How Putin is "liberating" Ze world
By now, I think, everyone has heard about the invasion of Russian military forces in Ukraine. How for days they have been bombing Ukrainian cities, killing unarmed citizens (including women and children), and threatening the world with nuclear power, if any other country should decide to intervene with a direct military response, especially any of the NATO countries. This threat basically enforced other countries to watch their fellow neighbour getting destroyed from different directions. Since Ukraine is not part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or the European Union, other close-by states are not obliged to protect Ukraine with their military forces, so the invasion could be started by Russia from 3 different cardinal directions - the Russian border in the east, the annexed (and still not internationally recognised as Russian) Crimea in the south, and the bro-country of Russia - Belarus in the north. So, how did it start and where are we heading now? I am providing an independent unsponsored report, so let's take a closer look together. If you prefer watching a video instead of reading, I summarised the situation on my Youtube channel:
How it all began and why
On February 24 Russia announced that they would start a "demilitarisation" and "denationalisation" operation in Ukraine. Reason: Putin said so. Yes, in Russia everything Putin says for years already is equalised to god-spoken truth. In the official television broadcast, Putin spoke about many reasons to invade Ukraine, but to mention just a few main ones:
Ukraine pretends to pocess nuclear weapons
As it is stated by ICAN: "Ukraine never had an independent nuclear weapons arsenal, or control over these weapons, but agreed to remove former Soviet weapons stationed on its territory." [Source] Also, during the current conflict, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi confirmed, that there is no evidence that Ukraine would have any active or would be preparing any nuclear weapons. [Source]
Fun fact: in the same broadcast Putin was blaming the United States for lying about Iraq having nuclear weapons, just to have a reason to declare war. Seems like Mr Russian President picked a working strategy here.
Nobody asked Ukraniens if they want to be part of Ukraine, that started to exist after the collapse of Soviet Union
Well, nobody held them there by force either. If we start to question the historical borders of certain countries, then we could also claim that Crimea belongs to the Osmania Empire instead of how Putin claims it. The whole tale of Donezk and Luhansk wanting to join Russia only began around the same time as the annexation of Crimea.
Ukraine is home to countless neo-nazis and have claims for world supremacy
To me, this is the most absurd argument of all. Barely anybody has heard much of Ukraine as a country before the invasion, so nobody with a sane mind would believe that Ukraine is going to invade others and become the ruling world supremacy. On top of that Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian President, addressed Russia and Russian citizens on February 24, stating that they don't want any war and remembered how the two nations fought in the Second World War together.
Bonus: in the meetings with the French President Macron and German Chancellor Scholz before the escalation, Putin spoke about just performing military training, partially together with Belarus. Russia's ambassador to the EU said: "Russia has no plans to invade either Ukraine or any other country." I guess they meant to say that Russia has no plans to meet any resistance...
How the West responded to these lies and invasion
Besides regular high-tech weapons deliveries to Ukraine, consisting of mostly various types of rifles, anti-tank and anti-air weapons, the US, UK and EU quickly collaborated to string a hefty sanction package, that is supposed to deal a devastating blow to the Russian finance sector. Multiple Asian countries, like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan also joined some of these imposed measures. Sanctions include such limitations as:
freezing assets of Russia's central bank, about $630bn
The reserves saved up by the Russian central bank could stem (at least for a while) the drop of Russian currency - the rubel. More and more financial experts predict the fall of the whole Russian market and these frozen assets could play a key role in answering - how quickly it will happen.
selected Russian banks removed from Swift payment system
A lot of people believe that this measure removes Russian banks from EU/ International trading, especially after most newspapers called it a "financial nuclear bomb", but this is definitely not correct. Swift is a standardised payment system used globally, especially within the EU, but the financial transactions are still possible without Swift, even though they require a lot more time and effort from both involved sides, the sender and receiver. This creates a hurdle most banks would not want nowadays, and most banks in the EU and UK would not accept.
In my humble opinion, this financial nuclear bomb will have only a brief limiting effect on Russian banks, which already started adapting to a new strategy. They simply open accounts in banks, which are not sanctioned and continue working with the West this way, so this measure makes only sense if all Russian banks would be removed from the Swift system. Even then, Russia would still have loopholes like China, which doesn't join any sanctions so far, India or even closer countries like Kazachstan, Armenia and so on.
