An Attempt at a Nuanced view of the Ukraine Invasion.

We are at war in Europe again!! The utter madness prevails. We never learn!

Human beings are seriously flawed. We like violence, cruelty, pain and suffering. We love to impose agony on others (and animals). We never grow out of it. Our lust for power drives us.

We’re all the same. Civilisation is a dream, a thin veneer, so easily shattered.

I hope Brexiteers are now pausing for a thought or two. The EU was initiated primarily as a way to keep peace in Europe. It was envisioned that tieing countries together with trade and cooperation would be a way of preventing future wars. It has sort of worked.

We’ve had peace in Europe for the longest period ever – virtually through the whole of my lifetime.

Now we are at war and we need to think why.

I don’t think it is quite as straightforward as the jingoists would have us believe. Many mistakes have been made.

There is no doubt that Vladimir Putin is a tyrant. He controls Russia with as nasty a regime as has ever been. The lot of most Russian people is not good. The country is crooked. An elite of billionaires exploit everyone and Putin is one of them. It’s every bit as corrupt as under the Czars and as far from communism as you can get.

Putin lives in opulence and uses his secret police to kill and stifle dissent.

I think that’s true. Having recently visited Russia and talked to some Russians (who live in austere cramped flats) I was not impressed. Too much of Russia’s wealth goes to that tiny elite or to the massive military build up.

Ukraine??? Some thoughts.

Putin wants to leave a legacy. He wants to restore the USSR. He wants to create a buffer zone around Russia. He is paranoid. He has been undermining the West. He has helped get Brexit, Trump and Johnson – all to weaken the West. Russians donate to the Tory Party – probably to Trump too. Certainly Trump has big Russian connections. He does shady business there.

Putin sees war as a means to an end and does not give a shit about who gets killed. He got away with taking Crimea and he knows he will get away with taking Ukraine. There will be a short-lived furore, sanctions and sabre rattling and then it will all die away.

But the West have not helped matters. They have made some stupid mistakes.

Following WW2 Russia should have been brought in. We should have included Russia much more, opened up trade and made more effort. They were excluded because of political reasons. The West was terrified of communism. As capitalists they liked the idea of the ruling wealthy elite. The thought of ordinary people having a larger portion of the wealth and a greater say was repugnant. They excluded them and treated them like pariahs. (I’m not suggesting that Stalin and his terrible tyrannical regime was not perhaps even more to blame).

We entered into a cold war and arms race. What a waste of wealth and resources. What madness. Germany benefitted as its military might was greatly restricted which is how it became such a huge economic power again.

When the USSR was falling apart promises were made to Gorbachov which were reneged on.

NATO gleefully announced victory and moved into the new free states.

Paranoid Russians, like Putin, watched this with horror. Their buffer zone was disappearing.

When the EU was formed Russia could have been brought in. If we had tied in trade and cooperation more we would have reduced the risk of war.

Russia has been working against the West with cyberattacks, election interference and assassinations. They successfully installed Trump and Johnson and got Brexit done. They were after weakening the West and succeeded.

We saw what happened in the early 60s when Russia formed a treaty with Cuba and tried to install missile sites. It was seen as an act of war. NATO moving into places like Ukraine and installing missiles is not much different. Could more assurances have been made? Could NATO and the West have done things differently?

Now we have a paranoid, rogue Tyrant with a formidable army backed up with a huge nuclear arsenal attacking European countries.

What a mess. This could so easily escalate. And what of the poor Ukrainians? Are we going to leave them to it, run a proxy war with Russia or be sucked into the fighting??

None of it’s good.

Has there ever been a just war??

4 thoughts on “An Attempt at a Nuanced view of the Ukraine Invasion.

  1. NATO, the North Atlantic treay organization was formed to DEFEND against Soviet expansionism. Russia remains Russia and depends on conquest. They need to be “contained”. Too bad about the nuclear arsenals, though. Those megabombs complicate the situation. Perhaps they will now agree to get rid of some nuclear missiles.I don’t think there’s a safe way to bury the stuff!! And now we have another war for people to get killed senselessly.

    1. I agree. They do need to be contained. Hopefully sanctions from the rest of the world will have an effect. War should be consigned to history. We need to become better. Putin has made a big mistake. But then there have been a series of mistakes. Good to hear from you Bumba.

  2. Opher – Thought I’d leave this news-feed snippet from the Guardian. It foregrounds the brutal reality for Zelenskly (and the people of Ukraine): despite the sanctions, the sabre-rattling, and the eloquent speeches of condemnation and solidarity from world-leaders, the Ukrainians face a deadly, and indiscriminate force alone. His truth (his fear for Ukraine) is palatable. I should add, Zelenskly has pledged to stay in Kiev until the bitter end. He is #Target1.

    Whilst under potential threat from Putin’s mushroom cloud, (or, chemical weapons, hyper-sonic missiles, air-to-space missiles, or biological, radioactive agents, or assassinations), whilst harnessed by international law, treaties, and agreements no nation is willing to step up to the plate to help.

    ‘Ukraine’s president has said his country has been left on its own to fight Russia after the Kremlin launched a large-scale invasion that killed more than 130 Ukrainians in the first day.

    In a video address to the nation just after midnight, Volodymyr Zelenskiy said:

    “We have been left alone to defend our state.

    Who is ready to fight alongside us? I don’t see anyone. Who is ready to give Ukraine a guarantee of Nato membership? Everyone is afraid.”

    It is a very sad day in our history Opher, very sad indeed. I sat up until the wee hours following the news, hoping war would somehow be averted. Then at 4a.m, the first rockets hit. Shocking. As I write, the Russian forces launch a cruise missile assault on Kiev and advance en masse on the capital. Regime change.

    I can’t imagine what the global (?) repercussions from this are going to be.

    Thoughts are with the people of Ukraine.


    1. It just demonstrates to me that we human beings are nothing more than crazed apes. Violence, power and greed. It needs the Russian people to rise up against him and kick him out of power – but in such a tyrannical state that is very hard.

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