The world is on the brink of a presicpise and is about to plunge into a maelstrom of pain. It’s written on the wall, as clear as crystal, except our leaders don’t want to look at it and think about the consequences. Consequences that will affect each and every one of us.
If that doesn’t sound like doom and gloom, then I don’t know what does!
Let us just pause and think about what is happening in the world right now:
We have Russia flexing it’s muscles and invading the Ukraine.
China and Japan are having a ‘tiff’ over some rocks in the ocean.
There is an extremist group that have created a state that ignores the borders of Syria and Iraq.
The most virulent outbreak of Ebola in Africa is killing hundreds of people.
There is rising ethnic tension within Europe.
South America is becoming more unstable, especially with Argentina unable to pay it’s debts.
Manchester United haven’t won a single game this season!
The above is just a quick outline of the more serious activity happening at the moment. I cannot go into the minutia as this would become the longest post in history.
In a word, deep sh*t! Ok, two words.
This post is going to focus on the Ukrainian issue.
As the weeks and months have gone by after Russia took Crimea from Ukraine, Putin has been spouting propaganda about the situation in the east of Ukraine where alleged ‘separatists’ wanted their own state. The fact that these ‘separatists’ are nothing but criminals and thugs who are terrorising the local inhabitants isn’t important to Putin. The fact that there is instability in that part of the country is.
Putin is KGB to the core. He was trained to believe in the greatness of the Soviet Union and was not happy when it dissolved. Putin has taken control of Russia even though there are ‘democratic’ elections. They are just a sham and opponents are ‘dissuaded’ from running against him. He has also been wary about the expansion of the European Union and NATO. Bearing in mind that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was created to counter the threat of the Soviet Union, the fact it still exists worries Putin.
Putin is also wary of the fact that Europe has encroached right up to the Russian border. When Ukraine was clearly pro-Russian there wasn’t a problem but as soon as the former President fled to Russia and Kiev became more pro-european, it was the final straw as far as Putin was concerned.
Putin’s move to take the Crimea was well planned and coordinated. There was hardly any direct conflict and although the world knew that Russian troops were involved, he knew that they would not contest it.
Since 2003, the United States, the United Kingdom and other key players in Europe have been involved in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The population is ‘war weary’ and so are the politicians. This was highlighted when the British government veto’d a plan to assault Syria. Even though it would have only been air strikes, the government did not want to get involved in another conflict.
Putin believes that the United States has become impotent and that NATO does not have the will to fight anymore. He is counting on this. So far, it has worked. Putin allied himself with the ‘separatists’ in the east of Ukraine and helped them as much as possible without being completely obvious. When the Ukrainian army began to make headway against the rebels and the rebels began retreating, Putin had to act.
Recent news reports have indicated that there are now Russian troops and armour in east Ukraine and Putin has even gone to the press and stated that the Ukrainian government should discuss the fact that the east wants to become independent. The Russian army has pushed the Ukrainian army back and into defensive positions. They have taken control of parts of Ukraine that had not seen any ‘separatist’ activity, to the south and near the coast.
Since Russia took Crimea it has had to keep it supplied. This has become expensive, especially as the sanctions against Russia begin to bite. The fact that the west dare to place sanctions against Russia has probably made Putin see red and his need for a land bridge to Crimea has become more urgent.
Putin has made assessments about the west that have been accurate. The west is war weary and now they are just squabbling about what other sanctions they can place against Russia whilst Ukrainian citizens are drawn into a war they know nothing about or want anything to do with. They don’t want to be part of Russia but it appears that they have no choice. The government of Ukraine has requested help and has even requested to join NATO in order to get help.
Unless something is done and soon, Putin will have taken a chunk of Ukraine and made it part of Russia. He thinks he can get away with it and it appears as if he will.
Bearing in mind that the European Union was partly involved in the fact that Ukraine became more pro-european rather than part of the Russian block of partners, I think they should stop fannying around and start doing something more substantive. Sanctions may be hurting Russia but it’s not going to stop them bullying weaker countries and taking part of their territories.
Naturally the United Nations has condemned the actions of Russia in the strongest of terms and demands that Putin puts a stop to it all. The UN is as impotent as I am and can demand until the cows come home as Putin is as likely to listen to them as he is to me. He doesn’t give a damn about the UN and will do as he pleases.
Putin, during one of his propaganda speeches, made a reference to the second world war. He proclaimed that the Ukrainian government were like the Nazis of Germany when they bombed what was then called Leningrad, now St. Petersburg. It’s ironic that he should make such a reference as it was at the start of the second world war, when Nazi Germany was invading countries at will, that Britain stated that everything had been ok because Mr. Hitler said so. Meanwhile, sovereign territories were seized and innocent people were slaughtered. To me, it looks like history is repeating itself.
What to do? Putin is relying on the impotence of the west and he is getting what he wants. Why should he be able to do whatever he wants to do? He is doing it in his own country and now he is doing what the Soviet Union did at the end of the second world war. Ukraine can cry out for help all it wants, hoping that the side they decided to be allied with will help, but will they? I doubt it.
Personally, I think it’s disgusting how the EU has handled things and the fact that they are not taking any responsibility for it. They can place more sanctions on Russia but that isn’t going to solve the problem that the Ukrainians have with Russian troops in their country.
I think it’s time to call Putin’s bluff.
If the key EU countries each moved an armoured brigade of troops to the Ukraine in order to assist an ally then I think Putin will think again. Putin does not believe that we will do anything so drastic, so let’s do it. It is the last thing he expects. Already the Russian public is complaining about dead Russian soldiers being repatriated so is he going to risk going face to face with modern, war tested troops? I doubt it.
Even if Putin is mad enough to try and fight, he will be faced with growing dissension in Russia as more and more dead soldiers are repatriated. I’m not saying it’s going to be a walk in the park but western armour is much more modern than that of the Ukrainian army and the Russian troops not as well trained. I think Putin will see his plans start to unravel and will be forced to think again.
I was a soldier for over 23 years and was sent to conflicts that I didn’t agree with. Now, when a tyrant is doing what he wants, why are we not helping an ally crying out for help? It is wrong. We should not leave Ukraine when it needs our support the most. If we do, then Putin will either divide the country or take all of it. Former Soviet controlled countries that are currently members of the EU know what that was like and are in favour of the EU doing something more substantive to help Ukraine.
I think I will start a petition to parliament for Britain to do something more than just mouthing words of disgust without the guts to back them up. I know that we have been fighting for over ten years but those were following America. Let’s do something more that is worthy of the name, Great Britain.