Editorial: History lessons

Let us begin our historical journey in 1991.

The government of George H.W. Bush (photo with Gorbachev, nuclear accord signing) was split between those who said the dissolution of the Soviet Union should be encouraged and those who believed

that the UUSR should remain unified in order to keep its 35,000 nuclear weapons under control.

Even as the debate was being conducted in Washington, the Ukrainians were holding a referendum in which a landslide majority voted for independence.

Thus, it became the third largest nuclear power in the world, but three years later it agreed to hand over its nuclear weapons in return for guarantees of its territorial integrity.

Then again, one might begin an historical review in 1999, when a former KGB lieutenant-colonel named Vladimir Putin became prime minister and decided to go ahead with what his predecessor had refused to do – to order a new invasion of Chechnya in order to exact revenge for the humiliation of his country three years earlier.

In 2007, at the 43rd Munich Security Conference, Putin accused the US of launching a new nuclear competition, undermining global security, and supporting groups that toppled governments in the former Soviet sphere of influence.

That was followed by the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia and the 2014 annexation of Crimea, and the invasion of Ukraine today.

The current situation, in other words, was foreshadowed years ago. Putin made no secret of his intention to revive the Soviet Union or of his concerns about the democratisation of neighbouring countries.

Despite all that, the West underestimated Putin. Europe increased instead of decreasing its dependence on Russian oil and natural gas.

Today, it purports to be surprised about the fact that it is effectively bankrolling the Russian war machine.

Albeit belatedly, the civilised world is awakening, uniting, and reacting.

If indeed the West is unable to deter the pre-announced slaughter, it is at least decisive in its determination to punish the butcher.

Τυχαία Θέματα