16 May, 2022

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Russia, Ukraine & The West: Tragedy & Farce All At Once

By Rajan Philips

Rajan Philips

… All great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice: … the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” – Karl Marx, 1851. The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon.

What was once Cold War is now all hot air. Today’s Russia is not the Soviet Union, and Putin is neither a Bolshevik nor Communist. His only connection to Bolsheviks is through his grandfather who was the personal cook to both Lenin and Stalin. Putin is a socially conservative Orthodox Christian. He regrets the collapse of the Soviet Union and the power that went with it, but he does not desire the restoration of Soviet Russia but that of the pre-Soviet Russian empire.

When the Soviet Union dissolved itself in 1991, it also removed the reason for NATO’s being. After the dissolution, Russia was recognized as the “legal successor” to the Soviet Union and its international commitments including debts and assets. Ukraine wanted a part of it, but it was brushed aside and had its nuclear arsenal, the world’s third in numbers, jointly neutered by the world’s first two, the US and Russia. And the ‘legal continuity’ of Russia has also served NATO’s military bureaucrats, letting them continue their career turfdom and the perks that go with it. After 1991, instead of mutual dissolution, NATO spread itself open inviting the former Warsaw Pact countries, but stopped short of letting in the former Soviet Republics, including Ukraine and Georgia among others. They are permanently “aspiring NATO members.”

Vladimir Putin wants assurances that Ukraine will never be admitted in NATO. NATO and the West have flatly rejected Putin’s demand. Both sides know that Ukraine may never become a NATO member, but Putin is going to war with Ukraine just to pre-empt its NATO membership. Ukraine can hardly fight back. The country has “no security,” its President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted recently. Former Soviet era Ukrainian commanders are blaming the 1991 removal of nuclear arsenal that has left Ukraine with no bargaining power with anyone. It is defenseless against Russia, and it gets nothing by way of fighting support from the West other than sanctions against Russia.

Putin has been maniacally reckless in starting the current skirmish. One day he declared two southeastern regions of Ukraine to be “independent,” and sent Russian troops just to reinforce their independence. The next day he started a “special military operation” against Ukraine. For two days, he provided rambling justifications for his actions against Ukraine. He questioned the existential entitlement of Ukraine that had once been a part of the old Russian empire. He protested that Ukraine was robbed from Russia when the Soviet Union collapsed. He argued that he was not attacking Ukraine but only preventing a threat from Ukraine to Russia. He even addressed Ukraine’s military directly as “dear comrades,” and urged them not to “follow criminal orders” but “to lay down (your) weapons and go home.”

How far will Putin go, even he may not know. Will he annex the eastern parts of Ukraine the way he annexed Crimea in 2014? Will he mow down all of Ukraine and bring it again under Russia’s control? Will he just stop one day and dare NATO and its leaders to give him what he wants or face worse? He has warned the West in stark terms: “Whoever tries to interfere with us, and even more so, to create threats for our country, for our people, should know that Russia’s response will be immediate and will lead you to such consequences that you have never experienced in your history.” The warning is being interpreted as a nuclear threat to NATO and the West.

West flummoxed and isolated

Beyond hot air rhetoric and sanctions that Putin may have already factored into, there is nothing much the West can do, or is willing to do, for Ukraine. The West’s real dilemma is that its people do not want to go to war anywhere anymore. The irony is that when people in western countries were not as opposed to wars as they are now, there were always political groups and peace organizations who stood up for peace and protested against wars. Nixon infamously unleashed his ‘silent majority’ of war mongers to attack students protesting against the Vietnam war. Now with the silent majority decidedly against wars, there is no restraint on the rhetoric of war in political discourse. Overall, the scope and any hope for diplomacy is lost in the rhetoric over war.

The Labour Party in Britain is daring Prime Minister Johnson to show how far he will go. It is easy for an opposition party to goad a government on war when it is known that the government will never send troops to the battlefield. In Canada, the governing Liberal Party has deviated from its longstanding policy of middle power diplomacy that was executed quite well during the Cold War era. In 2002-03, Canada refused to join the US invasion of Iraq. So did France and Germany and a number of other European and Western countries. As did Russia. Now Russia is the villain and the attacker. And Ukraine is helpless now as Iraq was then. But unlike then, there is no division among NATO countries now.

