Ukraine-Crisis: Egos at Stake! 

ukraine war peace

Continuity of Ukraine-crisis may be viewed as harsh illustration of what display of extremism by leadership at certain levels can lead to. At the outset, refusal of Russian President Vladimir Putin to step back from continuing war-strikes against Ukraine stands out. It also marks failure of diplomatic strength of key powers as well as international organizations supposed to be keenly concerned about peace and progressive development. In a sense, there is nothing surprising about this. Recent era appears to be crudely and also harshly marked by extremism displaying itself a little too markedly at national and international levels. Ukraine-crisis may also be viewed from one angle as extremism being displayed by Putin.

Tragically, at least this seems to be impression, turning a blind eye to “extremism” at certain levels appears to have prompted others, including Putin, pursue the same without almost batting an eyelid. One doesn’t need to say much about Palestinian crisis. But that it shows no sign of ending is also a harsh illustration of diplomatic ignorance about its continuance being taken total advantage of. True, the same may be said about nature of extremism in certain West Asian countries, including imposition of so-called “democracy” in the name of Arab Spring. Of course, extremism displayed towards protest displayed by women in Iran is disturbing. To a degree, this seems fairly mild in comparison to what Palestinians have faced within their own “terrain”, what civilians are facing in Afghanistan, Ukrainians are being subject to, abortion problems faced by ladies in areas where it has been banned, nature of abuses certain sections are subject to in the Indian sub-continent and so forth.

Initiation, practice and support of extremism leading to abuse at any level can hardly be viewed as justified, even in the name of democracy. Chances of Putin having his way in Ukraine may be viewed as practically totally non-existent. United States and its allies are least likely to let Ukrainian crisis take this turn. Simply speaking, this also implies that Ukrainian people and their territory are falling victims to a “war” between United States and Russia. Certainly, Putin has erred to the point of extremity by abandoning diplomatic options and choosing instead to exercise war-moves. But United States has certainly not exercised wise diplomacy by opting for moves to further prolong this war. Neither has displayed any humane concern. Washington in all probability is least likely to step back till Putin does not fall from power or at least openly announces his decision to step back from Ukrainian territory. There is no knowing as to how many more lives will be lost and property damaged till this turn takes place. Or whether it will really take place or not?

Comparatively, the Ukraine-war game is of a far more different dimension than that of Afghanistan, targets of Arab Spring and several other international crises. It needs to be noted, affected regions and people have not still returned to what may be viewed as their normal routine. This only suggests that the longer Ukraine-crisis lasts, greater and worse would be sufferings faced by its victims.

Not much needs to be said about impact of such crises not being confined to boundaries and/or to just a generation. Apart from their facing deprivation of basic living amenities, economic resources, educational facilities and so much more, chances of these extending to more than a generation cannot be overlooked. This hard reality also spells threats of deprived and frustrated groups resorting to terrorism and/or violence in other forms. Threat of Ukraine-crisis assuming nature of a nuclear conflict is also being speculated upon.

Sadly, barely any importance is being given to possible moves which can bring warring sides to diplomatic table. Little importance has been given in the West, diplomatically and by their media, to several African leaders’ decision to either remain non-aligned or choose to support Kremlin regarding Ukraine-crisis. Rather than considering their role to pursue diplomatic cards, western leaders seem more concerned about winning their support against Russia.

Yes, Washington is least likely to consider any move which gives impression of Putin having had his way. This is not simply a million dollar question but more pertinently about that of human lives, values, property and a lot more being simply blown away by giving greater priority to warring leaders’ over-bloated “egos” being at stake.

Putin has erred and probably has a bruised ego now. The timing is just appropriate for exercise of diplomatic cards. The egos are least likely to spell any gain or victory for any side, but each side can use controlled media as desired and give actual importance to possible diplomatic measures to end Ukraine-war. United States, with support of its allies and of course media, has the option to project such news as desired. To a degree, Putin retains command over what is communicated within Russia. Wasn’t western media used to spread “news” about Arab Spring which actually amounted to Arab Winter? If it is said that Washington cannot exercise similar and/or any cards to convince Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the diplomatic table, it is equivalent to asserting that key parties, including Super Power, are not at all keen for this war to end!

Nilofar Suhrawardy is a senior journalist and writer with specialization in communication studies and nuclear diplomacy. She has come out with several books. These include:– Modi’s Victory, A Lesson for the Congress…? (2019); Arab Spring, Not Just a Mirage! (2019), Image and Substance, Modi’s First Year in Office (2015) and Ayodhya Without the Communal Stamp, In the Name of Indian Secularism (2006).


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