War clouds had been gathering over Eurasia since quite some time. Washington had reported unusual troop movements along the Ukrainian border as early as November 10 2021.
Since then, it wasn’t all quiet along the Russo-Ukranian border. Russia bitten by the persecution bug and harping on expansionist designs of NATO and Western powers cited Ukrainian plans to eventually join NATO to justify her morbid delusion of persecution. Militarily vastly superior and nuclear-tipped Russia playing bunny before presumed NATO expansionism did not sit well on her.
On the other side of the coin, the US seemed to intuit a Russian invasion of Ukraine, leading Biden to threaten Putin with strong economic and other measures against Russia in the event of an invasion of Ukraine. Posturing and arm-wrestling over Ukraine between US-led NATO and Russia mounted by the day.
However, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ‘muscle flexing’ ways had the last laugh when he approved a ‘special military operation’ on Ukraine in a televised address on 24 February 2022. The modern-day Rasputin has no dearth of muscles to flex, as his torso which he loves to flaunt suggests .Putin’s designs reached its zenith when he recognized independence of Luhansk and Donetsk, the two rebel-held, pro-Russian regions in Ukraine. The writing on the wall was clear.
No sooner had he announced the ‘special operation’, war clouds broke raining down Russian missiles on Ukrainian cities killing and maiming innocents including children. At the time of writing, as it is true with any war, children are being rendered orphans, women, widows and men, widowers. Able-bodied men are forced into the battlefield uncertain of their return back home.
This war will be full-fledged and destructive, as Ukraine reported troops pouring across its borders into eastern Chernihiv, kharkiv and Luhansk regions and landing by sea into Odessa and Mariupol in the south. Russian troops attacked Ukraine from Belarus and also from annexed Crimea. The ‘special military operation’ as its architect termed, was a full-fledged, well-planned and well-orchestrated onslaught on a sovereign nation by another, militarily far superior.
As innocents are being slaughtered in Ukraine, the world is caught in a dejavu- that of familiar scenes when the then Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in December 1979.expansionism is expansionism whatever excuses dictators might adopt to justify the same. So is the mayhem that accompanies expansionism. The universal phenomenon of innocents turning sitting ducks to the blitzkrieg of modern-day weaponry continues in Ukraine too. What has surprised the international community is the lack of customary military deterrent by the West. America was quick to respond militarily when Afghanistan was invaded. But, USA and its NATO allies seems to be militarily laidback and lethargic for a military showdown to shoo away Putin’s marauding forces as Ukraine continues to be destroyed and lives snuffed. Probably the pandemic has had nations give the marauding virus priority over the marauding Russians. The pandemic has also broken the backs of nations economically, rendering them indifferent and reluctant to mount a full-fledged and decisive military operation of the magnitude of Desert Storm that US President George Bush (Sr) mounted on Iraqi forces that invaded Kuwait in early August 1990.
Western response has thus far centered around economic sanctions on Russia. Despite that, Ukraine has stood up to Russian forces remarkably. Kyiv hasn’t fallen yet, much to the embarrassment and chagrin of the Russians having an angry Putin putting his nuclear forces on high alert.
Russian invasion of Ukraine has been glaringly different from Afghan invasion in that Ukraine has been spared of destruction that Western military deterrent is usually associated with. America has left nations she has poked her nose into in tatters by the time the last American soldier is called back home. Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Syria tell the same sordid tale. America wreaks the very culture and social order of the countries it interferes with.
Afghanistan witnessed Americans arm local uneducated nomads to the teeth in the name of insurgency. Rocket launchers, anti aircraft missiles and tanks turned into toys in the hands of these unkempt, unemployed and illiterate nomads, who ultimately tuned terrorists. Islamic influence on these trigger-happy youth soon had them embrace and adopt jihadism and jihadi- influenced fidayeen attacks as a way of life inside Afghanistan and outside. Taliban, a product straight out of American insurgency factory shot at Malala Yousefzai in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. Another alumnus of the insurgency ‘school’ run by the Americans in Afghanistan, the Al Qaeda had the global policeman on his knee when the twin towers in New York were brought down by civilian aircrafts used as weapons of mass destruction on 11 September 2001.
That ‘one would reap what one sows’ was realized to the letter when the Americans and other nations which connived to create these insurgents paid heavy prize.
Ukraine cannot afford to be another Afghanistan. It is better if America and NATO forces stay away from Ukraine. It would be ideal if the Ukrainians themselves stave off Russian hegemony. And non-military means are resorted to, by the world community to force a Russian withdrawal.
The world cannot have another terror factory come up in Ukraine, and make life unlivable for the Ukrainians and others.
Ukraine cannot be left to the mercy of the combination of invaders, forces that barge in to keep away the invaders and homegrown insurgents who would ultimately leave her impoverished and broken, and reduce Ukrainians to a population of refugees with only hunger, poverty, twisted metal, burning rubber, concrete heaps, gory wounds, polluted environment, orphancy, widowhood and a ravaging pandemic to fall back on.