Three weeks ago, Oxford University’s European Studies Professor Timothy Garton Ash wrote an opinion piece that “the West doesn’t know what it wants in Eastern Europe.” The West according to Professor Ash has been chasing two conflicting models for the future of Europe. One is the Helsinki model, developed from 1975 and finalized after the Cold War, under Bush the elder, as “Europe, whole, free and at peace.”

The second model is the Yalta model based on the 1945 summit between Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin in Yalta, Crimea (“oh irony of history,” as Ash noted). The Yalta model (or Yalta 2) will restore to Russia what was accorded to the Soviet Union, namely, a sphere of influence in Europe. Not necessarily the old Eastern Europe, but at least some or all of the former Soviet republics. At the least, just Ukraine. Putin will be happy.

Prof. Ash’s grouse is that the West is not vigorously and solely pursuing the Helsinki model. He blames that the West is somehow stuck in the Cold War era Ostpolitik mindset of West Germany (that was Chancellor Brandt’s ‘new eastern policy’ of reproachment towards East Germany). Ash is not quite calling for NATO’s military intervention in Ukraine, but blaming NATO of hypocrisy for not admitting Ukraine as a NATO member means just that.

Prof. Ash is also not for permanently isolating Russia from the rest of Europe under the Helsinki model. Only so long as Putin is in control of Russia. Once Putin is gone, a “democratic Russia” should be welcomed to join and reinforce NATO – “in the face of an assertive Chinese superpower.” The cycle will go on. Farce and tragedy all at once!

China and India

But before the next cycle there might be an immediate need to get China’s help to checkmate Putin. There’s the rub. For there’s apparently no one else in the world whom Putin would listen to except China’s Xi Jinping. And Putin may have already cultivated China to be on his side on the Ukraine matter. He officially attended the Beijing Olympics even though Russian athletes were not allowed to participate in the games representing Russia. Away from the games, Putin and Xi produced a 5,000-word statement of solidarity that did not mention Ukraine even once.

On the other hand, the West’s attempt to ‘diplomatically’ boycott the Olympics while allowing the athletes to represent their countries ended in embarrassment. There has not been a shorter list of boycotting countries. The US, UK, Canada and Australia, the leading boycotters, were joined only by India, Lithuania, Kosovo, Belgium, Denmark and Estonia.

In contrast, on 16 December, the UN passed a resolution, with a 130-2 vote, against “the glorification of “Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism” in many western countries, against NATO admitting Ukraine, and calling for “West and Russia to sign a binding East-West security pact.” That would be Yalta-2 for Professor Ash. Only two countries voted against the resolution – the US and Ukraine, while most NATO countries abstained from the vote.

In what is seen as a diplomatic victory for the US and President Biden, the Western countries are now united on imposing sanctions against Russia. Even Germany, the most reluctant of them because of its 30% dependence on Russia for its natural gas supplies, has finally joined the sanction spree. Germany has even stopped the controversial Nord Stream 2 natural gas line project providing a direct connection between Russia and Germany. But for every sanctioned imposed on Russia, the western governments have been warning their people of equal and opposite reactions – in supply shortages and rising prices, especially in the fuel and energy sector. These effects will go beyond the West and some of them have already started.

The question is whether economic sanctions would be able to deter Putin and force him to stop the attacks on Ukraine. Or will they lead to alternative supply line system predicated on Russia and China? The financial sanctions imposed on Russia are not expected to have much effect because Russia does not have large or worrisome debts. On the other hand, if financial sanctions were extended to cutting off Russia from the global (Swift) banking system, they may play into China’s hands and its desire to “de-dollarise the world’s financial architecture.”

As world opinion goes, the West, especially the US, may have been hoping to get onside India’s Modi government as an extension of their Quad club against China. But India has chosen to limit its response at the UN Security Council, indicating concerns over the developments in Ukraine but stopping short of criticizing Russia. Russia has welcomed India’s ‘independent stand’ at the UN, even as it is welcoming Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan who could not have chosen a worse time to visit Moscow to make his Kashmir pitch.

