Ukraine the Waterloo of Civilized Peace-Loving Majorities
Russia announced a ceasefire starting Monday morning and the opening of humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from the Ukrainian cities under siege and bombardment by Putin. I hear that the “magnanimous” decision came after a conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron.
In the concept of this mediation, there is a frightening assumption. The assumption is that we cannot immediately stop the extreme, authoritarian leader of a country who has decided for his reasons to start a war. We can only ask for the safe evacuation of the cities from civilians and accept that he will continue killing defending soldiers and razing cities to the ground until he breaks resistance and prevails. The vast majority of westerners, who, after two world wars, have decided to respect the terms on which we have at some point decided to regulate our peaceful coexistence, making mutual concessions to our nationalist sentiments and ideals, watch for the third time in our recent history European refugees, that soon is expected to become millions, fleeing to the safety of neighboring countries. We desperately watch them arriving at the borders. The only thing we can do is welcome and care for them and be ready to help when the time comes to rebuild the wreckage of a country. But that is not enough for our indignant souls. The fact that millions of western citizens, as much as we may wish to, are powerless to enforce an immediate ceasefire and negotiate with a slaughterer contains a sense of shame that hurts our self-esteem.
Οn the other hand, we have the economic sanctions against Russia, the only weapon other than engaging in war. In other words, we hope we will impoverish the Russian citizens to such an extent that will force Putin to fold. The citizens of a country who are also victims of this extremist authoritarian leader who arrests those protesting the invasion of Ukraine and even goes as far as to block the social media to cut them off from Western information.
How does a conscientious citizen of the civilized Western world deal with the status of victim and victimizer he gets because of the war next to him, which not only he cannot stop but, on the contrary, threatens to expand?