loader image

Awful truth: Putin may win in Ukraine

The disparity was mind-blowing. New York’s UN Secretary-General António Guterres launched a long-overdue effort to end the conflict in Ukraine.

In light of the current danger and consequences, he [Guterres] would like to discuss urgent steps toward achieving peace, according to a statement from his spokesman. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, he proposed a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Moscow and Kyiv immediately.

The UK’s Boris Johnson, on a “Partygate” getaway plane to India around the same time, was colourfully rubbishing peace efforts. Putin, he insisted, was a snake that should not be trusted. There’s no way the Ukrainians can sit down and come to some kind of accommodation, in my opinion. The crocodile has your leg in its jaws, so how can you negotiate with it? Johnson inquired, as per usual.

Double jeopardy is a result of this gaping hole. As a result, it appears the UN chief and a permanent member of the UN security council are not in agreement on the best course of action. It also highlights a larger problem: Western leaders’ divergent, sometimes opposing, and occasionally self-serving approaches to the crisis.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s February 24 invasion of Crimea sparked a wave of international outrage. Similarly, there was a burst of optimism following Ukraine’s successful defence of the city of Kyiv against Russian advances. There are growing fears that this conflict will have no end and that the enormous economic and human damage it causes may be permanent – and global – as Moscow launches a massive offensive in the east.

Johnson, as is his habit, is only concerned with the here and now. In his speech, he said that the UK and Nato would continue to impose sanctions on Russia and supply weapons to the Ukrainian government. Johnson is in favour of a free and independent Ukraine, but he lacks, like other alliance leaders, a long-term strategy for getting there. What will happen if the Ukrainian military begins to lose? Imagine that the country is divided or on the verge of collapsing.

The true cost of a Putin victory could be staggering if the United States fails. There are multiple post-pandemic security, food, inflation, and climate crises that could make it unsustainable for both Western democracies and poorer countries. Despite this, Western leaders avoid making tough decisions that could help Ukraine’s survival and mitigate such ills because they are concerned about Russia’s oil and gas imports and the potential for a wider escalation.

If Putin is able to continue to wage war with impunity, commit more heinous crimes, threaten nuclear and chemical blackmail, and trash the UN charter, the past week provided a gloomy glimpse of the future that awaits. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has drastically reduced its growth forecasts due to the conflict, predicting economic fragmentation, rising debt, and social unrest.

As a result of war-related disruptions in food supplies, World Bank President David Malpass warned that a “human catastrophe” was looming in the form of an unprecedented, estimated 37% rise in food prices, pushing millions into poverty, increasing malnutrition, and decreasing funding for education and healthcare for the poorest.

It is estimated that more than 5 million people have fled Ukraine within two months, adding to an international migration crisis that extends from Afghanistan to the Sahel, and more are expected. It is estimated that 20 million people in drought-stricken eastern Africa will starve in 2013. The drought was not caused by Putin’s war, but the UN says it could harm efforts to reduce global warming, leading to further displacement and forced migration.

A war that drags on indefinitely will have far-reaching political ramifications. According to more than 200 former UN officials, the UN’s future as a global forum, lawmaker, and peacekeeper is in jeopardy. The entire system of war crimes prosecutions is also in jeopardy because of Putin’s dismissal of the international court of justice’s injunction to withdraw.

The total or partial subjugation of Ukraine would spell disaster for the international rules-based order – and a victory for autocrats everywhere in terms of democratic norms and human rights. What kind of message would it send to China over Taiwan, or to Putin, who is eyeing the Baltic republics with a predatory eye? Muslims who are plotting to take advantage of the Ukraine distraction would be delighted by such a victory for violence.

Failure to end the conflict, rescue Ukraine, and punish Russia’s rogue regime to the fullest extent possible would cost Europe and the EU dearly. Nato bases will be permanently established on Russia’s borders, defence spending will soar, the nuclear arms race will continue unabated, there will be endemic energy shortages, and living costs will skyrocket as a result of the French-style, Russian-supported rightwing populist extremism.

For the most part, the beginning of a new era of turmoil. In the face of such a tumultuous and potentially dangerous future, why would politicians like America’s Joe Biden, Germany’s Olaf Scholz, and France’s Emmanuel Macron tolerate it? A seemingly risk-free present is actually creating a more risky future.

It’s not enough to just send weapons and best wishes. Western leaders met last week to discuss providing Ukraine with security guarantees following the war. It’s all good and well. As a matter of fact, this war is currently underway. Who will ensure Ukraine’s survival over the next few weeks, which could be crucial? When the going gets tough, who will step up and provide military support on the ground, rather than just training?

Let’s face it: We’ve all been lying to ourselves. Ukraine, despite its bravery and sacrifice, may lose this battle. Putin, as horrible as it may sound, has a chance of winning. A whole new world of pain awaits anyone who abandons their principles and values in order to allow that to happen.

Courtesy Bol News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.