Impossible to ignore today (feb 2022) is the invasion of russian troops into the sovereign state of Ukraine. Note the intentional spelling of russia without a capital first letter, as of now russia does not deserve that capital letter. ‘Troops’ in this sentence are regular army, navy, and airforce. Please note that this cannot be called a mere conflict, or a peace mission, even if that is what Moscow would like us to do. It is a war, nothing less. A hostile invasion of a peaceful country by another state ruled by a dictator. Even my use of ‘invasion’ is hardly applicable in describing the situation, it is a regular war that is going on here.
The invasion started yesterday by troops crossing the borders into Ukraine from three directions and bombing Ukrainian army and navy installations. Today, it escalated today to bombing cities and army advancing to Kiev and other cities, as well as occupying airports. Hundreds of thousands that can are on their way heading west, many attempting to flee their home country. Others without means of transport are forced to stay and hope for the best.
The big question that remains is the goal of russia’s aggression towards its democratic neighboring state? There are many possible answers, I’ll name the obvious few:
- Get control over a rogue state
- A russian peace mission into hostile territory
- Implementation of the Sovjet Union version 2
While the first and last both seem viable, the second is no doubt Moscow’s favorite. But my money is on the third option. With Belarus already in line with whatever Moscow wants, Ukraine has not, is not, and will not out of free will.
What do the Russian people think of this?
To answer that, we have to take a look at the media situation in russia. For many years, free and independent journalism has become more and more restricted. Independent journalists have to register as foreign agents, journalists get attacked and even murdered without any culprits ever found or even seriously looked for. Any news channels reporting news contradicting the official view are in serious trouble. Presenting an unfiltered truth can be deadly. The only news available to the Russian people are the state-controlled news outlets, and they, obviously, only present the preferred government views.
In these state-controlled media, it can be assumed that its people have been prepared a long time in advance to build opinion for any future actions. Ukraine has likely been depicted as a rogue country where russian speaking citizens and russian nationals are harassed and discriminated against on a daily basis.
Most likely, the local opinion is largely in agreeance with Moscows action toward rebellious Ukraine.
Where will this end?
Here’s where had to I take out and dust off my trusty old crystal ball. Be aware that it cannot be trusted and has a number of cracks and is kinda misty on one side. This is what I saw in it:
- stop after Ukraine
- continue with other similar states
One thing you can count on: russia will install a Moscow-friendly government in Kyiv after putting the current democratic chosen government behind bars.
In my opinion, Moscow has been longing to get back to the good ole Sovjet times and waited for the best time to start implementing version two-point-oh of it. With the Ukrainians considering joining NATO, the time was ripe to intervene, and they did. Most of the rest of the world was condemning it then, as they are now, and the western world was arguing what restrictions to install first.
Most likely, Moscow will be a pariah for a few years, then acceptance in the western world will kick in once again and everything will go back to normal.
After Russia occupied Crimea, exactly that happened. But for the Ukrainians nothing normalizes, they will be stuck with a hostile government for decades to come, very similar to Belarus that has been longing and continues to long for freedom and democracy, so far to no avail.