Tuesday, December 6, 2022


The Ukrainian tragedy goes on. The Russian onslaught continues. The situation looks hopeless since the early warnings by Russia that eastern parts of Ukraine had to be considered as a separate entity. Since then the leaders of "liberated" Luhansk, Donbas, Donetsk, who were received as heads of government in the Kremlin, have vanished and Putin's intentions have become painfully clear. The Russian mindset has always trapped gullible Westerners who tried so hard to believe that Chekhov was representative of Russia's soul. Since the Tsars, little has changed. The power is not something to be shared. It is imposed by a coterie wherein only force rules. 

NATO, the UN and the OSCE look on, guilty bystanders of a murderous machine in prime time. Indeed Article 5 or the rule of the veto stand in the way of a clear strategy. Hence the West resorts to indirect ways to provide Ukraine with just enough to resist but not enough to respond. The impunity given to Putin is mindboggling. How long must this hybrid aggression be tolerated before the West finally provides Kiev with sophisticated weaponry that allows it to hit Russia in reciprocal reprisal? How long can the West play outrage in Doha, Teheran or Kabul while giving Russia a pass of sorts?

It is wise to consider all implications of future decisions but it becomes also morally wrong to remain on the fence while watching harm on steroids. Mr. Stoltenberg's pious exhortations or the blitz-like visits to Kyiv by various Western leaders do not impress the Kremlin. By the way, where is the Pope? (There is wheel chair access.) The EU will continue to look its usual pathetic self and if it were not for America the Ukrainians would have to be content with the pathetic support of Europeans, who should be embarased. They are afraid to burn their bridge to be seated at Putin's large table in the future. It will be interesting to learn what will come up in the future regarding Chancellor Merkel's dealings with her Russian counterpart. Her deserved reputation and skills suddenly took a turn for the dark. What about Orban ... still in the EU? 

Russia is historically addicted to territorial conquest. Ukraine became Malorossiya and all traces of its former independent past were erased. Relentless russification followed in the 18th century. Russia's claims are as absurd as similar claims would be coming from countries that pretend to return to their former self. The Helsinki agreement was supposed to put an end to bad behavior but the inglorious downfall of the Soviet Union only led to spite and ideas of revenge.

Putin and the Pan-Slavic Orthodox Church are obsessed by what they consider humiliations inflicted upon them by the West. Not bound by the accepted rules of international behavior, they are impervious to sanction or moral outrage. Russia has become again a syndicate wherein power and influence are distributed rather than won by vote or merit. It is impossible for now to foresee conditions for a negotiation out of the Ukraine hell. It is even harder to imagine that Putin could even be on comprehensive talking terms with any Western leader. Sadly, the only strategic outcome is for the West and Ukraine to focus on ways to attack Russian forces in the back. Therefore Kiev needs the weaponry that can make such a "pincers" move possible. It is imperative to hurt the beast before the war crime cloud covers for an unforeseeable time the outcome of this scandal that endured too long.

Swan Lake has become a farce!

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