March , 2022
Russia acts like a Big Brother in Ukraine; India capitulates
20:55 pm

Buroshiva Dasgupta

A war is basically destructive; but it also throws up many harsh realities which we tend to avoid in hours of peace. When Russia attacked Ukraine, it clearly said it was fighting the Americans not the Ukrainians. Ukraine’s ambition was to join the European Union which Russia would not allow. Russia saw NATO forces among the Ukrainians.

Ever since the Soviet Union had broken up, Russia was smarting under the humiliation, which they thought was inflicted on them by the West.  The breakup was thought to be a western ‘conspiracy’. Russia could never accept countries like Crimea or Ukraine as separate entities. President Putin mentioned several times that it was Russian blood that flowed through Ukrainian veins. Russia, slowly regaining power after the breakup, had captured Crimea earlier; now it was time for Ukraine.

Ukraine had made several serious mistakes. Firstly, after the Soviet Union broke up, it surrendered all its nuclear weapons. That weakened the country considerably. How during this Russian attack, they wished they had retained their nuclear arms! Secondly, the attempt to align themselves with the European powers enraged the Russians. Added to this was Ukraine’s attempt to seek help from NATO.

Russia, like the ‘big brother ‘of the east, has already inflicted much damage to Ukraine. The Ukrainian President has stepped back and said he would not join NATO and wanted to talk with Russia. But it was already too late. The steam roller of Putin’s ambition to annexe Ukraine has moved it to a point of no return. The world is now comparing him to a 21st century Hitler or even a Napoleon.

Putin was building up forces along the Ukrainian borders for some time now. The attack is not all of a sudden and was meticulously planned. But perhaps Putin was misled by his advisors with the hope that Ukraine will fall within a day or two. But this did not happen. Ukraine has been able to put up a stiff resistance and the war now is lasting for almost a month now.

Two immediate fall outs of the war (apart from the rise in crude oil prices, which might lead to a global economic crisis if the war persists for too long) are the helplessness of the global organisations like United Nations and the European Commission and the ambiguity of India’s diplomatic position. Fearing the veto from Russia, the UN seems to remain paralysed. In such moments of global crisis, if the UN fails to act, one wonders how relevant these world organisations are today. They are there to ensure world peace, not just to announce celebration of a special “Day” or event. Basic Human Rights are being violated – innocent civilians are being killed.

India is now in a dilemma. It talks about ‘peace’ but cannot condemn Russia’s unilateral attack on Ukraine because of its old friendship from ‘socialist’ times. India’s defence deals are tied with Russia. India on one hand successfully evacuated numerous medical students studying in Ukraine through Operation Ganga. But on the other hand, it also reveals the inadequacy of medical education in the country! Though Ukraine has not been very sympathetic towards the Indian cause earlier; but that does not mean India will not stand by a humanitarian cause! India has not so far openly stood by the Ukrainians. Is it out of fear of the Russians? In fact, defying US sanctions, India bought cheap fuel from Russia.

The US President Joe Biden will be attending the NATO meeting soon. India’s stand regarding the war may not be taken positively by the US and the Europeans countries.

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