additional Ukrainians displaced by the war could arrive in Ireland.
The 40,000 already here would no doubt wish to return home, but are suffering the consequences of the brutal invasion. We’re fortunate to be able to help, and given the horrific nature of the Russian attack, that’s the least we can do.
However, the geopolitical consequences of this war cannot be overlooked.
The renewed fighting, suffering and bloodshed is destabilizing. The White House has also accused Russia of laying the groundwork for annexing Ukrainian territory it has seized since the war began.
It is accepted that the casualty figures drastically underestimate the real number. Millions have been displaced. Russia’s war aims have clearly expanded over the five months of the war.
Any pretense that Moscow is seeking anything other than imperial war has been blown away.
As Lavrov put it: “Now the geography is different, it’s far from just the DPR and LPR (the breakaway states of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic), it’s also the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions and a number of other areas.”
The invasion has pushed up global energy and food prices and escalated the threat of famine in poorer countries. Yesterday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen accused Russia of “blackmailing” the EU into using energy as a weapon. It is difficult to draw a conclusion while Putin is in office.
It remains uncertain when or how this war will end or how it will shape the international order.
But ultimate responsibility and the need to be held accountable rests with Vladimir Putin.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/editorial/price-for-putins-obsession-in-ukraine-will-be-borne-by-his-people-41856217.html The price of Putin’s obsession with Ukraine is being borne by his people