Russia has indicated that there would be no change in its policy that Kashmir is “a bilateral dispute.” Just as it would like Ukraine to be treated as a bilateral dispute between two former fraternal republics. But Ukraine is not Kashmir and it is not going to be left alone like Kashmir for another seventy years. Putin may seem unstoppable for now, but whatever he ends up accomplishing may equally prove to be unsustainable. Equally, as well, it is not NATO or the West that are in a position to set Europe or any other part of the world to be “whole, free and at peace.” Only, tragedy and farce all at once!

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Latest comments

  • 7
    1

    I have been reading every article trying to read how China fares in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. No luck! My puny brain is thirsting for it.
    .
    I have a theory. Let me float it with a hope that wiser minds would throw their weight in.
    .
    The hot spot today is Taiwan; Not Ukraine. The conflict is simmering. Beneath it is the boiling magma..
    .
    Xi Jinping is a cool head. Less agitated than Putin. But, more determined.
    .
    During the Winter Olympics opening gathering these two anti-western antagonists had a pow-wow, you remember.
    .
    What was hatched there?

    • 5
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      Yes, Nathan.
      .
      You probably have a point there.
      .
      So, you feel that China will soon take over Taiwan.
      .
      I hate wars; and wars have to be countered by other wars, or by credible deterrents. It is good to have lovers of peace, but they must be competent. People like Biden don’t fit the bill in any sense.
      .
      There’s more that I have to learn. I request help from others.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela

    • 12
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      Nathan,

      The NYT has reported that several months before this invasion, the U.S. shared with China the intelligence showing Russian plans for invasion. (There are many who express surprise that the US will share intelligence with an adversary like China, but this kind of limited cooperation is common.) China not only rebuffed the U.S. several times but also shared that intelligence with Russia. So China cannot pretend not to have known.

      China is a much larger power than Russia, both in economic and military terms. But they are always willing to take advantage of the situation, so up to a point, they will let Russia’s objectives be accomplished in Ukraine. But contrary to the perception within Russia and China that the West is in sharp decline and disunited, especially after the chaotic Afghan withdrawal, the Russian invasion has awakened the West and unified NATO. It is now about a block of democratic countries vs. autocratic countries, and in this contest, democracy will win. The protests against the Ukrainian war and the mass detentions in Russia there show why. The war may well end up costing Putin the leadership of Russia, if not his life. Xi Jinping will learn from that.

      • 0
        4

        Agnos
        For a sane view read John Mearsheimer who has been warning the West on its provocative policy in Ukraine since 2014.
        “https://www.mearsheimer.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Why-the-Ukraine-Crisis-Is.pdf”
        or listen to
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrMiSQAGOS4
        *
        “The war may well end up costing Putin the leadership of Russia, if not his life. Xi Jinping will learn from that.”
        American dreams, may I say?

        • 1
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          SJ,

          I know all about John Mearsheimer as he long ago co-wrote a book about the Israel lobby in the US. While he is frequently right, he fails to understand the unique evil that Putin represents and glosses that over in the name of realism and contrarian thinking within the West.

          A man sitting on one side of a long conference table, talking to his subordinates or other world leaders, either because he is afraid of Covid or because he wants to projects an imperial air, at the same time sends young conscripts–many of them just teenagers, into a war. 2000 — 5000 Russian soldiers have been killed already, and many others are POW, while in the middle of Covid, ordinary Ukrainian civilians face murder and mayhem.

          American dreams? Germany, a country that had steadfastly resisted American pressure for decades to sever ties with Russia and increase defense spending, is doing precisely that. Economic relationships with Russia built over decades became severed in a matter of days. Russian Oligarchs frolicking in the West is no longer possible. The Russian ruble is worthless. There is a lesson in all that for Xi Jinping in this decoupling; if you can’t grasp that, you know little about your hermit Kingdoms’ interdependence with the West.

    • 5
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      With baltic countries now fearlessly supporting Ukraine today, the situation will turn out to be dangerous than appeared to be in the next few days.
      :
      If any single country of them would be attacked by PUTIN forces, start of WW III is inevitable. Germans support Ukrainnians as much as they can, from today on. Germany has been doing whatever they could do to save the lives of the masses of Ukrainnians.PVT TV channels have made pleas for collections of millions of funds to save Ukrainians. I know how much funds they collected for SRILANKA at th etime, TSUNAMI killed nearly 50k of fisher community of srilankens in 2004. Those funds ended up being part of pvt savings of Rajapakshe ballige puthas…. that is though one another stories.

