By: Salil Gewali
Recently in a remote, north Ukrainian province, a man walked with a rifle on his back and was surrounded by shooters. Suddenly, he stared into the sky and saw an enormous shadow looming near him. Then he suddenly heard a strange siren and horn as if descending from heaven. A huge tanker, along with the group of army men, trained their guns at the aircraft, which had already disappeared in the clouds. This is how ominous hollers frequently echo through the land and far in the distance. It seems like a DEVIL is sitting somewhere up and laughing at calamities on the ground below. To some, it felt like some weird spirit is hovering ceaselessly and raining fires. All around is casualties -- death, destruction, darkness and despondency!
War-torn Ukraine is thus suffering from unprecedented grief and distress. With each passing day, Russian President Vladimir Putin has only embodied himself in the persona of hardened cruelty. Well, one’s struggle to accept history as factual and attempt to judge leads to a conflict not just within oneself but also with society and humanity at large. Putin is facing a similar struggle which is evident in his aggressive annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the subsequent invasion of Ukraine. It so appears that he wants to take Russia back to its pre-World War-I days. Russia had annexed Ukraine during WW1. Whereas the treaty of Brest-Litovsk in 1918 recognized Ukraine’s independence again. Russia has now claimed that Russian-origin people are ill-treated in Ukraine. Regions of Donbas and Luhansk, which have a majority of Russian ethnicity, were used to create a divide and fell to the Russian invasion. Even after annexing Crimea, Putin is not content. He pushes himself on the mission of expansionism to recreate the glory of the Soviet Union of pre-Lenin days.
Yes, Putin did not stop the attack on Ukraine even after winning in Donbas and Luhansk. He bombarded Ukraine ruthlessly, regardless of civilian or military areas, resulting in extensive destruction. His army men destroyed Kyiv while a hapless Zelensky appealed to NATO, the USA, and the rest of the world to help him. The United States did not want a direct conflict with Russia, a robust nuclear power. While it refused to send boots on the ground, it sent military aid. Russia, with impunity, carved a route to the Black Sea to enable it to use sea routes in winter. Ukraine’s eastern front is more or less under Russian control.
The conflict is bloody and the worst since the end of World War 2. Zelensky chose to fight back, he seemed determined. Several attempts at peace have failed. The war started in February 2022 and but still ongoing. Zelensky ran out to the world with a begging bowl, pleading for aid to fight his enemy. Of course, Zelensky’ resilience is incredible, and that literary has won him countless fans across the world. Well, ten months of blitzkrieg in Ukraine, where civilians were not spared and had to flee their homeland. The impact of the war is the massive refugee and unprecedented humanitarian crisis. People are like the eggs thrown on streets to fry in fires that lit up in the wake of the bombs.
While humanitarian agencies, including UNHCR are organizing aid, the suffering of the people is beyond any measure. In the meantime, Putin is busy seeking playmates to aid him against Ukraine and possibly the world. When Uncle Sam imposed sanctions, the other sanction-hit victims come out in support of the villain. Iran has also offered a hand while unpredictable Korea’s yellow gnome is doing target practice. It will not be long before China and North Korea join the bloc. Are we at the tip of the next World War?
Here what is certain is that these two AVENGERS and their supporters are not concerned about the people and their “untold suffering”. The security and identity of the citizens is just an “excuse” for this protracted war.
Indeed, human life is transient; each day, the two leaders fight over a piece of land, killing hundreds and causing colossal loss of property. They don’t think of the soldiers and civilians as human beings but as tools for targets. It is not improbable that they may turn the whole world into a “battleground”. It all depends upon their thoughtless impulses. Until their EGO gets blunted, we, the mass innocent world population, are on the verge of an apocalypse. Unless they learn to make peace with themselves, they will never leave us at peace. Beware, the NUCLEAR press buttons are in the hands of few mavericks whose minds are at war.
(An India-based writer and researcher, Salil Gewali is best known for his research-based work entitled ‘Great Minds on India’ that has earned worldwide appreciation. Translated into thirteen languages, his book has been prefaced by a NASA chief scientist – Dr. Kamlesh Lulla of Houston, USA. Gewali is also a member of the International Human Rights Commission, Zürich, Switzerland)