Gutted to see the invasion of a sovereign state start this morning, by the dictator of Russia, Vladimir Putin.
I honestly didn’t believe that he would invade. Well, a part of me was unsure, but I was 80/20 convinced that he wouldn’t invade.
Why didn’t I think he would invade? Well, I thought it was far too risky an operation. I didn’t see how the Russian people would support an invasion of a neighbouring country and the likely deaths of thousands of people – including from the Russian army. In 2014, there were protests in Russia from the mother’s of those in the Russian army who died. They didn’t support the war then. Why would they now?
Of course, in Russia, you cannot complain. Holding up a blank sheet of paper outside of the Russian parliament will get you a night in jail at a minimum. Investigating the depths of Putin’s corruption, will likely get you killed. So we could very well be in a situation where Russian people are angry about the invasion but daren’t do anything about it. Then again – what good does protesting do in Russia or in any other dictatorship?
Our leaders in the west will complain. We’ll hand down sanctions, but I doubt Putin will care. Putin cares about Putin, like most dictators do. Short of standing up to Putin militarily, I don’t see what we can do that will make a difference.
Maybe one day we will have to fight Putin. I’m wary of using Hitler as a comparison, but there are similarities – Putin doesn’t believe that Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, etc are sovereign states – Hitler had no issue with invading countries that he thought should be under Nazi control. Who in Germany would risk standing up to Hitler? How many years did western countries appease Hitler before realising that we had to stand up to him?
What will we do about it?
What can we do about it?
Firstly we have to stand up militarily, before any other sovereign countries are invaded. We need to stop giving a fuck about what Putin wants – which is basically no troops in all the countries that he wants to invade. These are NATO allies (a defensive partnership, I remind you) and we need far more than little “tripwire” defences there, assuming said allies are happy to be defended.
We need to ensure those countries that are wavering between Russia and the west, such as Turkey, know that they cannot keep doing so. It really is time to choose alligience.
We need to invest further in defence – seriously. Especially at sea and air, but perhaps more importantly in cyber. We really have to throw resources at cyber defence, but be ready to fight back.
We need to start fracking immediately. Not just in the UK but across the whole of Europe. And take every opportunity to get what gas out of the North Sea we can. Yeah, I know, environment. But renewables are not going to fully power us until battery technology massively improves – Russian gas powers Putin’s invasions. The higher the world gas price is, the more money he has to afford invading European countries.
We might need to suck up to the Saudis and Qataris a bit more. They aren’t half going to be crucial to our economies over the next 5-10 years – if we want our standard of living to remain similar or improve, then I’m afraid we need excellent relations with them. Besides, they have made some improvements on human rights.
We also have to stand together as sovereign, democratic nations. Putin has already got some of his wishlist ticked off, such as Trump and Brexit – we cannot allow more victories for Putin.
And we need to switch off RT and block all Russian propaganda efforts in the UK. Oh by the way, if you are a Putin apologist, saying things like “well Ukraine got what they deserved”, then fuck off.
What can you do about it?
Use less gas. Use less gas and less petrol. Every time we use gas or petrol, even if it doesn’t come from Russia, this is helping finance Putin.
Sure, you are just one person, and in reality you don’t make any difference. But if everyone in Europe used less gas and petrol, then that might make a tiny bit of difference to the security calculations. Even boiling a kettle to parboil your roast potatoes, rather than using a gas hob throughout, uses a bit less energy. Plus it’s good for the environment.
Also remove yourself from Russian disinformation networks. Any Facebook group pushing pro-Putin crap this morning is basically a shill for Putin, and you should remove yourself from that crap. I might defriend anyone on Facebook who pushes such crap too.
Maybe someone has better ideas. Time to work soon so need to finish this off.
I do think back to the Iraq War, and how Iraqis must have felt when we invaded. It’s, of course, very different – we went to remove a dictator, Putin is going into Ukraine to install a dictator (probably himself but maybe some lacky).
I supported that war. I thought we were doing the right thing. Looking back, it was a heinous move. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine will likely be similar. Will the Ukrainian people resist the occupation? Could it turn into another Iraq – or more potently for Russia, another Afghanistan? Will there be wider consequences? Could someone in Russia depose Putin? The looks on the faces of those near Putin the other day suggested little support for in his coterie for his war.
My thoughts are with everyone in Ukraine. And Russia for that matter – for the Russian people have to live with their dictator every day. Russian people are not the enemy here. Putin is.