Ukraine Peace

All available evidence regarding the present situation in Ukraine appears to suggest that the best course of action here would be to have an unconditional ceasefire as early as possible, to be followed by an internationally supported, large-scale reconstruction and rehabilitation program as well as talks with Russia to settle all contentious issue and try to secure durable peace as well.

However this course of action is not being followed by those in charge of decision making in Ukraine today for various reasons. In March-April 2022 the Ukraine authorities appeared to be moving in this direction, helped by some peace moves initiated by Turkey, and what a blessing it would have been if peace had been secured then and there. But Boris Johnson flew in, carrying the message of those who are more powerful than him too and are keen to continue the proxy war, and then the peace efforts, so close to success, just collapsed. After this the decision makers in Ukraine have not been speaking in terms of early peace and ceasefire, instead taking the stand of reclaiming all lost territory.

Of course most Ukrainian citizens would like to reclaim any lost territory, the question is only whether ceasefire and peace should be made conditional to that. All evidence appears to indicate that welfare of the people of Ukraine is best defined in terms of immediate unconditional ceasefire and peace. However the USA which is without any doubt fighting a proxy war here does not favor this. Most of those who are key decision makers and some of the most powerful persons in Ukraine are convinced that their personal interests are better protected by going in line with the USA. Hence the best welfare interests of the people of Ukraine are unlikely to be achieved by the present decision makers in Ukraine. The rich and powerful oligarchs of Ukraine based in western countries are also likely to go with the USA position to protect or promote their own interests.

This is a very unfortunate situation which will prolong the distress and sufferings of the people of Ukraine. The apprehensions expressed even much earlier by several well-informed persons regarding a proxy war being prolonged by the USA at the cost of bringing great distress to the people of Ukraine are now turning out to be quite close to reality.

Hence there is a clear need for those citizens and friends of Ukraine, who are in a position to take an independent stand without risking their life, to come out with alternative policies (and policy framework) for Ukraine which are based on immediate securing of ceasefire to be followed by peace talks and large-scale rehabilitation and reconstruction in conditions of peace, within a framework of justice and democracy. These groups should also emphasize how rehabilitation and reconstruction should proceed, how those most in need should get priority and how scarce resources can be best used best for real priorities. A development path in keeping with freedom, autonomy, self-reliance, remaining free of getting caught in big-power rivalry, non-alignment, justice, equality, non-discrimination, peace, harmony, sustainable development with special emphasis on agriculture based on local land-owning communities of small farmers should be emphasized. To make up for all the damage caused, the best use of local resources for reconstruction and development should be assured, helped by unconditional non-profit international support.

If such policy recommendations, or other recommendations which are most in keeping with the welfare of people of Ukraine, are widely shared and discussed on continuing basis, this will help to mobilize support for course correction so that the policies best for the welfare of people of Ukraine get closer to be realized. Ultimately, the basic objective is to create a future for the people of Ukraine which is most in keeping with the most urgent requirement of bringing peace and a large-scale community-based and participative reconstruction and rehabilitation effort to the badly devastated country.

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

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