For example, China uses their own payment system within their country
cutting off major Russian companies from raising finances, borrowing money or trading in other markets
banning the sale of aircraft and equipment to Russian airlines and limiting the number of dual-goods used in industry and military
Both points mentioned above is what has shown so far the biggest negative impact on the Russian economy and the effects continue to accumulate every day. Global trade requires a flawless flow of goods and components and since most of the Russian aircraft are leased from European companies and also require imported components for any repairs, there will be a huge deficit in goods that require aircraft transport.
Talking about air traffic - the EU banned their air space to Russian-owned, -registered or -controlled aircraft, which obviously includes the private jets of Russian oligarchs. UK and Canada also joined this movement. It is still possible to travel between Russia and these countries but through the means of other 3rd parties like Istanbul in Turkey.
limiting assets of key individuals, that have close ties to Putin or supported the war with Ukraine
It can be speculated, how much effect these sanctions will have on oligarchs, which robbed their own folks of so much wealth over the years, that one yacht or villa less or more, won't really matter.
Most important is that the global market is turning its back on Russia and a great number of international giants either completely break their ties or at least temporarily halt their operations in Russia. If this will plunge Russia into a new "stone age" or if they have been preparing for it and will be able to replace some or most of the western products Russians got so used to over the last two decades, remains to be seen.
How Russia continues to act
As "The Cranberries" sang in the "Zombie":
With their tanks, and their bombs And their bombs, and their guns
Russia's army continues to bring "peace" and "liberation" to Ukrainians. Here is a brief overview of what peace looks like to them right now (no gore pictures included):
Source: Telegram channel of informator.ua
Just from the confirmed cases at the time of writing, 1123 civilians have been wounded, including 364 killed and 759 injured.
So far 39 countries have called for an investigation on war crimes committed by the Russian military in Ukraine, which means that there is high evidence that these crimes have been and are being committed in Ukraine. It seems then, West has to also continue bringing "liberation" to Russia's economy by introducing further "special financial operations".
While his army continues attacking cities in Ukraine for already more than two weeks, while he continues to threaten NATO countries if they should actively intervene, while countless civilians are losing their homes and their lives, Putin is relaxed enjoying some black tea in a company of young stewardesses.
Source: Screenshot of the official broadcast
The "special operation", as Kreml calls the invasion in Ukraine is going according to their plan. It seems part of their plan is also to completely block any possibility of western influence on their citizens, so they started blocking different western media companies and programs like Facebook/ Instagram, Twitter and TicToc. On top of that, it is forbidden now to spread any information that differs from the officials, hence why BBC, CNN, Medusa and other international news agencies are closing their offices in Russia. Welcome to the new age of dictatorship and controlled propaganda.
Source: Everyfreackingwhere in Russia
Translation: Russian soldier - warrior liberator; #RussianSpring
Putin said in a call with the French President Emmanuel Macron:
"Worst is yet to come"
It remains to be speculated if the "worst" is meant for Ukraine, EU, NATO, US or actually his own homeland.
What can we do to improve the situation in Ukraine?
This critical situation in Europe has strengthened the bonds between different nations and showed, why defensive and economic treaties are still important, even in our as we misbelieved modern civilised 21st century. Millions have taken their voice to the streets, showing their support for Ukraine and pushing their government towards further actions to stop the war.
As always, there are multiple ways to help the situation, but here are 3 main ones I would suggest:
Support the refugees fleeing Ukraine in any way you can. By now more than 2,5 Million Ukrainians fled their homeland, lost their homes and potentially their relatives. They are in dire need of your material, financial and spiritual support, especially if you live in eastern European countries like Poland, Hungary or Romania. Get in touch with your local immigration authorities and Russian/ Ukrainian communities (yes, Russians living in the West for years are also helping Ukrainians). For donations check USA for UNHCR, Global Empowerment Mission, Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE), The International Rescue Committee, or The Polish Red Cross
Provide financial support to Ukrainians fighting for their homeland: there are multiple organisations serving the need of both Ukrainian fighters and civilians who still try to survive the horrors of this war within their country's borders. For donations check Ukrainian Red Cross, World Central Kitchen, VostokSOS, and Kyiv School of Economics (funding protective kits such as bulletproof vests, helmets, etc.)
Help to spread the word and speak up about the war: every drop into the consciousness of Russian citizens and soldiers might break the wall of propaganda that Kreml has been building up for decades, and raise even more awareness and support for the situation.
One thing is clear - War in Ukraine quickly burst the pandemic bubble we have been living in for the past two years and united us against imminent threat at our doorstep. Never would have thought that my first personal blog would be about war, so let's hope soon Times Will Change for the better!