      I think as Balrusians, our srilanken idiots too seem to be supporting Russians to be on the good books of their ally- the chinese.
      :
      Let s hope the best that the world would not fall on another WW, but talks of the experts would help convincing schizophant PUNTIN.

    • 1
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      “What was hatched there?”
      An Easter Egg I think.

  • 7
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    Yes, it does seem a very jumbled system except for the fact that former Soviet states are clamouring to join in with NATO.  NATO is a well formed system of prosperity that even Russia can join in and do splendidly with ( of course they will have to change the name then).

  • 7
    1

    The writer is thanked for the trouble he has taken to let us know for the events that is taking place in that region and other background material. A question that remains unanswered is that amongst the 15 former republics of the then USSR, why is Ukraine so interesting to both Russia and the West amongst other republics? Former President of US Donald Trump now claims that had he remained the President, Russia would not have attacked Ukraine. As to whether that is idle talk or whether it means that he would have ensured that US and other allies would not cause “problems” to Russia on account of Ukraine remains unclear. If the second option is true, then what are the “problems or concerns” that Ukraine is posing to Russia and not other former republics? Although an impression is given that VVP (Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin) is “protecting” Russians in regions of Ukraine, he lets it be known that it was a mistake that Ukraine was not a part of Russia when USSR broke up. He does not give that idea to other former republics. Why???

    • 6
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      Dear Good Sense,
      .
      It is good to see you acknowledging that much remains unclear to you.
      .
      It may be worse with me! I intend coming back after attending to daily chores, and thinking this out.
      .
      Meanwhile, see if this helps:
      .
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/26/how-ukrainian-defiance-has-derailed-putins-plans
      .
      And this one minute video, easy to follow because of English sub-titles:
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJJ8zmcBH2A
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela, Sri lanka

    • 4
      1

      I decided, deliberately, to post this comment as separate from what I posted a moment ago. It was possible to amalgamate them.
      .
      One of the few Lankans who’d know something of this has spoken out:

      .

      http://www.adaderana.lk/news/80858/sri-lanka-must-stand-by-ukraine-dr-jayantha-dhanapala
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

      .

      • 4
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        SM thank you for this link. You can see why Sri Lanka is silent on this conflict when you consider our exports https://www.sundaytimes.lk/220227/news/all-eyes-on-ukraine-as-lanka-fears-conflict-will-hit-already-battered-economy-474469.html

        Paul

        • 2
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          Paul
          India is silent too.
          It is USA’s bed fellow and in the QUAD.

      • 4
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        Thank you Panini Edirisinhe.
        .
        This is a valuable link.
        .
        Dr Dhanapala is telling the truth even if some idiots through Hiru TV make farcical comment not knowing that we are too a NAM member. And also without the support of west, srilanka would not be able to come of current situation. Only SINO-SRILANKA close contacts would bring us forward, basta

    • 8
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      Dear GS.
      …WHY?…..
      May be economic but fronted as ‘security’ :
      https://www.businesstoday.in/latest/world/story/are-ukraines-vast-natural-resources-a-real-reason-behind-russias-invasion-323894-2022-02-25
      Ukraine has the second-biggest known gas reserves in Europe, apart from Russia’s gas reserves in Asia. Ukraine has large natural resources, with precisely five per cent of the earth’s natural and mineral resources.
      Ores such as iron, titanium, and non-metallic raw materials are some of the country’s major exports, and so are iron ore ($3.36 billion), corn ($4.77 billion), semi-finished iron ($2.55 billion), and seed oils ($3.75 billion).
      Ukraine is one of the largest distributors of wheat and corn. Grain exports are the mainstay of Ukraine’s economy. Much of the country’s corn and wheat are destined for Africa and West Asia, which are heavily reliant on imports for food items. Over 50 per cent of Ukraine’s annual corn and wheat shipments head to Africa or the Middle East.
      Lithium and titanium are some of the precious metals on earth today.
      Lithium : Estimates indicate that up to 20 per cent of the proven world reserves of titanium ores are situated in Ukraine. Ukraine’s breakaway territories in the Donbass region (now under Russia) have abundant natural resources and, thus, make the area economically very feasible for the future. Lithium chemicals are the main component of electric vehicle (EV) batteries. The majority of auto companies are looking at lithium reserves across the world for the new craze for electric vehicles.

