March 10, 2022

Time for ceasefire in Ukraine war

Time for ceasefire in Ukraine war

THE level of destruction already recorded in just two weeks of intense fighting in the Russian invasion of Ukraine shows how nasty war, particularly modern warfare, is.

Ironically, the traditional roundtable talks which should have taken place to prevent the conflict, also commenced almost from the day the first shot was fired.

Warnings by Western powers that President Vladimir Putin was planning to invade Ukraine were not taken seriously by most Ukrainians and their government.

They probably listened more to the false propaganda of the Russian government which continued to insist that it was merely conducting military exercises on the border with Ukraine.

Even when Putin stormed into the Donbass (Luhansk and Donetsk), he claimed to be there on “peace mission”.

On Friday, February 24, 2022, the Russian invasion of Ukraine became a reality. In less than a fortnight Ukraine, a country of about the size of Northern Nigeria, is already in ruins, with nearly two million of its 43.2 million population taking refuge in neighbouring countries.

The former Soviet republic has been setback for more than a century. Life as most Ukrainians knew it just two weeks ago is gone forever.

Though the Russians are the obvious aggressors, the Ukrainian political elite must take much of the blame for what has befallen their country. It was a hopeless blunder to show any form of yearning, let alone intention, to become a part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, NATO, which is traditionally a foe of their military superpower next door neighbour, Russia.

Ukraine’s historical ties and territorial contiguity with Russia should have necessitated an atmosphere of internal racial equality to give every group, particularly the ethnic Russians, a common sense of belonging.

The alleged maltreatment of ethnic Russians is one of Putin’s purported grounds for the invasion. Even if Ukraine would not be tied to the apron strings of Russia, it should have remained unquestionably non-aligned enough not to put Russia on edge.

Also, the West, especially the NATO countries, must accept part of the blame. Its expansion eastward since the collapse of the Warsaw Pact alliance was bound to spark a crazy response from Russia at a point.

NATO should have put itself in Russia’s shoes were the situation reversed. Would they have sat pretty and allowed Russia surround them with hostile neighbours? America would have invaded Cuba if the Soviet missiles had not been quickly dismantled in October 1962.

We call for immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine to prevent the situation from worsening.

The fear of a nuclear catastrophe or possible World War III, both which pose existential danger to all, including Russia itself, is real.

The time to seek peaceful settlement is now. Big and small countries must learn to cohabit peacefully.

Vanguard News Nigeria