There will be Blood if Moscow Doesn’t Stand Down
The Russians have advanced to the border with Ukraine while Ukrainian soldiers are digging in, fully cognizant that they will shed blood to repel Moscow’s latest invasion.
As we conclude 2021, Ukraine continues to be embroiled in the Russo-Ukraine War of 2014-22 that Moscow started when it conquered and illegally occupied and annexed the Crimean peninsula thereby redrawing Ukraine’s border. That fact alone is a violation of international law and the UN Charter. A few months later Russia launched a full-scale war in eastern Ukraine that has claimed more than 15,000 civilian and military lives. And today Russia has escalated its belligerence by mobilizing more than 150,000 troops with armor and artillery on the border with Ukraine, threatening to invade again.
Without a doubt, another Russian invasion of Ukraine, like a scourge of locust, will be a disaster for both sides, realistically observed Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov in an interview with Politico. After all, the Russo-Ukraine War of 2014-22 is already the longest one in modern European history.
“It will be Ukrainian blood, it will be Russian blood, and a lot of soldiers from Russia will come to home in coffins, and Facebook, Instagram, Telegram channels will show it. It will be a disaster,” Reznikov coldheartedly assessed.
But that’s war. The only good part of war is its end. But if an aggressor is to be repelled, it should be done swiftly and efficiently. An evil villain, Russia, has for centuries invaded Ukraine again and again, attempting to capture, occupy and subjugate the country and nation. Moscow’s current leader Vladimir Putin justifies the present threat by pointing the finger at NATO. It’s the alliance’s fault because it is considering Ukraine for accession, says Putin.
The threat is real and so far no one has succeeded in convincing Putin to stand down. Don’t accept Ukraine and Russia won’t invade, he claims. But nothing could be farther from the truth. For a millennia, Moscow has sought to conquer and assimilate the Ukrainian nation. Moscow needs Ukraine for its imperial glory.
As the noted American foreign policy strategist and Washington insider of Polish descent Zbigniew Brzezinski had pointed out: “It cannot be stressed enough that without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an empire, but with Ukraine suborned and then subordinated, Russia automatically becomes an empire.”
That’s the long and the short of it. And that has been Moscow’s mission for 1,000 years.
Certainly, another Russian invasion of Ukraine doesn’t bode well for civilization as we know it. If Russia attacks Ukraine once more, the result will be devastating. In the past couple of weeks, government officials in Ukraine have commented that if Moscow’s army crosses the Ukrainian frontier, there will be blood on both sides. Some have warned that Russia’s latest invasion could lead to an unwanted global conflagration. A massive invasion of Ukraine by Russia would spread destruction around Europe and could even trigger World War Three, a Ukrainian government minister has warned.
Yuliia Laputina, the minister for veterans’ affairs – who previously served as general of Ukraine’s equivalent of MI5, has said Ukraine was ready to defend itself if Moscow launches a new invasion.
Asked by Sky whether there was a chance an invasion could lead to a third world war, Laputina said: “Yes. Yes. Because geopolitically, it looks like this is a possible scenario. So… we should pay attention to the Ukrainian issue because of the security of the continent. This – the spreading of war in case of Russian invasion to Ukraine – will be much wider than Ukraine.”
But the Ukrainian nation will not succumb and will pick up arms to fight and repel the Russian invaders as it has on numerous occasions in the past. Ukraine’s Ambassador to the US Oksana Markarova told NPR: “Let me tell you this. First, our army is very motivated, and it’s a battle-tested army. Second, we have 4,000 veterans in the country. And I’m positive that each of them, every man and woman, are ready to fight for their country. And, third, Ukrainian people in general clearly said – and the polls can prove it – that the majority of Ukrainians support Euro-Atlantic movement as a member of NATO. So, yes, we will fight for our independence. We will fight for our European future and for Ukraine to remain a sovereign country. This is about the civilizational choice for us.”
Indeed, a poll has showed that half of Ukrainians will form an opposition while a third will pick up arms and wage a guerrilla war against the aggressor just as the nation did during World War II in the ranks of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). This scenario should surely raise the eyebrows of leaders of the free world not to mention Moscow.