      • 4
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        contd:
        TITANIUM : Needed by aircraft industry and space exploration.
        China was the largest importer of Ukrainian titanium iron ores in 2021, with Russia on the second spot (15.3 per cent), and Turkey ranked third (14.5 per cent)
        So many reasons for Russia to move in.
        The US and Europe could be looking at food and energy security by trying to ensure Ukraine’s tilt towards the West, but will Russia allow it?
        So wheels within wheels.
        We can sit in the gallery and watch only.

  • 6
    1

    Karmic!

    Ukraine was the biggest weapons seller to the SL government and LTTE.

    • 3
      3

      Armament manufacturers are some of the most amoral humans on this planet. The “much admired” Swiss also deal in arms in a big way; they don’t really care how the money rolls in.
      *

      *
      Having stated that, it would be good for you to remember that Ukraine had a quite different government during our “unnecessary” Eelam Wars. I can’t tell you all this off-hand; please research this subject.
      .
      The current president, Zelenskyy , seems to be an admirable man:
      .
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volodymyr_Zelenskyy
      .
      Next, don’t start nit-picking bits of information, and publishing them out of context. For instance, he’s been for the legalisation of prostitution. The sort of hypocrites that we have in Lanka will jump at that sort of thing, claiming that to be”immoral”. These are complex issues which ought not to be used to cloud issues on which there can be no wavering.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela

  • 5
    4

    The US may hope to get India’s Modi government as an extension of their Quad club against China. But India has chosen to limit its response at the UN Security Council, indicating concerns over the developments in Ukraine but stopping short of criticizing Russia for certain reasons. Russia has welcomed India’s ‘independent stand’ at the UN. The reasons are (1) Ukraine voted against India in UNO on Kashmir issue; (2) Ukraine voted against India in UNO on nuclear testing issue; (3) Ukraine had voted against India’s permanent membership in UNO’s Security Council; (4) Ukraine supplied weapons to Pakistan and (5) Ukraine supported Al Qaeda. There are some more. He had stock after Uranium, still after being asked repeatedly Ukraine maintained silence and did not even talk directly, while India was searching uranium for its energy. These are incidents still in India’s mind. Yet India believing in non-alignment concept has sympathized with the Ukranians and requested Russia to stop the war on humanitarian grounds. Now there is a dispute between India and China; China and Taiwan; and India and Pakistan and had diplomatically joined the QUAD to oppose China.
    Moreover India imports most of the weapons from Russia. It is very unlikely that Russia will collapse as Ukraine cannot last long. Merely supplying arms to Ukraine by the West is not going to solve this problem conclusively.

    • 1
      0

      AR
      But India … stopping short of criticizing Russia for certain reasons.
      None of it points to India’s ‘mortality’?
      Will not the USA punish India for such disloyalty– like cutting it out of Quad which will then become a Triad or a tripod?
      Who is playing clean here among those on whom you place your faith to deliver justice in Sri Lanka?

  • 6
    1

    MyView:

    “Lithium and titanium are some of the precious metals on earth today.”

    Lithium and Titanium are metals in high demand but they are not precious metals.

    By the way, Sri Lanka has two Titanium ores, Rutile and Ilmenite. But we don’t have the technology to process the ores and extract the metal.

    • 6
      0

      Dear CM,
      Yes, agreed, Thank you.
      That is in the usually accepted practice, but titanium and lithium can be termed “precious” as well, under metals that are rare, naturally occurring metallic chemical elements of high economic value.
      The four primary “precious metals” are mainly for cosmetic lustre, and only gold has real value even though the Gold Standard was done away with, while palladium has some value being used in fuel cells and catalytic converters.
      While usual precious metals are of high monetary value, emerging scientific developments will mean titanium and lithium will have high economic value.
      …But we don’t have the technology to process the ores and extract the metal….
      That is our lopsided development strategy. We went for show on borrowed money to impress the poor (and collect !) with expressways, airports, a stadium and convention hall. Still sustainable Power and our oil in Mannar, are in the backburners.

