In a deeply troubling development, Vladimir Putin has invaded Ukraine again. So far, the Ukrainians have captured most of the world’s admiration with incredibly brave & effective defense of their land. They are not planning to give in to tyranny any time soon.
Tragically the US, NATO, and other Western countries can only help up to a point because no-one can afford direct conflict with Russia, a nuclear superpower. Putin has already threatened the use of nuclear weapons should other countries interfere with this war, so the stakes are high. However, the US, NATO, and Europe have brought the harshest sanctions against Russia that we’ve ever seen. Their economy will be crippled for years, if not decades.
These are appropriately aggressive economic measures but will only yield results in the medium to longer terms. In the meantime, there just isn’t enough of a deterrent to prevent the invasion by Russia. It’s very frustrating because your gut reaction is to want to go in and help. But as terribly unempathetic as this sounds, the reward isn’t worth the risk for NATO or the US. And that’s a hard thing to accept.
It has been a war that has been fully captured by social media and there are many visuals of Russian soldiers, often noticeably young, being killed or captured. From their body language, it doesn’t look like they have any idea why they are there fighting against what many of them perceive as their “brothers”. This just goes to show how devastating tyranny can be on all sides.
Everyone I know is extremely supportive of Ukraine – how could you not be? But the military outcome of this war has a decidedly inevitable feeling about it. Despite some blatant missteps, the Russian military is simply too powerful for one, much smaller, country. Russia’s annual military budget is $50 Billion, where the Ukranian budget is about $6 Billion. For the record, the US defense budget is a whopping $750 Billion! The dichotomy is that continued resistance by the Ukranian forces may only delay the inevitable and at extreme cost. Every hour that goes by brings more death and destruction to Ukraine, despite their remarkable defense.
The only hope for Ukraine I see is for Russians themselves to overthrow Putin and that is a lot to hope for given that Putin has led by an Iron Fist for almost 30 years. Unless I’m wrong and Ukraine really can hold out against this criminal invasion. This would be one of the happiest miscalculations I’ll ever make.
Watching this tragedy unfold on our screens, I wish there were more that we could do. At the very least we can donate to one of the charities helping Ukraine. I did and I urge readers to do the same.