The anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine has involved an outpouring of comment and speculation (and Rock for Ukraine).
There seems one fact that give us hope. Ukraine has not acceded to aggression.
As a consequence of that, Russia has committed atrocities across the north and east of Ukraine and wherever it can send its missiles elsewhere.
You don’t make friends that way.
The Russian people have gone along with this and this has created a divide between Ukraine and Russia that will remain. While before the invasion , people spoke Russian in Ukraine , now they do not. Where Russia occupies Ukraine, it is done under sufferance.
So Russia has lost the war for the hearts and minds of the Ukrainian people and lost it so conclusively that it will – even were it to occupy Ukraine, never own it.
All that Russia can do now, is demonstrate it has deep pockets when it comes to spending its military resource and the continuation of the war is now no more than “face saving”, for the men in power. The war for the minds of the people of Ukraine was last a year ago.
But this is cold comfort. The millions displaced , injured and killed have suffered for nothing but to preserve what they had before the war. The price of the war has no commensurate value. We are not learning that war is terrible, we knew that already.
Nor is this a war to end wars, for we know that every generation will throw up a Putin, capable of engineering demand for a special military intervention.
The conditions that allow Putin to behave as he does are prevalent in many countries. They are prevalent in China and in several South American and African countries.
While we fight the consequences of 200 years of high-carbon economics and a disregard for our natural capital, we are aware that Russia and many other nations have little regard for the impact of their actions not only on the planet , but its human inhabitants. War has a high carbon footprint.
So long as these destructive forces exist, we have to accept what has gone on in Syria this month and for the past decade as in the nature of things. We have to accept that mortality in many countries is a multiple of mortality in “the west”.
Against such forces of destruction , we can count on the spirit of those who oppose them. Which is why Ukraine is worthy of our prayers and of our financial and emotional generosity. I was touched by Rock for Ukraine, I felt moved to take certain actions, one of which is to write this blog, another to use the Ukrainian flag as it has been
We all owe the Ukrainian people a debt and I hope that it is one that we will pay in providing them with aid when this is over, and support to ensure there is a just peace.