Eyewitness: Behind the war…is the mindset


Even before Putin invaded, your Eyewitness has been trying to make you, dear readers, understand the dynamics behind the war. This ain’t something that happened overnight; it’s been brewing since the end of the 18th century, with periodic eruptions even since the Ukraine was annexed. Even at that time, there was the notion – if not in so many words – of the need for an aspiring “great power” to have “strategic depth”. So, to assuage any concerns that he might be nursing some of his own grudges, your Eyewitness will present excerpts from an eminent Western Think Tank on the war.

Amid the shock and horror of Russia’s Ukraine invasion, many have sought to blame everything solely on Vladimir Putin. It’s convenient to believe Putin’s simply lost his mind. There’s something reassuring about the idea that the carnage in Ukraine is all down to the criminal insanity of one man. However, talk of “Mad Vlad” is a comforting myth that disguises a far darker reality. The decision to invade Ukraine was entirely consistent with longstanding public statements and foreign policy goals that are enthusiastically embraced by a clear majority of Russians. This is their war just as much as it is Putin’s.

Meanwhile, domestic opposition to the invasion has been underwhelming. Protests have taken place in a number of cities across Russia, but these efforts have attracted relatively small crowds, and have failed to gain momentum. Many Russians simply refuse to acknowledge the atrocities that have accompanied Putin’s invasion. Today’s pro-war mood did not emerge overnight. For centuries, Russia has bitterly opposed Ukraine’s struggle for statehood. Instead, Russians have been encouraged to adopt a condescending view of Ukraine as a younger brother in need of discipline and direction.

Over the past eight years, the Kremlin has skilfully amplified these deep-seated prejudices and resentments. Since the 2014 seizure of Crimea and Moscow’s military intervention in eastern Ukraine, the Russian public have been spoon-fed a daily diet of disinformation designed to demonise and dehumanise Ukrainians as Nazis and puppets of the West. In Putin’s own words, modern Ukraine has become an “anti-Russia” that poses an existential threat to Russia itself.

If the democratic world is serious about stopping Putin, it must abandon any hope of domestic opposition to the war. There’s gonna be no palace coups or popular uprisings as long as most Russians continue to share Putin’s unhinged obsession with the subjugation of Ukraine. The sanctions must be enforced, and more weapons sent to Ukraine. Putin’s Ukraine invasion is the defining moment of his entire reign, and he enjoys the emphatic backing of the Russian people.
He won’t back down, unless he’s bankrupted and bloodied.

…are the tactics

Your Eyewitness has also been explaining the thinking behind Biden’s response to Putin’s dangerous gamble. Of concern to us is the emerging US rapprochement with that dictator in Venezuela – Maduro. We understand the US’ need to seek alternative oil supplies to ease its pain from the ban on Russian oil imports, but we gotta make our concerns known: that the US doesn’t jump into a fire in Europe to “out” it, while adding fuel to one in its own hemisphere!! For us, there’s the not inconsequential matter of Maduro being emboldened to reject even more strenuously the upcoming decision of the World Court on its border controversy.

We should follow the lead of Colombia – a US ally like us, but also sharing concerns about Venezuela’s aggressive modus operandi towards neighbours. Not to mention its millions of refugees becoming 5th columnists – in Guyana as much as in Colombia.
Colombia just received NATO-like ally status from the US. What about us? We welcomed Exxon after Maduro kicked them out, didn’t we?

…comes the pain

Knowing that Russian and Ukrainian wheat will be curtailed by the sanctions and war on top of the COVID supply-chain disruptions, your Eyewitness has stocked up on flour.
Can’t survive roti withdrawal syndrome!!