Today again, for a multitude of global and local reasons, the entire world appears to be in a state of permanent revolt against sanity. Concurrently, all of the most substantial horrors of history have been caused by the violent prosecution of untruthful or even fallacious realities. However, these unreal, improbable and cult-like political, economic, cultural as well as social concoctions have always been capable of destroying themselves when they have reached a point of no return. Most importantly, peace and stability in the world could only have been accomplished by states that have been governed by lawfully elected governments not subject to dictatorship, autocracy, or tyranny. When individuals or a mass of people have accepted lies as truths and have decided to blindly follow megalomaniac demagogues with unbridled lust for power, they and the world at large have always been transformed into multiple mental asylums and genocidal cemeteries.
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, the tyrant de jour of the newly minted Russian Federation, who appears to be more a destroyer of a discombobulated and befuddled multi-ethnic state than its constructive architect, which is barely civilized and scarcely part of the European continent, has decided from the second decade of the 21th century to take a decisive role in European affairs and thus bolster his country’s fading significance across the globe. Having been a born narcissist with a sick temperament, he convinced himself that he was already capable of creating a sufficient number of useful idiots inside and outside Russia to make them passive observers of his illegal annexation of the sovereign state of Ukraine. Thus, like Adolf Hitler in 1938, Putin uses a racist argument under the guise of wanting to unite all Russians into “Mother Russia” for territorial expansion. Equally, as Hitler in 1938, he counted on Western appeasement, based on past historical circumstances and randomly selected personal factors. Finally, invested with almost unlimited powers, he decided to exercise them simultaneously for overwhelming effects. Consequently, his Blitzkrieg plan appeared to be a copious conception of World War II history, the strategic concept of a self declared military genius. In reality, his so-called grand design has turned into a nightmare of humiliating political and military defeats.
Thus, what started on February 24, 2022, as relatively modest “special military operations” is now a fully fledged war between Russia and Ukraine. To the tragic detriment of Russia, Putin, in his escalating mental frenzy, failed to study three important quotes relating to provoking, conducting and closing a war. In 1916, in his posthumously published “The Mysterious Stranger,” Mark Twain opined: “There has never been a just (war), never an honorable one – on the part of the instigator of the war.” Justifying his unlawful invasion of Ukraine, he first cited NATO’s alleged expansionism, claiming the right of self-defense. Then, accused Ukraine of committing relentless genocide against its Russian minority, and called for “denazification” of the country. Attempting to further underpin the rightness of Russia’s large scale invasion, he reached back to the well-worn Soviet argument about the 10th century Kievan Rus as the joint foundation of Russia, Ukraine and Belorussia. Yet, paradoxically, he pointed to Crimea as an exclusively Russian territory, which legally returned in 2014 to the “Russian Harbor” and the “Russian World” (Russkiy Mir). Lastly, Putin turned his attention to the Roman Shukhevich and Stepan Bandera led war of liberation against the Soviet Union and the 2014 Maidan revolution. Claiming that Viktor Yanukovich, the rightful president, was deposed by a neo-Nazi coup d’etat, inspired by the ideology of Shekhevich and Bandera, he maquaraded as the Stalin-like liberator of Ukraine, Europe and, ultimately, the world.
The second wisdom about war that Putin ignored was defined by Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”: “If you know the enemy and yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” Secluded in his ivory tower in the Kremlin, Putin has had no actual knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of his military. On the other hand, he woefully underestimated Ukrainian nationalism and the almost universal resolve of the Ukrainian people to remain an independent nation. Moreover, he misjudged the European Union’s determination to unite against his lying narrative about his unlawful invasion of a member state of the United Nations. Finally, he did not count on the unanimous diplomatic rejection of his illegal military adventure across the globe.
Thirdly, he did not pay attention to H.G. Wells’s sage words: “If we don’t end war, war will end us.” Unwisely, Putin still does not have a plan B or C on how to end his lawless invasion. President Putin is in a deep state of a quandary. It is politically impossible for him to return to the status quo ante without losing power, yet there are great dangers in the miseries he has inflicted on Russia, Ukraine, Europe and beyond.
The world is passing through a dangerous crisis. It has been put in this untenable position by a reckless and unconscionable gambler. The world should not be afraid of calling President Putin’s bluff. The alternative is more of the same from the current Russian tyrant. Under such circumstances, hatred and falsified rules and principles would surely lead to chaos and the ultimate destruction of the human existence on earth.