It’s the eleventh day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The war is going very bloody lots of casualties for Russia and Ukrain. The Russian Federation has recognised Donetsk and Luhansk regions as two different People’s Republic. West has slapped massive sanctions on Russia. Russia has been disconnected with SWIFT a universal payment systems for banking and trade. Assets frozen for Russian banks and certain individuals. Sporting events cancelled, Russian teams and players barred from participating in international tournaments. Russian President has been removed from honorary Presidentship of International Judo Federation. Visa and MasterCard have suspended operations in Russia. Three rounds of peace talks taken place between Russia and Ukraine in Belarus. A fragile ceasefire announced in Mariupole has collapsed. India continues to abstain from all Ukraine related voting. It’s a cluttered mix of sense and senseless acts.
Plot in the making.
It’s war and everything is justified. Question is who’s war it actually is? Who is responsible for it all? Well answers are divergent and entirely depends upon which side of the divide you see it from. For Americans and Europeans it’s Unjustified, Unprovoked and Illigal. For Russians it’s an existential question. At the face of it, what Russians are saying is extremely serious and highly sensitive for a nation state on the other hand what Americans and Europeans are suggesting is pityfully simplified. Any sane mind which probably would know nothing about either side would pause for a thought and weigh in both of them, he would wonder – it must have been extremely grave or crossing of a Red line that Russians prepared themselves to bear the cost. So what’s this that US and European countries are hiding, are they too culprits of this unfolding human tragedy, probably Yes! Truth is devastation the war has brought is very sad but the way Russia has been pushed to this war is an even bigger travesty. It’s the expansionist policies they pursued despite caution by Russia. They continued crossing Red lines one after another until it was No more acceptable. So, post five rounds of NATO’s expansion under US watch and inclusion of 12 New states under NATO flag, it was there sixth attempt at repeating which Russia called it out. This time Russia did say NO Means NO. Negotiations followed but on Western terms – that suggest preserving independent choice of nations as universal right. But it was never an independent choice Ukrain made towards integration with Europe and getting into NATO umbrella. Ukrainians were lured into the trap and sadly their leadership fell for it without fairly assessing pros and cons.
US and European media’s continued coverage of devastation Putin has brought to an otherwise peace loving nation like Ukraine is very straight forward. Loss of life is indeed very sad the story has been quickly lapped up by candlelight marchers in many parts of the world. Whom their governments continue to highlight as the voice of humanity but would not themselves answer about questionable policies they have pursued and contributed to such a sad state. Putin’s Russia on the other hand have indeed chosen a course which arguably is destructive but would probably the best course left with them. Ironically indeed the quantum of US and European sanctions themselves give a glimpse of how critical the decision it would have been for Russia to still chose this option knowing the cost on their Nation. Atleast give this much to Russians they are not stupid people either.
Is it really an unprovoked war?
While US and Europeans wants the world to believe that Ukraine war is an Unprovoked, Unjustified, Illigal and that Russia has been a complete belligerent in the whole act. But isn’t war is war, it’s bad anyhow, so what’s this ‘Unprovoked’, ‘Unjustified’ and ‘Illigal’ word doing here in the argument. Actually these are the spin words US has given out. Without these words US would itself become an even serious culprit to be a Nation which has initiated maximum wars on the planet. So aim is to differentiate between ‘Good War’ and ‘Bad War’ in same connotation as that of ‘Good Terrorist’ and ‘Bad Terrorists’. Atleast the majority of the world now knows that there aren’t any such thing in the first place. So US which is sermoning the Russia today, itself has been a major agressor across the globe imposing regime changes. Beginning every US initiated war, it’s media houses would provide the world a continued commentry on justification of the upcoming war that it has been imperative due to highly provocative situation and that now going to war is fully justified. The war alone can defend the values, democracy and world order. That’s it’s completely legal to do so as it is in tune with UN charter and global aspirations. It was a dangerous trend the world feared but US felt No other nation has guts enough to replicate it’s nonsense reasoning fabricated to meet the ends. So indeed with the same token Russia appears ‘Provoked’ with continuous expansion of NATO. It is ‘Justified’ to take all means necessary to defend and secure it’s national interest as past pleas have all gone unheeded and it’s perfectly ‘Legal’ to do so once it has obtained approval of it’s Duma. However, the fact remains if Russia’s war is Unjustified, then so many US initiated wars too fail to be justified. The loss and destruction a war brings is extremely saddening. Killing of innocent civilians is the worst who gets caught in the crossfire. But in the midst of it World Powers are busy doing real politik.
