Ukraine War and Its Place in History

UN Peace Ukraine
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When the history of these times is written, the last 15 months or so from November 2021 to January 2023 will form a very tragic part of its pages. This has been the time of the most irresponsible abandonment of their most crucial responsibilities by world leadership, leading to a sharp, perhaps unprecedented, escalation of dangers and risks for the entire humanity and in fact all forms of life.

While this escalation of dangers can be seen in several contexts, the most important of these has undoubtedly been in the context of Ukraine, a war which started with Russia being provoked endlessly to invade by the USA and some of its allies. One has generally heard of peace efforts being made internationally when conditions of a very dangerous war emerge, but here was a very special case of endless provocations, coming on back of years of planning for laying a trap with the aim of bleeding and weakening Russia, preferably without having to enter into a direct confrontation with a heavily armed country.

Historians will no doubt, if they have the opportunity, also give much attention to analyzing if after all these provocations Russia still had the option of avoiding this invasion for the sake of world peace. As it appears today, this would have been possible if the world had a strong peace movement and free, unbiased media which could expose the highly unjust provocation in a big way, including the attacks faced by people of Russian ethnicity in Ukraine, and the proven involvement of the USA and its allies to engineer a coup to remove democratically elected government in Ukraine and strengthen anti-Russia forces there for several years, leaving no stone unturned to try to turn neighbors with strong cultural ties into enemies. While regretting the absence of such a strong international peace movement and free unbiased media in the true sense, historians will deliberate what would have been the implications for Russia if for the sake of world peace it had still continued to avoid the option of an invasion. Would then the USA and NATO, facing no opposition, have gone ahead to saturate its neighborhood with such destructive weapons that its sovereign status was all but gone? Historians will ask if Russia had no right of safeguarding its position by avoiding such a possibility.

Historians would be very interested in debating at what point the proxy war started developing into a direct conflict between Russia and USA/NATO and what were its causes. Was this due to the ever increasing supply of more and more deadly weapons to Ukraine? They may like to recall Russian leaders warning at a relatively early stage that the conflict was fast moving into a direct confrontation with USA and close allies/NATO due the heavy supply of weapons, training and even sending of several military personnel to Ukraine by the USA and allies. They may also recall statements by top western leaders that the aim is to weaken Russia and to ensure victory of Ukraine. They may in particular recall an astonishing statement by the German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on January 24, 2023 that Germany and its allies are “fighting a war against Russia” and wonder what happened to the Green Party’s opposition to war and the weapons race which taken together also happen to be the biggest polluters?

With no less astonishment they may recall the statements of ex-German Chancellor Angela Merkel and ex-French President Francois Hollande that their efforts in the context of Minsk Accords were not sincere at all and were merely meant to buy time to help Ukraine to get militarily stronger for a confrontation with Russia.

Future historians will no doubt recall the step-by-step escalation of more and more deadly weapons being supplied by the west and its allies. They may also recall in this context the statement of the Ukraine Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov in October 2022 which very well captures the essence of this—“When I went to D.C. in November (2021) before the invasion, and asked for Stringers they told me it was impossible. Now it is possible. When I asked for 155 millimeter guns, the answer was no. HIMARS, no, HARM, no. Now all of this is yes. Therefore I am certain that tomorrow there will be tanks and ATACMS and F16s.” Well, already very modern tanks are assured.

Future historians will no doubt examine the alarming recklessness of all this when nuclear weapons to destroy the entire world many times over already exist in the world and when around 90% of these are with Russia and the USA. They will no doubt regret the alarming ignorance displayed by those western leaders who talk of defeating Russia knowing fully well that Russia has the most nuclear weapons and also that when faced by complete defeat a nuclear weapon power will use these. They will recall how during the 1990s, in Yeltsin years, the USA and close allies chose to exploit and degrade Russia as soon as they had the opportunity to do so, leading even to an alarming decline in life expectancy.

If the worst fears fortunately remain unfounded and historians are able to deliberate on the follies of our times, they will no doubt record it as one of the most dangerous of times.

Bharat Dogra is Honorary Convener, Campaign to Save Earth Now. His recent books include Planet in Peril, A Day in 2071, Protecting Earth for Children and Earth without Borders.


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