The war started on February 24, 2022, making it to be in the fourth week with carnage multiplying by the day. Although, there was a serious threat to Russian interest and national security but cannot justify the kind of destruction being inflicted on Ukraine. Truly, Ukraine is a mere pawn in the global chessboard of America and Russian supremacy of power tussle.
The carnage, human waste, infrastructural collateral damage, and the deadly blow on the world economy are too costly for the human race to bear and ignore. The world may be brought to its knees if something is not instantly done to halt the hostility. Ideally, the United Nations should urgently stop the calamitous and fatal destructions in this war. However, the inequitable structure of the UN cannot assert itself to police the world in an issue involving Russia, one of the five permanent members of the Security Council.
Thus, on March 2, United Nations had an emergency meeting on the Ukraine war, 141 of the 193 UN member states voted for a resolution that condemned the invasion and called for Russia to withdraw its forces. 35-member states abstained, while five, including Russia, voted against the resolution. This resolution is mere rhetoric with inconsequential effect since Russia holds veto power.
The glaring inequality among the nations on the United Nations platform needs to be addressed. The veto power of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council is akin to the immunity clause of Nigerian governors and president under the constitution. What are the reactions of the world?
The world reacted with deep shock and condemnation of Russia’s blatant action against Ukraine militarily. Ukraine miscalculated and got an unexpected result. Hitherto, America with its Western allies was expected to go the extra mile in the protection of Ukraine in the event of a Russian attack but what are we seeing? Ukraine was given support in form of finances and military equipment.
America provided weapons worth $350 million to Ukraine; the European Union (EU) released over $500 million in military aid to Ukraine. Germany supplied Ukraine with over 1,500 anti-tank weapons and surface-to-surface missiles, while Britain, France, The Netherlands, and other European countries separately provided either weapons or funds for the purchase of weapons.
This means that the political leaders of these countries placed a high premium on human lives, too precious to risk being placed as military aid to the Ukraine-Russia war. Ukraine is gradually finding itself alone facing dreadful consequences of Russian aggression.
In the first place, Ukraine should have restrained itself to avoid the war.
The war with Russia should have been the last thing for Ukraine, no matter the temptation of securing support from NATO or Western countries. This is because Ukraine has all along been in turmoil facing internal antagonism of rebels from the eastern region. The rebels are Russian-speaking people in the eastern region called “Donbas”. They have engaged Ukraine troops in a deadly war that claimed the lives of 14,000 people and twice “defeated” Ukrainian troops in August 2014 and January/February 2015, respectively.
The defeats forced Ukraine to sign a peace accord that granted the region a degree of self-rule thereby allowing the creation of a police force, local prosecutors, and judges for the region. With the ongoing hostility, President Putin, in a carefully orchestrated meeting of the Russian Security Council, signed a recognition decree in a well-televised ceremony.
This means Putin has formally recognised the rebel regional independence and promised to sign friendship treaties, a move that could pave way for Russia to openly support the region with troops and weapons. The situation looks gloomy for Ukraine but Russia is not also finding the war rosy as the economic blockage is already bearing fruits. The Russian currency Ruble lost over 30% of its value against the US dollar and the value continues downward.
Recently, the US House of Representatives voted to suspend Russia’s “most favoured nation trade status”, which would tighten the Western chokehold on Moscow’s economy. This will allow President Biden to raise tariffs on imports from Russia and its closed ally, Belarus.
Similarly, the G7 countries voted to strip Russia of the same status as the “most favoured nation” in global trade. Likewise, in the sports arena, Russia has been expelled from major international sporting and athletics organisations, including UEFA and FIFA, the European and world football governing bodies, respectively.
On mortalities, both sides have lost thousands of troops from 3,000 to 10,000, depending on the news source (half-truth, half-propaganda), but UN Right Office Data (OHCHR) indicated the civilian casualties to be 816 lives with 1,333 injured as of March 17, 2022.
Refreshingly, the allies of both sides are restraining in joining the conflict. So far, NATO or US have not declared “no fly-zones over” even after repeated calls from President Zelensky of Ukraine. President Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg have all stated that a no-fly zone over Ukraine is not on the table for discussion. China and North Korea have not given military support to Russia.
The world is fully conscious; the joining of these allies to the conflict might result in the third World War with the potential of using ñuclear weapons. The inferno may consume the planet called “earth”. God forbids, amen. So, what is the way out?
On Sunday, March 20, 2022, when writing this piece, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared in the CNN Show “Fareed Zakaria GPS” frantically pleading “I am ready for negotiations with him”, referring to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, adding “negotiations are the only way to end this war”. He said, “If there is one percent chance to stop this war, I think we need to take this chance, to have the possibility of negotiating. If these attempts fail, that would mean that this is third world war”.
This sounds to be a surrender and Russia should take the offer and amicably negotiate for an immediate cease-fire. However, the lesson for Ukraine; the country must learn the politics of neutrality as it is on the borderline of hostility between the east and the west, socialist and capitalist, free and regulated markets.
Finally, the key lesson from this saga; the UN must put a ceiling and limit the outbursts and manipulative tendencies of world leaders, the so-called global powers, in their supremacy tussle. Their actions in crossing redlines have cost the world hundred of thousands of lives in addition to massive displacements of millions across the world. The allegation of “weapon of mass destruction” linked to Iraq and its aftermath is still fresh in our memory.
Now, we have Ukraine episode, an absolute threat for the possible use of nuclear weapons, whose destructive capabilities are limitless spatially and temporarily. The world is tired of war, war, and war, to borrow Bob Marley’s song.