Was it the Powerplay?
It takes two to tango whosoever said was really correct. Ukraine as an independent Nation was doing well for itself. It was leveraging its national wealth and talented demography to bring prosperity to the nation. It had some difficulties like any other country but instead of solving them by itself which it could have done, it’s leaders shown inclination to opt for easy way, join NATO and they sold this to their innocent population as solution to all ills. Everyone has this knowledge what Ukrainian leadership has opted for. While US and Europeans kept boosting the already inflated ego of Ukrainian leadership – as it pitched itself to challenge next door superpower Russia. US and Europeans have ‘led’ this to happen while Ukrainian leaders appeared game for it. The path to confrontation was a well thought out strategy by Ukrainian leadership they foolishly believed that US and Europeans will bail them out if ever it went too close for comfort. All was game indeed as it pushed Russia to a tight spot. It happens with countries with hostile neighbour. But the game fell apart as the Russians bit the Bait and called the bluff that too at enormous cost. Now as it appears, Ukrainian leadership doesn’t have a Plan B for themselves. Ukrainian leaders lied to it’s people, they brought a happy prosperous nation to this horrific destruction. Russia will suffer surely, it will pay the cost but Ukraine will not able to get away anyhow. So while Ukraine had the opportunity to chart a path of better future for the Nation and it’s people, it ignored it and ignored to the Brink where the country stands today, destruction, massive losses and shattered psych of the Nation. Worst is Russia hasn’t finished yet. Ukrainians must pause and ask a simple question to it’s leadership- wasn’t there an alternate course to this war. If someone suggest that there was No alternate to War- he must be ignorant or gravely lying. Examples are galore when countries have ‘honourably managed’ their serious differences but didn’t chose War, they bought more time, they groomed their people to challenges Nation is facing. But resisted temptation to push the country to disastrous fortitude. The pictures of civilian casualties, destruction of cities losses that cannot be materially quantified brings severe distress and sorrow, it wasn’t necessary atall. Might is Right may not be true but so is the thought – weak is right.
Why the West did it?
The cold war may have been over but the people of the era still holding powerful places and in many cases are heads of state too. Breakup of USSR brought cheers to US and Europe, suddenly US was undisputed supreme power and it didn’t hid the fact. Suddenly Russia was No match to US. NATO appeared to relish the situation aswell, it felt it was probably on equal footing with Russia. It went onto expansion spree to ensure a comprehensive domination or atleast parity with Russia something unthinkable at the time of USSR. US saw a major opportunity to get Russia embroiled in Europe and NATO while it focus on other emerging challenges to it’s unipolarity. It was good ganging up against Russia, Ukraine offered a perfect geography for the second part of Power Play. A breakaway ex-Soviet country which is sharing its land border with Russia, whose leaders are willing to sell Euro dreams to their nation. Hence the fantasy filled assurances of entry in EU and membership of NATO. All that fittered away when push came to shove. US and Europeans are resorting to economic sanctions of all shades on Russia which will take time to show impact, if much but Ukraine is in flames today. They are promising more weapons of all varieties. But a basic military mind suggest a weapon system is as good as man behind it, where is the time for training on these fancyful toys. They are dead stock for an Army in thick of war that too if all these weapons successfully makes it to Ukraine. Russian forces have already encircled Ukraine with Navy and land forces while dominating air space. Ukrain should see the reality it’s very harsh though – NO other power will step in to fight for it and more so against Russia. US and closer home NATO has categorically refused it. A photo op standing ovation at EU parliament on Ukrainian President speech will do No good to Ukrainians. The time is for reality check and do best to save the nation. If the situation is Bad now, it’s going to be Worst later. If Ukrain leaders don’t act now, then God be with the Ukrainians.
–By Ravi Srivastava