    • 1
      0

      CM,
      “By the way, Sri Lanka has two Titanium ores, Rutile and Ilmenite. But we don’t have the technology to process the ores and extract the metal.”
      We have the blessings of getting a higher cumulative commission in foreign countries by exporting unrefined Rutile and Ilmenite, than exporting Titanium!!
      Why then spend money on process and technology to do so, when the current process is more profitable!!!!

  • 6
    0

    Rajan,

    I wonder if you have read Kissinger’s (ugh!) article “How the Ukraine crisis ends.” while it doesnt really give solutions for the present crisis, it is very informative, percipient, even, about the various factors involved
    It first came in the Washington Post on 23 or 24 Feb but I received it by WhatsApp.
    I recommend it to everyone right now.

  • 3
    1

    Is President Putin’s decision to invade Kyiv (I used the Ukrainian version in support of Ukraine) an afterthought? The Russian invasion on Ukraine is going on for the third day. They are slow (just an observation). Is the Russian invasion a ‘symbolic’ warning to NATO? If so, it is time for President Putin to stop his mischief and return home.
    Ukraine is no match to Russia. President Putin should be ashamed to attack Ukraine. What kind of leadership is this? Invading Donbass is a different matter as there are issues. But, attacking Kyiv is cowardly and brutal. Only terrorists would do such things. Too bad a strong leader like President Putin resorting to such tactics.

    • 0
      2

      Russia says they don’t target civilians. They have caused massive destruction in Ukraine, but not as enormous as the destruction caused by the US military in the Middle-East. Sorry for the comparison. The US military deliberately targetted civilians in other countries and brutally killed them for decades. Not only that, the US government outsed democratically elected leaders in many countries by funding and organizing civil unrest. Fortunately, President Biden shows that he is not a fan of war, death and destruction. I don’t think Russia wants to be the new US.
      NATO disappointed Ukraine which is a good lesson for the Ukrainian President. He may have cried a lot. But, when he was asked to surrender, he refused. Ukraine joining NATO is a joke now.

      • 3
        1

        When the Ukrainian military was given an option to fight or flight, they bravely chose the former. Citizens too, decided to stay and fight. The Ukrainian President didn’t run away either. Their bravery shows that they are true Russians! (Sorry, I don’t know any other way to say it.) Is President Putin a true Russian?
        Ukrainians are not enemies. They are also Russians. What does President Putin gain by attacking his own comrades?
        The world admires the great courage displayed by the Ukrainian President, his military and his citizens by resisting the powerful Russian Army. I think deep down in his heart, President Putin admires that too. I am sure he is proud of Ukrainians as much as we are. The world will remember their bravery for a very long time.
        I stand by Ukrainians! We stand by Ukrainians!! The world stands by Ukrainians!!! I most sincerely urge President Putin to withdraw his troops from Ukraine and leave Ukraine alone.
        .
        “The General who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.”- a quote by Sun Tzu

        • 0
          3

          My comment is unbalanced, if I didn’t write about Donbass.
          It seems, the real situation in Donbass is not known to the world. I noted down this information from public comments, presumably written by those who were well aware of the ground situation in Donbass. Ethnic Russians and Russophones in Donbass are said to be in fear of ethnic cleansing from Ukraine. Over 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers have surrounded Donbass region, knocking at doors demanding Russians and Russophones to leave. Apparently, Donetsk & Luhansk have been subjected to abuse by the Ukrainian government.
          The law passed by the Ukrainian government ‘extending special status of the Temporarily Occupied Territories (TOT) of Ukraine’ had recognized Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) as self-governing states. Anyway, this law has expired on 31 December 2021 which is supposed to be extended annually. Ukrainian citizens were not in support of the TOT law as it required Ukraine to hold elections in the Donbass region and recognize self-governing states in their constitution. Anyway, the TOT law proves that the Ukrainian government doesn’t exercise any control over DPR and LPR. It is a complex and complicated matter which can only be resolved through bilateral talks.

