As Russia invades the Ukraine the West has responded with financial sanctions and has sent weapons and troops to NATO’s borders with Russia.
The rhetoric from Vladimir Putin is about denazifying Ukraine. The last time that phrase was used was when Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill agreed to denazify Germany.
The West has responded with outrage and likens it to the worse escalation since World War 2. There is however the recent history of invasions in the Middle East and even wars on European soil in the Balkans not so long ago.
There is talk of solidarity and comradeship, unity and alliances with Ukraine. President of the United States Joe Biden has offered his raft of sanctions, which again include targeting the financial base for Russia in the U.S. Here at home the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also said that sanctions should hit the Russian Government in the pocket and includes the targeting of Russian oligarchs based in the U.K. Europe is also targeting the financial element with a stop on the Nord Stream 2 Gas pipeline too.
Politicians in the Ukraine have called for the West to go further and eject Russian oligarchs and their families including children who are studying at universities in the West. To target Russia’s technology and future prospects of developing industries.
The battle of will between Putin and the West ended in the last couple of days when Russian troops crossed into Ukraine and began attacking military targets. It is inevitable that special forces had already been in the Ukraine prior to the public declaration of War.
Communication between Ukraine and the West may become more difficult in the coming weeks as Russia attacks the communication network via cyber attacks.
The Russo-Ukrainian War is an ongoing and protracted conflict that started in February 2014, primarily involving Russia and pro-Russian forces on one hand, and Ukraine on the other. The war has centred on the status of Crimea and parts of the Donbas, which are internationally recognised as part of Ukraine. Tensions between Russia and Ukraine erupted especially from 2021 to 2022, when it became apparent that Russia was considering launching a military invasion of Ukraine. In February 2022, the crisis deepened with diplomatic talks with Russia failing and escalated as Russia moved forces into the separatist controlled regions on 22 February 2022. On 24 February, Russia conducted a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
The 20th century is littered with hundreds of wars, revolutions and uprisings across the World. Some may remember the stand off between Russia and the U.S.A during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 when a confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union escalated into an international crisis when American deployments of missiles in Italy and Turkey were matched by Soviet deployments of similar ballistic missiles in Cuba. The confrontation is often considered the closest the Cold War came to escalating into a full-scale nuclear war until today.
We cannot assume that almost every avenue of diplomatic negotiations has not already taken place between the leaders of the West and Russia. Joe Biden was not ruling out the end of diplomatic solutions up until Tuesday when he made his speech. One can assume that the diplomatic route has now been firmly discarded by Putin.
For those of my generation who remember the public broadcast messages warning of a nuclear war and what to do in that event this latest conflict will generate a huge amount of interest. Some may be questioning why Joe Biden did not use the same strategy as Kennedy did during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Ukraine is looking to the West to help avoid mass slaughter of civilians and the destruction of its cities in 2022.
The impact of financial sanction may be enough to convince those who risk losing fortunes to bend the ear of Putin or even those waiting in the wings to take power. Russia let us not forget is a place where gunpowder treason and plot rule supreme. The imperialist ruler has flexed his muscles and the mighty U.S.A. And the united Europe and NATO forces have a choice. Do they stand by and allow someone who has clearly asserted himself as a dictator to claim back a large swathe of country possibly killing millions as he does so or do they issue a final ultimatum before acting?
Image attribution: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons