Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022, turning an eight (8) year annexation of Crimea, into a full-scale war.
Almost six months later, what began as a provocation, an invasion in all but name, has created a refugee and humanitarian crisis, the impact of which is being felt as far as Sri Lanka.
The causes of this war and the historical relationship between the two countries, who are really Slav brothers, are pathetic.
I can remember Ukraine was part of the sprawling Soviet Union until the Iron Curtain fell and it has been an acknowledged independent state, since 1991.
But President Putin has maintained that history shows Ukraine has no tradition of genuine statehood.
What we are seeing now?
Linking past and present, we see how this war now connects with the United States and the West and their plan to drag on this war to cripple, if not destabilise Russia.
Ukrainian resistance goes back to Zaporozhe Cossack days. It is legendary. Ukraine is no doubt an independent country. It is no pushover. They are resilient people; no immediate surrender.
President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine has literally left Russia, increasingly dependent on China, both economically and politically.
Does everyone know?
China as many knows has provided Russia with a market for Russian products, after sanctions made Russia severely restricted, to sell its wares/goods/exports around the world.
Now people in Russia are having to settle for poor quality substitutes, for imported, now banned Western goods amid the hefty sanctions. But sanctions, nobody will admit is a scissor grip. It is hurting the West as much, if not more than it is paralysing Russia.
Of course, global firms are pulling out of Russia. We are told, real wages in Russia have fallen by 6.1% and in April 2022 (the last authentic date of statistics) they had dropped to 7.2%. We are informed that Russia’s foreign exchange reserves blocked by Western nations is worth an estimated US$ 419 billion. The exit of foreign companies has resulted in less working hours and a lower average wage. It has anticipated a reduction in production in the automotive and transport industries. Substituted goods may be cheaper, but of lower quality.
This is nothing new, as Russians have over decades grown accustomed to shortages of goods. If anyone says, it will cause civil unrest, it is only they who hold this jaundiced view, are fooled. But, as the war drags on, the pain is felt more.
What can happen soon?
Another day, another week, another month, perhaps, another year could see another Ukrainian city falling to the Russian arms.
But, the latest news, within hours Turkish President Erdogan and the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres are to visit President Zelensky in a high-profile meeting to “discuss steps that can be taken to end the war.”
The latest attack by Ukraine on supply lines in Crimea
There are three particular aspects of the current phase of the war.
Kyiv is adapting quicker and more effectively than Moscow, in the last few days. Whereas until now, it has been through missile and rocket strikes, Mark Galeotti states, Ukraine has found Russia’s Achilles’ heel in Crimea. The number of explosions will increase and it will increase precisely in occupied Crimea.
Moscow, however, claims the latest explosion in Occupied Crimea was a result of sabotage at an electricity supply station and a fire near the town of Dzhankoi, in the north of the peninsula.
The other two phases are yet to reveal, in full but have to do with the morale of the reinforcements.