          • 5
            6

            Champawati being a Kaavadi. She can’t write normally, leaving out her bombastic manners. She jumping into Russian-Ukraine issue like the bald head Ayatollahs teach Sinhala Buddhism, science, economics, math, astronomy… …..blah blah. I saw a couple of videos, there, in dire situation of life or death, Russian soldiers and Ukrainian people are being polite to each other. Russian soldiers, though trying to capture Kivy, appear to have no stomach to kill Ukrainians, unlike the Rapist Army, in few days, raped murdered, and savaged 150,000 in few days with Cluster, Chemical & Thermobaric bombs. The massive powerful army so far killed only less than 400 Ukrainian Civilians. Shameless for Champawati, who is fearing to go to UNHRC and answer to war crime accusations the Rapist Army caused, teaching to defend the Ukrainian. Russians are 1000 times more humanistic to Ukrainian than the Rapist army who wiped the Tamils from Mullivaikkal in the “Context of Humanitarian Rescue Mission Operation”. Don’t go to show how naked the rapist army is by going to comment on the international war issues. Until you go to ICC, and answer to the international community, because you are already accused in UNHRC, you have no moral right to comment on other international issues on matters like Russia – Ukraine. Please shut up, gracefully!

  • 2
    4

    Russian invasion into Ukraine would not have been there if two important things had happened.
    1). Chancellor Merkel had resigned two years ago (at least one year).
    2). Britain had managed to hold on to the EU.

    The major balance of NATO equation was destroyed by German policies of the past few years. A country’s development has to be strategically planned with many things in balance. Mistakes of Germany not just pushed the EU to the brink of disintegration, but put in question the hard fought Cold War victory. After the Cold War, Russia agreed to join NATO. It was suggested NATO to take a different form instead of being a pure military organization. But, hold up was, earlier, Gorbachev refused to completely wipe out communism from Russia. This outdated Marxian theorist jeopardized his safety and stalled his magnificent changes he brought. But I hope the world will remember his good deed as a lonely human within the Communist bears’ cabin, not his mistakes.

  • 3
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    A “Simmering Bubble” has erupted. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and thereafter Russia under Gorbachaue and Yeltsin, geopolitics changed considerably and tilted towards the west ideology of Democracy and termed it “Pestorika”. Next came the “Era” of Vladimir Putin. His “Vision” and “Ambition” of once again establishing the demised “USSR”, that “Amber” so far hidden started simmering. This Putin started with capturing a “Kremia” at the mouth of the “Black Sea” where the Russian Fleet is operating. That way Putin wants to unilaterally declare all those bordering regions such as Ukraine to be allies of Russia. Simply that is Putin’s “Goal”.

    The “WEST” that has set up organizations under the names of NATO and EU wants to spread their wings to all those “Independent”, but “Breakaway” countries standing at the “Border” of Russia to strengthen their own “Interests”. These types of “Organizations” will come up in other “REGIONS”.

    So, simply this “War” between Russia and Ukraine is a “Fight” to establish “SUPREMACY”, now not of “Countries” anymore but, “REGIONS”. Who pays the “Price”? The “Innocent” people of all ages – the HUMAN BEINGS.

  • 3
    0

    This western outcry and it’s Lankan supporters over Ukraine is fascinating.
    How is it the same western media and nations, including our voluable commentators, never get hysterical about 3 million Palestinians expelled from their lands and made homeless, made into refugee beggars around the world. How is it there is no outcry every Friday when Palestinian youth protesting over theft of their lands are shot dead. How does the world and our Lankan moral appraisers watch in silence every week when Palestinian homes are flattened and families thrown onto the streets.
    Appreciate answers from our wise and informed commentators.

    • 0
      0

      Sarath,
      .
      I share your concerns for the Palestinians .
      .
      I know that another person who shares those concerns is Manel Fonseka who has been making many comments during the past few days.
      .
      Oh, dear, I just said “concerns”; with Manel it is rarely that. She has visited those places and her fury blazes even now.
      .
      What I’m telling you is, Sarath, that fellings of outrage for the one crime do not make it necessary to preclude the other.

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      Sarath,
      I can think of many reasons for this, including the US desire to have a loyal agent in West Asia –“why do you think Israel is the biggest beneficiary of US funding abroad?

      Then, of course, the fear that any criticism of Israel — even of its horrendous treatment of the Palestinians — so readily brings accusations of anti-semitism — witness poor Jeremy Corbyn, for instance.

      The long-suffering Palestnians, the outrageous turning-over of their country to an alien and hostile people, their gradual “cleansing” from every book and cranny of their own land – all this, as you say, has left the world in almost total silence.
      But, in the last year or two, I feel the tide has begun to turn, and even among the Jewish Israelis there are more and more standing up for Palestinian rights.

