Why is there a war in Ukraine?

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Why did the war in Ukraine start?

The war actually started in 2014, when Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and occupied part of its territory in the east, creating two fake “people’s republics” under Moscow’s control. Russia used the same tactic (forming a fake “government” and then defending that “government”) in Georgia in 2008 and Transnistria in 1992, copying the Soviet Union’s tactic in Finland in 1940 and in Ukraine in 1918-1920.

In 2014, Russia started the war after Ukrainians overthrew their president Yanukovych, who broke his promise to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union and thus deprived Ukrainians of their European future. The current sharp escalation of the war is related to the fact that Ukraine politically and economically moved towards the European Union and became economically more successful than Russia. Another reason was Russia’s internal problems, such as widespread corruption.

What is Russia’s endgame?

Putin wants to restore the Soviet Union, absorbing independent countries that broke away from this “prison of nations” in 1990-1991 and dominating over neighbors. He de facto annexed Belarus in 2021 and almost annexed Kazakhstan in January 2022.

In 2005, Putin called the collapse of the USSR “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century” and consistently tried to restore it – destroying free media and opposition in Russia, sometimes with political assassinations, as well as trying to penetrate other countries with both soft and hard power. Most of the population of Russia is brainwashed by Russian propaganda and supports Putin’s war with Ukraine.

Putin has refused to recognize Ukrainians as a separate nation with their own culture, language, history, and, most importantly, sovereign borders. His goal is to completely destroy the Ukrainian nation and erase it from the face of the Earth. He calls this the “final solution to the Ukrainian question.”

What is Ukraine’s endgame?

Ukrainians are fighting for their existence as a nation and, even more so, their freedom. If Ukraine surrenders (as many Western analysts predicted before the war), Ukrainians will be subjected to mass extermination. They will be killed, persecuted, or expelled from their land. Therefore, Ukrainians have no choice but to fight.

Could the war have been prevented?

Possibly, yes. If developed democracies had not turned a blind eye to Russia’s violations of international law and had not prioritized money over values. Strong sanctions should have been applied to Russia as early as the 1990s when it brutally destroyed Chechnya, a republic that was conquered by Russia in the mid-19th century and, like Ukraine, never stopped fighting for its independence.

Russia’s impunity for the partial occupation of Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine, the destruction of Chechnya, and the bombings in Syria, its involvement in the war in Mali, and others have led to today’s terrible situation. However, one can delve even deeper into history. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, Hungary in 1956, and Czechoslovakia in 1968. After World War II, it participated in numerous conflicts in Africa and Asia, including the war in Vietnam, and brought the world to the brink of destruction in 1962. Yet, the logic of “business as usual” prevailed. Why?

Firstly, due to the widespread myth that the USSR defeated the Hitler regime in 1945. Although without Stalin, there would have been no Hitler at all. And without the support of the United States, Great Britain, and other countries, the Soviet Union probably would not have won. And although the people of Ukraine, Poland, and Belarus bore the main burden of the war, Russia still believes that it won the war on its own and has a “legitimate right” to the territories it occupied after 1945, including the Baltics, Poland, Slovakia, Czechia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary. The fact is that without Ukrainian soldiers, Nazism would not have been defeated. It is noteworthy that neither Stalin nor his immediate aides appeared before the Nuremberg Trials, despite their earlier collaboration with the Nazi regime.

Secondly, because Russia skillfully corrupted many politicians around the world, using soft power, direct and indirect bribes, and other methods. These connections still contribute to the spread of disinformation and hinder international efforts to aid Ukraine and find a solution that would make similar disasters in the future unlikely, rather than just postponing the next attacks by Putin.

What should the world do now?

Finally, wake up and defend the principles on which a free world is built and on which the United Nations was founded: the right of nations to self-determination, diplomatic resolution of tensions, and respect for international law. If these principles are not upheld, if some countries are allowed to violate them ruthlessly, then what is the purpose of all international institutions?

In practical terms, this means, first and foremost, providing Ukraine with weapons so that it can defend itself, especially anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems to protect civilians from Russian bombs. And secondly, tightening sanctions against Russia, including a ban on the export of its energy resources, to deprive it of money for financing the war. Russia today is a bloodthirsty war machine, and every cent it receives from trade allows it to produce more bombs and missiles to destroy Ukrainians.

Russia is a terrorist state, as it has repeatedly demonstrated, including with its recent nuclear threat unleashed upon the world. There can be no dealings, no appeasement of its demands with a terrorist. Russia must be isolated in all dimensions – business, diplomacy, travel, visas, research and scientific cooperation, sports, and so on. No one should shake its hand – after all, it bears the blood of Ukrainian, Syrian, Chechen, Georgian, Moldovan, and many other children.

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