Sunday, June 16, 2024

Ukraine, for all West cares, could go to hell now

Illustration: Courtesy Financial Times

This is a tale of how Ukraine trusted West with its life which is fast slipping away. 

Here was a nation, albeit a constructed one, wanting to carve an identity away from its “motherland” Russia and was smitten by what the West could offer by way of market for its goods, jobs for its people, economic aid and all that glitter as its favoured child. 

It didn’t realize that Ukraine was no better than a bait for Washington in its eternal quest to destroy Russia, the first move being to delink Moscow from Europe. If the good fortune brought about the fall of Vladimir Putin, it’d be a double bounty. 

Well, the Washington has succeeded in alienating Europe from Russia. 

Europe won’t have its energy from Russia, that adhesive which was joining the two from the hip. 

Russia too would no longer be a Eurasian power and would now firmly be directed towards Asia where the West hopes it would irk China at some point in future, given how Central Asia would be prized by both. 

Now Ukraine, for all the West cares, could go to hell. 

Kiev is now finding out that the NATO could train its men as guinea pigs but won’t get its own hands dirty on Russia. Worse, there is no certainty that funds and weapons would be supplied endlessly. 

Kiev first learnt that the fire it lit in the form of a missile strike in Poland was quickly doused by West lest it leads to a NATO intervention and World War III.

It has learnt to its great sorrow that endless stream of Ukrainians fleeing to European capitals are unwelcome, for example the much-touted UK’s “Homes for Ukraine” was nothing better than a false hope

Further, the European Union (EU) is dithering on its ninth round of sanctions against Russia which has led to Ukrainian foreign minister lash out in public anger: “If the Ukrainians are not tired, then the rest of Europe, has neither the moral nor the political right to get tired.”

Moral and political right? Who but a fool would expect the West to swear by it. When has a trust in a wolf’s words brought about a happy ending?

There is more to it. Ukraine’s currency, the Hryvnia, has fallen by 70% against the Dollar/Euro/Pound; GDP has sunk by 40%, more than a million have lost jobs, nearly 10 million people have been displaced etc, etc.

Russia, having learnt from the playbook of West only in Yugoslavia, is busy destroying Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. So traffic light isn’t there to stop accidents at night; lifts don’t work never mind you are climbing up to 15th floor with your grocery; winter has arrived but your boiler or washing machines can’t whir; nobody buys your flat ground floor up for any missile could hit it at any time. Internet is unstable, batteries can’t be charged like before, card machines don’t work. Cash economy is all how daily life goes by. 

The goods you used to get from Russia are no longer there; you don’t have money to buy products from import. 

Oh yes, the West seemingly is endlessly supplying funds but it’s coming with a caveat. True to its time-tested method, the West would like to outsource Ukraine’s public resources for “better management”. 

This is ownership—and Ukraine thought West is helping them forge an identity, secure its sovereignty. They are left with no leverage over their sponsors. How do you sell this kind of independence to your people? In the midst of pitched battle for survival, they don’t find the Big Brother over their shoulder who had pushed them in the hole of hell in the first place. 

The slightest hint from West of “fatigue” would throw Volodymyr Zelenskyy into the cage of growing dissidence in his inner circle. If he seeks a peace deal with Russia, after losing countless men,  a land the size of a Hungary, a nation flattened, he would be torn up in pieces. 

The sad truth is, one could know where Ukraine is coming from but they chimed the bell of a savage in search of refuge. 

History teaches us that people of all colour and sizes seek to throw off the yoke of their masters. That’s what your learn from freedom struggles in Asia, Africa, Latin America and even Europe where Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians etc wanted to call the air their breathe their own. 

Ukraine lies on history’s faultiness where ideological and civilizational divergences—the West and East, the Catholic/Protestant and Orthodox Christianity, liberalism and conservatism—grow apart from each other. 

Ukraine itself has its entire East of Russian lineage while its Western part, historically belonging to Habsburg Empire under the name of Galicia and Transcarpathia, always felt a tug towards the West. 

There is a reason why Ukraine means “borderland.” It was invented by non-Russian communist dictators for political reasons only in the 20th century. It’s been in existence for only 30 years, a decade of which now as a vassal of the United States. 

Washington used it as a pawn on its geopolitical chessboard, like it did with most of those satellite states in Europe which were once part of the Soviet Union, giving them NATO membership and positioning its nukes facing Moscow and St. Petersburg. 

The West brought the existential question for Russia right on its door. Ukraine, more than anyone else, was a red flag for both historical and practical reasons for Russia as it contained its own people and access to Black Sea from where Moscow depends on its trade with Central Asia, and elsewhere. 

Kiev saw a better future with West than with Russia, with access to capital markets, EU investment funds, larger trade, and emigration to Capitals of Europe and America for its workforce. They saw a future in Anglosphere who were all too keen to lure them into wonderland. 

But as I said, West couldn’t care the least about Kiev. Ukrainians mean nothing to them. They have got what they wanted: Severe links between Russia and Europe and turn the former firmly towards a narrower sphere of operation in Asia. 

And now the end is in sight. Russia would move into top gear once the conscription of soldiers is complete. The missile drama in Poland has shown them that a direct confrontation is farthest from the minds of West. Their enemies are battling their own recessions and a seething citizenry could erupt any moment in the cold, freezing, bleak days of winter. Russia would be happy to settle this side of Dnieper river and bring about the collapse of Kiev regime by wrecking the infrastructure. 

West, meanwhile is hoisted on its own petard — the latest we learn is that they dithering on placing a price cap on Russian oil

In the longer run, Ukraine would be seen as a catalyst of a New World Order: the tragedy is it would’ve come entirely at its own cost. 

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