The day the world stopped talking about the pandemic

On Thursday 24 February 2022, people suddenly stopped talking about the pandemic. Even the media has been silenced. But it’s not over. It may never be over.  The world has entered its third year of the COVID-19 pandemic. So far there have been 45 million cases worldwide with hundreds of thousands of new cases adding to that figure every day. Obviously, they are only the cases we know about. In my home state of Victoria in Australia, more than 5 000 new cases are still being recorded every day.

If it looks like war, it probably is war

Now people around the globe are talking about the latest threat to the stability of the world, the Russia -Ukraine war. The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin had been preparing a full-scale invasion on Ukraine since November 2021 when over 100,000 Russian troops, military equipment and tanks began piling up on the Russian/Ukraine border. Putin continually denied that Russia had plans to invade Ukraine. But only an idiot would have believed that. After all, Putin hates Ukraine, the opposer, with its democratic ways. And it’s a well-known fact that opposers of Putin get poisoned or sent to the torture pit to endure an agonising slow death.

No plans to invade Ukraine – really???

Governments around the world seemed to be more interested in the state of Putin’s mental health. Obviously, it’s not good. They didn’t seem to take much notice that a war was imminent. The general discourse amongst world leaders was the threat wasn’t real. Why? Because they believed Putin? Could they have been that gullible? Maybe it was more likely that they didn’t want to get involved.  My feelings about the latter have turned out to be the correct.

Why Thursday 24 February 2022? Who knows?

Before dawn, on that fateful day in February this year, President Putin launched what he called his “special military operation”. Troops and tanks began advancing from the Ukraine border towards the capital, Kyiv, killing and wounding innocent citizens and destroying other cities on the way.  There was even television footage of a tank changing direction to deliberately roll over a car. Miraculously the sole occupant of the car survived.

Citizens have been forced to leave their homes and hide in basements and train stations to shelter from ground and air missiles. Almost a million others, mostly women and children have fled the country with only the clothes they were wearing. The government has asked men between 18 and 60 to stay and fight, most of whom have never held a gun in their hands. So far almost 2 000 innocent people have been murdered. This tragedy has quicky escalated to the biggest humanitarian crisis in Europe since the Second World War.

Why? Some possible provocations

Many countries that were under Russian control including Ukraine, became independent after the fall of the USSR in 1991. Interestingly, that was the same year the former KGB spy Vladimir Putin began his political career. He hated the fact that Russia was losing influence over the region. So, after he became president in 2000, he used his power to invade and make nuclear threats to regain control over some of these countries. 

Years of ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine

For years Ukraine has attempted to join NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) for protection against Russian advances. But two barbarians named Putin and Yanukovich have made sure that could never happen.  Former Ukrainian president and close ally of Putin, Viktor Yanukovich, refused to sign the membership agreement in 2014. This led to mass protests, murders and ongoing conflict in the country. Ukraine was finally rid of Yanukovich when he was ousted and exiled in Russia.

Despite having two great presidents since then, the conflict in Ukraine has continued.  Putin is now threatening nuclear war if Ukraine is accepted as a NATO nation. Membership in NATO means that Ukraine would be provided security and military support from other NATO members such as troops, weaponry, and a no-fly zone. Basically, all the things that terrify little Putin and would diminish his control.

And what is the world doing to support Ukraine

The answer is nothing really. Leaders across the globe have refused to provide support because Ukraine is not a member of NATO. Putin has warned the world that military assistance to Ukraine from NATO nations would lead to an escalation in war.  So, it’s just talk, talk, talk. And sanction after sanction. The economic sanctions against Russia are hurting Russian citizens many of whom don’t want this war. As for Putin, there’ll be no riding his horse shirtless and disappearing off into the sunset anytime soon.

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