When Power is Everything! A Ukrainian Tale of Misfortune.
Its been eleven days since Putin’s Russia launched military action against Ukraine. Leading up to the invasion and the present, the Europeans and America have been strident in their vocal support and seemingly committed to aggressive sanctions against Putin’s Russia.
While these actions are commendable and measured under prevailing circumstances, the reality may well prove less inspiring.
America is most likely to try and bring Putin to accept a peace of equilibrium which will only serve to focus on the chasm between opposing systems of legitimacy. This approach is doomed to failure as the Russian concept of security is incompatible with the West. Putin could not make peace at the expense of his perceived areas of influence, while Nato is hard up against Russia’s western border which in all intents and purposes would cost him his hold on power. Thus the issue is fast becoming one of pure power and illustrates the difficulty of achieving self-limitation under such conditions.
Putin cannot consider peace when his aggressive behavior has restored Russia’s place at the table, which he firmly believes depends on his will, and he holds the momentary ascendancy.
The risk is the longer the war in Ukraine goes on, the chance of it becoming total because the West and Russia could not agree on the precise power relationship and, above all, because Putin cannot bring himself to accept the legitimacy of a Ukraine independent of his will is the most likely outcome.
Where to then? Any resolution that avoids a wider conflict will have to be successfully translated into precise political terms that both the West and Russia can agree to without either party losing face.
That said, it’s highly likely the big loser in all this will be Ukraine and the result will be one of those specious compromises by which the opposing sides maintain a facade of new found co-operation and obsure the fact that a shift in the balance of power has been checked for the moment while putting off the day of judgement.
Time will tell if this is an accurate assesment of the situation or a complete failure of analysis.