THE INVASION of Ukraine seems to have shocked the whole world and that is very strange because Russia started building its troops along the Ukraine border since November 2021, and thanks to modern communications, the warning was loud enough.
When Nazi Germany invaded Poland on 1st September 1939, which was generally considered the beginning of the World War II, many nations got to know about the invasion when it was all over on 6th October 1939 – thirty-five days later.
Modern communications have changed the whole world and revealed its deceit and hypocrisy. The USA lied about Iraq for developing weapons of mass destruction and consequently attacked Iraq and destroyed many of its infrastructure whilst the rest of the world looked on sheepishly.
At the end of the war, not a single factory was found manufacturing weapons of mass destruction and the capture of Saddam Hussein ironically seemed to have been the only victory won.
The hypocritical nature of our world and the selfish interests of the superpowers have always been the bane of economic difficulties of many poor nations and yet they pretend to care for them. In spite of the vociferous support Ukraine has received, not a single nation has sent troops to show their solidarity and Ukraine is fighting this battle alone.
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR- was made up of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine) and other republics such as Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. The USSR was the largest country in the world and Ukraine with its capital Kiev was the most important Republic of the USSR. The union was dissolved in 1991 and many of the States, Byelorussia, Tashkent, Ukraine, etc., became independent republics.
The break-up of the federation was a very painful one for Russia because she lost some of its military and economic power such as oil, gas, defense industries, food productions, and many others.
Russia would have wished to have some controls over the freed republics but many of them started enjoying their newly won freedom and charting a new course for their countries to the detriment of Russian interests. The behavior of the freed republics earned them Moscow’s displeasure and Ukraine became the biggest target because of its resources and potential.
Ukraine was the most important and powerful of the fifteen Soviet republics and geographically its position has strategic concerns for Russia. Unfortunately, the stance of the current Ukraine President has aggravated the rift between the two countries because during the era of the Ukraine’s Russian friendly leader, Viktor Yanukovych, some cordial relations existed.
The relations however, turned sour when he was driven out of office by a popular uprising. Russia showed her anger by annexing the Crimean Peninsula and backing of a separatist insurgency movement in eastern Ukraine where fighting is still ongoing. Since 2014, the relationship has not been cordial and seems to have worsened with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s determination to join NATO.
Many have equated the invasion of Ukraine to the abortive invasion of Cuba by the USA which took place at the height of the Cold War in April, 1961 at the “Bay of Pigs”. Whether this is a fair comparison or not the lessons learnt from the failed invasion highlighted the strategic concerns and sensitivity among the super powers regarding the geographical deployment of offensive weapons.
The desire of the current leadership of Ukraine to join NATO is compared to the Cuban crisis because Moscow will not sit down for NATO to be established at its door steps. There are other reasons though, but none is too crucial than the NATO issue.
In my opinion, it is a suicide mission because Russia cannot win this war no matter how powerful her military forces. She will succeed in destroying many cities, towns and villages thus winning the battles and not the WAR. To go nuclear, is out of the question because Ukraine is too close to Russia and the nuclear fallouts will seriously affect Russia as well and draw the wrath of the Western World, and therefore it will remain a conventional war.
Warfare has changed dramatically since World War II as a result of scientific development in communications, electronics and weaponry especially, the ease of using some equipment such as missiles. During the World War II, a tank was seen as an indestructible weapon but today, a hand held rocket launcher is enough to destroy it in matter of seconds.
The forty kilometer stretch of tanks (about 2,000 tanks – calculated on 20 meters between two tanks) are ‘sitting ducks’ to Ukrainian freedom fighters. I believe the display of military hardware are meant psychologically to put fear into Ukrainians because a similar display of armament by the Arab countries during the ‘Six Days’ war could not defeat Israel.
Another crucial factor in every warfare is the will of the people to fight. Israel has been able to withstand the might of Arab armies. The Russians were defeated in Afghanistan and the might of the USA could not match the determination of the Afghan people (Taliban’s) and the US hurriedly had to run away from that place in a very embarrassing situation leaving their military hardware behind.
Ukraine has been one of the socialist republics of the defunct USSR and knows the strength and weaknesses of the Russian Armed Forces and can plan and prepare to resist them. They have been prepared and tested in the Crimea peninsula’s occupation and some of their citizens are already engaged in insurgency operations since 2014.
What is happening is not new to Ukrainians considering the enthusiasm with which many citizens are equipping and training themselves to resist the Russians. There is no doubt that Ukraine will suffer a lot of casualties and damages to their infrastructure from the various battles but Russia will lose the war.
Friendly forces are important factors in warfare and already many are lending support in the supply of arms and ammunitions, logistics and funds to Ukraine to boost their morale to stand up and fight. I am however, surprised that not a single country has offered troops to support them. Ukraine will surely stand up to fight in spite of the shelling and bombardments because they believe in their faith and are determined to safeguard their independence.
Seventy five percent of Ukrainians are of the Christian faith (Roman Catholic, Protestants and Orthodoxy) and Christianity frowns on dictatorship. There is no way the people of Ukraine would like to be ruled by Russian dictators again. Lastly, world opinion is so important that anyone in a battle who ignores it, does so at its own risk and at the moment, the world opinion is in favor of Ukraine.
Russia has so far either tactically or strategically resorted to a ‘war of attrition’ by using missiles, air attacks and shelling to break the will of the people. To force Ukraine to capitulate, it will require some occupation of towns and cities by Russian ground troops and that is when they will suffer such massive destruction of their tanks, equipment and personnel never experienced by Russia in recent times.
The reasons are that the supply lines to sustain such huge occupational forces will be too long and would be subjected to constant insurgent attacks. The other issue is that the protests and arrests of some Russians at home are clear indication that the decision to invade Ukraine may not be popular with the Russian people.
Thus the morale of the Russian troops may not be at their peak for this encounter and consequently, they may not give of their best. As observed in the USA during the Vietnam and Afghanistan wars, when the ‘body bags’ start arriving in Russia, the citizens will surely react because some of the ‘body bags’ will contain bodies of family members.
Human beings will forever fall prey to eternal problems of poverty, inequality, racism, bigotry, intolerance, and power struggle but these problems we all know, can never be solved through wars and violence. The League of Nations was formed after the World War I to help resolve conflicts among nations but it woefully failed and gave birth to World War II and the newly created United Nations.
From recent developments, one may say that this world body has become a toothless bulldog and whilst it is busy passing resolutions on the invasion, a major catastrophe awaits Europe and the rest of the world more serious than Chernobyl or COVID-19 if the biggest nuclear power plant in Ukraine is destroyed by Russian bombing.
The world, especially the USA and China, the remaining superpowers must work together to stop (the third superpower) RUSSIA now!
Russia will surely win the battles but never the WAR.