      • 0
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        Oorrection: nook and cranny

    • 3
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      Sarath

      Part I

      Well said Sarath.

      The Zionist Israelis Forced themselves into Palestine, after WWI, and, by May 1948, they became strong and confident enough to declare a UDI and unleashed terrorist attacks on Palestinians, forcing over 700.000 Palestinians in 400 villages to flee their homes to neighbouring countries to a life of abject misery as Refugees. 74 years later, their number totals more than 7 millions today with the Zionist entity REFUSING to allow them to return to their homes.

      U.S was the first to recognise the ILLEGAL entity on the same day the UDI was declared, followed by, U S’s Bitterest foe, the USSR 3 days later.

      The Palestinians living in the Occupied territories are subjected to military control, and daily attacks on them and their properties by the so-called Security forces and Settlers are the norm with several killed, injured and arrested on alleged security grounds on a regular basis. The Palestinians who protest against Occupation are termed “terrorists” by the Zionists and acknowledged as such by US and the West.

      • 3
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        Sarath

        Part II

        The West, led by U.S, who are screaming at the Russians for invading Ukraine, KNOW the Daily Suffering and Dreadful Plight of the Palestinians in the Refugee Camps and in the Occupied Palestinian territories, but have done NOTHING for 74 LONG YEARS to Force the Israelis to Vacate Occupied lands and also Permit the Refugees to return to their homes. Of course, numerous Resolutions have been passed by the UNSC, UNGA and UNHRC but the Zionist entity arrogantly ignored them.

        Upto Dec. 2016, no less than 80 UNSC resolutions have been passed against the Zionist entity condemning it on its Settlement Activity in Occupied territories, ill-treatment of Palestinians living there, deportation of Palestinians living there, Human Rights Violations, Annexation of Jerusalem etc. The Resolutions have not only been rejected contemptuously by the Zionist entity, but all those activities are continuing without any let up.

        What sort of a justice is this in this 21st century? A group of people who Forced their way into the territory of a people, Brutally evicted them, and claimed ownership to the land, are free to Suppress and Oppress the owners of the land for 74 LONG years while another country which invades its neighbor for reasons of its own, is immediately pounced upon by the West with Sanctions and Threats and What not?

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    I think CTers would find interesting a Guardian article of 28/2: “Many predicted Nato expansion would lead to war. Those warnings were ignored”.
    Though, of course, many of you dont need to be told this.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/feb/28/nato-expansion-war-russia-ukraine

    “History will show that Washington’s treatment of Russia in the decades following the demise of the Soviet Union was a policy blunder of epic proportions. It was entirely predictable that Nato expansion would ultimately lead to a tragic, perhaps violent, breach of relations with Moscow. Perceptive analysts warned of the likely consequences, but those warnings went unheeded. We are now paying the price for the US foreign policy establishment’s myopia and arrogance.”

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    Manel Fonseka – Thanks for pointing me to the Kissinger article and now Carpenter’s in the Guardian. They have added to my knowledge. You and I have met. But that seems to be in another lifetime and another place. Stay safe and do continue to drop a line to CT now and then.

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      Sarath,
      You say we have met. I am intrigued. I wonder where, when, in connection with what.

      I must take this opportunity to modify a statement made elsewhere about standing with Ukraine against the invasion. I am absolutely opposed to its joining Nato.

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    “Putin has been maniacally reckless in starting the current skirmish.”
    *
    We know leaders who maniacally and recklessly waged war in several countries from Afghanistan to Libya and threatening quite a few there and slapping sanctions left and right.
    *
    Has Putin ever been reckless in his moves in his two decades in power?
    I have not seen a more calm and collected head of state in recent times.
    He was a little unpredictable for pundits, but some observers knew what to expect when the NATO boss challenged Russia.
    Read
    “https://www.mearsheimer.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Why-the-Ukraine-Crisis-Is.pdf”
    or listen to
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrMiSQAGOS4
    For a more balanced view from John Mearsheimer who has been warning the West on its provocative policy in Ukraine since 2014.

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      Brutal dictators give wet dreams to certain people.

    • 1
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      Thank you SJ. We are subject to continuous Western propaganda. Its good to read a balanced view of this.

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