Asked whether she thought Ukraine would be able to resist a larger invasion by its much more powerful neighbor, Laputina, citing the determination of Ukrainians’ national resistance, said: “I think that it will be successful because even in the case of a real military invasion, the first step … may be successful for aggressors. But the next step will not be successful because we have a very big experience of national resistance.”
Russia has placed the world on a war footing.
The top diplomats of the Group of 7 have warned Russia of “massive consequences” and “severe costs” should it invade Ukraine or continue military aggressions near its border. Unfortunately, they haven’t yet revealed what “massive consequences” and “severe costs” mean. The foreign ministers for the G7 have urged Russia to pull back from the tense border standoff and made clear that any effort to negotiate or otherwise avoid confrontation would be welcome. “Any use of force to change borders is strictly prohibited under international law,” they said in a statement. “Russia should be in no doubt that further military aggression against Ukraine would have massive consequences and severe cost in response.”
NATO is hoping for the best but expecting the worse. The German newspaper Die Welt reported, citing a senior NATO representative, that a decision to put 40,000-strong NATO Response Force on high alert was made by the North Atlantic Council because of the buildup of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine. Additionally, the level of combat readiness of the special forces and logistics services has been increased, and the deployment time of the joint task force of 6,500 soldiers, also known as the NATO Spearhead Force, has been reduced from seven to five days.
NATO is also considering sending additional troops to Romania and Bulgaria to counter Russia. According to Der Spiegel sources, this initiative was voiced by the Supreme Commander of NATO joint forces in Europe, Gen. Tod Waters, during a closed video conference with alliance partners last week. NATO plans to extend its Enhanced Forward Presence, with four multinational battalion-size battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, on a rotational basis, Waters said.
Fortunately, the free word understands that Russia alone is the guilty instigator of this war.
The former captive nations of Russian subjugation are justifiably clamoring for the free world to support Ukraine politically and militarily as they fear for their independence. Lithuania has even requested American Javelin missiles for itself just in case Russia crosses its border. Lithuanian authorities said they are ready to deliver lethal weapons to Ukraine, and, according to LRT, Minister of National Defense of Lithuania Arvydas Anušauskas said “We need to support Ukraine with all means, and Lithuania is ready for this, which includes the delivery of lethal weapons.”
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas observed to CNBC that the only way to see another EU-Russia summit would be if the Kremlin gives Crimea back to Ukraine. “If we are stepping toward Russia in this regard, and forgetting all the things that we said in 2014, then we are weak because we are stepping away from what we said,” Kallas told CNBC.
In Washington, DC, numerous senators and congressmen have called on the White House in individual letters as well as joint resolutions to increase America’s military support for Ukraine. Sen. Robert Portman (R-OH), among others, said: “I think it would be a grave mistake if Putin were to decide to invade again and I think this time he would meet a very different and more capable resistance. My hope is that in the next several days we’ll be able to continue to send those strong messages through a vote on the National Defense Authorization Bill, but also in other ways to let Russia know in no uncertain terms of the severe sanctions that would accompany any kind of invasion.”
The free world must understand why it has been called “free world.” It must appreciate that being a friend, ally and strategic partner of Ukraine and the Ukrainian nation, which has fought for everything that it has achieved even as it borders its greatest enemy Russia, mean more than just mere words. The 1,000-year-old aspiration of a civilized people to become independent and then preserve it in the face of numerous enemies over many centuries cannot be demeaned and quelled even by purported allies’ betrayal. There will be a great deal of blood that the free world will be responsible for as Ukraine continues to fight for its freedom and democratic future against Russian aggression and subjugation. Ukraine’s divine right to its existence, independence and sovereignty cannot by violated by friends’ disloyalty or enemies’ invasions.
The onus of protecting and defending Ukraine rests with the United States. It is Washington’s responsibility to preserve peace and its responsibility is the greatest of all because the nations of the world trust it to make a good peace. Indeed, the remnants of that belief still remain in the post-Afghanistan era. And among those who naively or not still trust America are 45 million Ukrainians in their native, besieged Ukraine and about 25 million Ukrainians abroad, including Ukrainian Americans.
Mr. President, we call on you to stand firmly with the Ukrainian nation and Ukraine in their time of need. In return, you can be sure of Ukrainian Americans’ steadfast support in this mission. Ukraine mustn’t be lost on your watch.