Reason should be the arithmetic of emotions. But when it’s thrown out the window in irritation and the rules-based model of international relations evaporates in the heat of war, where do we turn?
With thousands killed in Ukraine and a million refugees already leaving the country, answers are urgently needed.
Few expect anything from conversations. As Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked, “How can negotiations make sense when we have a gun to our heads?” But as cities atrophy under criminally irresponsible Russian missile fire, a green zone for humanitarian corridors must be a priority. Moscow has made it clear that the massacre will continue until it gets what it wants.
Vladimir Putin has told French President Emmanuel Macron that Russia will achieve the goals of its military intervention in Ukraine “no matter what.” Another absurd Kremlin statement has claimed reports of Russian forces The bombing of Kiev is part of an “anti-Russia disinformation campaign”. How then can the collapsed skyscrapers and burned-out buildings be explained?
The tirelessly brave jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny has begged the Russians not to “become a nation of frightened, silent people pretending not to notice the aggressive war against Ukraine unleashed by our obviously insane Tsar.”
Until the 1980s, the Soviets held the communist bloc together with tanks, artillery, and repression. Mikhail Gorbachev would eventually receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 for credit for his role in ending the Cold War and recognizing that military subjugation is not the way to stay in power.
But Putin has chosen to tap into that darkest in history to turn back the clock and rewrite the screenplay. His Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Mr. Zelensky – an ethnic Jew – on presiding over “a society in which Nazism thrives”. Now with the early goal of The fall of Ukraine’s government and its replacement with a retiring Putin puppet has fueled new fears.
Moscow appears to be stepping up the role of the air force, and the specter of the kind of bloodbath unleashed in Aleppo in 2016 may yet loom.
In Putin’s bewildered Russia, the truth is criminal, but war, with all its horrors, is not.
China’s shameful stance of refusing to rein in its ally also needs to be highlighted. Intelligence reports that senior Chinese officials told senior Russian officials not to invade Ukraine before the end of the Winter Olympics in early February are damning if confirmed.
If yes aware of Putin’s war plans and has done nothing, it has some serious explaining to do. Many believe that Beijing may also be waiting to regain lost glory.
Only pressure from Russia – and off China – has any real hope of influencing Moscow. Peace in Europe has been maintained for many decades through the skillful use of non-military means of power. But when faced with such open challenges, democracies are more robust Strategies may be required to protect these treasured assets.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/editorial/vladimir-putin-has-tapped-into-darkest-part-of-history-in-bid-for-power-41409423.html Vladimir Putin took advantage of the darkest part of history in his struggle for power