“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”
IMHO, and despite it not being politically correct to mention it, there is a significant (as in very significant) rightwing element in Ukraine. This has all mysteriously disappeared in Western commentary. It has been forgotten that the “valiant” Azov Regiment in Donbas were Nazis. This is not as black and white as the US would have us believe. The US is happy with this war, the rightwing in Ukraine is happy with this war, sure its being funded by the west and only “little people” are paying the price.
Oh! Don’t wholly disagree, and do recognise that Ukraine was possibly the most corrupt country in Western Europe, but as far as I can see this was a legacy of Soviet style oligarchial corruption, which ironically was a boil that has at least in part been lanced by Ukraine and the West’s response to Russia’s invasion.
However, perhaps you need to define what you mean by ’ the rightwing in Ukraine’ being ‘happy’ with the war because RW elements in Ukraine are ideologically aligned with Russia, who’s getting its ass kicked , so these elements are keeping their heads down, but also probably wish the war hadn’t happened, because it has exposed the hypocisy and weakness of Russia.
Yes Mark, I was clumsy with the “rightwing” epithet. But it’s getting rather confusing with the number of classifications in circulation these days. Maybe ultra nationalists describe the sort of hardliners I was thinking of.
It’s a tricky one because those ultra-nationalists consist of both local anti-Semitic elements and conventional ultra patriots, and in the case of the Azod battalion, fought side by side to very bravely defend their country against the Russian invasion.
Personally, I think there are probably so few Jews left in Ukraine since the Holocaust that the anti-Semitic angle is something that has been blown up out of proportion by the Russians in their campaign against so-called ‘Ukrainians’ who just happen to elected a Jewish president!
Well that’s possibly true, but the track record isn’t good, though I note the exiled chief rabbi says Jews should leave Russia ASAP.
I’ve just had enough. The objective should be peace and from where I’m sitting it’s only the EU that’s pushing for it, and not hard enough. Ukrainian hubris was evident to me even before the invasion, I blame clumsy US foreign policy (executed from the safety of 3,000 miles away) for kicking the whole thing off during Bush”s tenure.
Russia and Ukraine must be forced to the negotiating table. Give Ukraine Patriot’s to protect themselves, the more the better, Giving them Himars to fend off Russian attack, good stuff. But using them to murder conscripts, not so good. The mask has slipped IMO.
I’m agreeing with you @John_Scully but…the opposing argument is that Russia has murdered many thousands of civilians by indiscriminate (or targeted, deliberate) rocket attacks. These were military personnel so probably deemed legitimate targets.
Undeniably true and I hope that those responsible will be brought to justice. I also recognise the heroism of the Ukrainiens on the front line defending their Country and loved ones. But blowing up a bunch conscripts doesn’t seem too heroic to me. Despite Zelenskyy‘s media friendly persona I truly believe there are dark forces behind him. That’s the way it has always been, why would it change now?
I totally agree, there is no doubt in most peoples’ minds’, even in Russia probably, that Ukraine is a sovereign country, a member of the United Nations, and it is insupportable that it should not be allowed, by all legal means necessary, to defend itself and evict the plainly obvious aggressor from its territory…
I am quite certain that if the Germans had got as far as Canterbury in the 2nd WW and were blown up by British resistance there would have been no outcry of murder at all.
Ahh but David, Poland didn’t provoke Germany into war in '39 (though one could argue the seeds were sown in Versailles). But the West (read US) has provoked this war. Is it too much to ask that western politicions consider carefully what unintended consequences their words and actions could provoke? Bush and his cronies lying about weapons of mass destruction caused misery for millions. And his throw away suggestion that Ukraine join NATO has now done the same.
While everything Putin gas done is despicable and I hope he and his henchmen are Brough to justice ASAP, I think we need to delve deeper into what has caused this whole disaster and it didn’t start last February, nor even with the annexation of Crimea. It started on the 1st of April 2008 (rather appropriatly).
At least François Fillon could see the implications even if Bush and his hawks didn’t care. Why would they I suppose, like all US cock-ups the pain ends up in other countries.
This is what I take issue with you over. Conscripts or not they were not murdered, they were killed as a legitimate part of an illegal invading army.
But I also, while not denying what Bush said, do not think that that was sufficient excuse for Putin to unleash a war of terror against its neighbour. Especially on the grounds of it being ‘not a real country’ when that country was a fellow member of the United Nations. Only legitimately recognised countries are allowed membership of that, the clue is in the name.
In the early part of the 20th century Britain was prompted to get involved in a Dreadnought competition because it wanted to not allow Germany to gain an advantage in that sphere. What Britain did not do was attack Germany while saying it wasn’t a real country, and if it had, I am sure that most right thinking people would have condemned such action.
Those poor, untrained conscripts had families too David. IMO all of those people are as much victims of Putin as the poor civilians under attack in Ukraine. I would like the killing to stop now, all the killing. That should be the number one priority.
It is not only Bush’s words that kicked this off. Elsewhere I’ve posted maps showing NATO expansion since the USSR collapsed. It has been relentless. That any politician could think that Russia could be surrounded by NATO and there not be a negative reaction shocks me. It was only a question of time. While all of those countries had every right to join NATO if they wished, at the same time measures should have been taken to avoid spooking Russia and to keep everyone safe. Putin’s army has inflicted the damage and must bear the ultimate blame, but in my view it is too easy to just blame Putin, it was also a failure of Western diplomacy and foresight that set us on the road to disaster. I think that has to be acknowledged if we are to have any hope of avoiding it again. Meanwhile, China is biding its time over Taiwan. This is all very dodgy stuff and we don’t want the US walking the World into yet another catastrophe.
Tragically, I don’t see the pressure and urgency for peace from Western leaders that I would like. I’m not even sure the US wants peace at this stage and Biden has stated he spends a lot of time taking to EU leaders, I suspect that’s because they are not as gung-ho as the US.
As for the reasons for WW1, you’ve probably read “The Guns of August” by Barbara W. Tuchman. I hope that some day there will be an equally detailed analysis of the current war too.
But those ‘seeds’ were not sown by the Poles who subsequently suffered two subjugations, first by the Nazis and then by their Russian ‘liberators’
I’d argue that they didn’t ‘provoke’ it, but instead inadvertently made it more probable by not responding sufficiently vigourously to Russia’s invasion and subsequent annexation of the Crimean region of Ukraine. For me, albeit in retrospect, that’s the big failure of Obama’s presidency.
I think some careless words have been used, many years later as a superficial pretext for Putin’s invasion.
Russia’s a massively corrupt dictatorship and a cultural basket case that has contributed zilch to global betterment since the beginning of Stalin’s purges. In comparison to China Russia looks absolutely pathetic, the only thing they’ve given the world since Stravinsky is the Kalashnikov and even then, many countries make better versions than the Russian original.
Vladimir Putin could cause the killing to stop at any time he chooses by withdrawing his invasion forces back across the border into Russia.
In the meantime, any Russian forces on Ukrainian territory are fair game. One does not wait until the enemy is stronger before attacking them.