Today, Russia invaded Ukraine.
We have known for a while now that Russia was pondering invading. Ukraine, though not a perfect democracy, has expressed an interest in aligning more with the free countries of Europe and has been getting more democratic recently.
As a result, Russia’s dictator, Putin, has decided that it needs to ‘protect’ not only those in the east who consider themselves Russian, but also those in the rest of the country who consider themselves Ukrainian. This sounds very similar to the behavior of Hitler in 1938 as he captured Austria and the Sudetenland of modern-day Czechia.
In world affairs there is always subtlety and there are shades of gray. There may be more at play here than the madness of one man. But this might also just be what it looks like: A larger country bullying a smaller one before they become unbullyable.
The USA and NATO generally, has the world’s most powerful and well-funded military. The US spends more on the military than the next ten countries combined excluding China. The US spends more than ten times as much on military spending than Russia, which only spends slightly more than the UK. Nato could have chosen to stop Putin, not by force, but by a show of force. As I write this, people have already died who might not have died.
Humanity claims that there is sanctity to life, but aside from the unscientific and ineffective dislike of abortion laws, not even Christians actually behave that way. Five million people died from climate change last year, more will die each year in the future. One could argue that those are indirect deaths and it’s easy to see how, but Putin has directly caused deaths in Ukraine already. Where is the tangible outcry?
Let’s be clear, if Ukraine falls, as seems likely, Moldova is next. And, as Trump said yesterday, China will be emboldened to attack Taiwan. Biden and his European allies have shown the same strength of conviction as did Neville Chamberlain of Britain and Édouard Daladier of France in 1938. And we all know what happened in 1939.
I hope I am wrong, but given that the invasion of Ukraine was obvious, now surely, isn’t the invasion of Moldova, Taiwan, and any other convenient adjacent territory obvious too? In terms of economic sanctions, Belgium is against damaging their diamond industry and Italy wants to sell fashion to the Russians.
When does Nato say no, with more than just petty financial consequences?
I hope the European Union opens its borders completely, and without unnecessary paperwork to all refugees who attempt to cross.