Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

My Thoughts Regarding Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

with 18 comments

Folks, I am not an international relations expert. But I have thoughts regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and wanted to share them.

First, the fact that Russia’s invaded Ukraine at all (beyond the war they’ve had with the eastern provinces for the past eight years) is so awful, I have no words for it. Even the word “reprehensible” isn’t strong enough.

I’ve heard some people say that since Russia had been fighting with Ukraine over those eastern provinces for eight years that this shouldn’t be a surprise. Perhaps not. But it still was, and I still don’t understand it.

Vladimir Putin, Russia’s President, said something about the need to get rid of Nazis in the Ukraine. That was his reason for going in there, officially, as best I can tell.

My second point is this: as far as I know, there are no Nazis in Ukraine. Period.

Now, are there fascists there? Possibly, because fascism is on the rise worldwide. But are fascists in control of Ukraine? No.

My third point is, I have both read about and seen the stiff resistance the Ukrainians are giving Russian troops. I’m very glad they’re fighting for their country. And I’m also glad they’re so far keeping Russia from taking Ukraine as easily as they’d wanted to (and probably hoped).

But it is all so very sad. People are dying who didn’t need to. People are having to take on roles they’d never thought about. Dancers are now shooting guns. Musicians are now laying mines. Bridges are getting blown up. And every available person from teenage years to sixty are now doing everything they can to stay alive and push Russia back out of their country.

My fourth point is this: Russia is a huge country. Ukraine, geographically, is not. But so far, little-by-comparison Ukraine has given Russia a big black eye.

I keep trying to parse the conflict, and these are the only things that come to mind to say at this time.

Oh, yes…except for this: We in the United States once fought for our country against oppressors. I hope we can send Ukraine some sort of help, even if it’s just additional weapons and/or ammo, as I can’t see Putin or the Russians stopping with just Ukraine. (Can you?)

What are your thoughts on Ukraine? Let me know, if you would…I’m tired of the talking heads on TV being the only ones discussing this, and would like some other thoughts beyond “this is terrible” and “if it bleeds, it leads.”

18 Responses

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  1. Without getting too political (I hope), I was somewhat expecting Putin to make this move. I had heard little from DC that I thought would really deter him. 😦

    • That’s not too political at all, Paul. 🙂

      We seem to have a problem dealing with Russia, at least since the days of Harry Truman. (When the Iron Curtain went up, that was.)

      There doesn’t seem to be a good answer, either.

      I am worried about the Ukrainian people, and am glad that at this hour it looks like the US, Australia, and a few others will be sending food and weapons to Ukraine. I think we have to do this.

      I’m still worried about Putin because he seems…well, off his rocker, I guess, is the kindest way to put it. (Saying that there were Nazis in Ukraine made no sense at all. I actually turned to Mom and said, “That’s bats**t crazy, isn’t it?” when we heard it on TV. And that’s not a phrase I use very often, much less actually using the cuss words.)

      Barb Caffrey

      February 28, 2022 at 2:30 am

      • To be fair, Europe appears to think Russia is a Tame Bear (ie harmless) and hasn’t been prepared to deal with a Not-So-Tame Russia.

      • I would agree with that. Germany in particular wasn’t ready for this, and they almost certainly should’ve been.

        Barb Caffrey

        February 28, 2022 at 4:55 pm

  2. You have made good points here Barb, I suppose for us in Europe born in the shadow of WWII reaching our 20s by the 1970s there is something familiar about this.
    The battlegrounds of WWII being fought over again; the ‘soviet’ response to Hungary in 1956 & the then Czechoslovakia of 1968; particularly the film of confused Russian soldiers being harangued by local civilians, Sheila and I talk about similar film taken in Prague in 1968, although there was minimal violence then.
    To get a perspective on this you have to go back deep into the histories of Europe and the lands which would eventually become Russia; to begin with I was thinking back 500 years, then when Sheila reminded me Kyviv was the original capital of the then state of Rus; add on another 300 years….
    I will resist the urge to write about the Dynamics of Internal Relations theory as to why these events happen and also to relate the past 160 years as to why this particular circumstance is taking place. This I will say though, Putin and his clique should have asked the few very old grey heads left in Russia who as young men fought against the Ukraine Nationalists between 1944 and 1945.
    A shrewder, more cunning Russian leader could have wheedled Ukraine back to ‘buddy’ status once they had worked out the dynamics of the 2014 ‘Orange Revolution’, it would have taken a few years of course.
    But now Putin has raised all sorts of ghosts and memories in Western Europe and everyone West of the River Dnieper is is getting in on the game; when Sweden and Switzerland come out against you, you should realise you’ve really stuck your hand in the wasp’s nest.
    And on a final note…..When The Taliban call for restraint??????

    deteremineddespitewp

    March 1, 2022 at 9:03 am

    • Yeah. Agreed with all of that, Roger.

      I definitely stand with Ukraine and I hope they will continue to fight. This is awful. They deserve peace, not this crap.

      Barb Caffrey

      March 1, 2022 at 5:42 pm

      • Agreed, Barb.
        Biden’s address: Nice to hear Republican and Democrat elected representatives in one voice again.

        deteremineddespitewp

        March 2, 2022 at 3:14 am

      • I agree. There were some idiots — eight of them, in all, in the US House of Reps — that voted against the bipartisan bill supporting the Ukrainian fighters. I don’t understand those people and I really, really don’t understand why they’re not voted the Hell out.

        Barb Caffrey

        March 2, 2022 at 8:59 pm

      • You could take the cynical view and say some of them might be worried about their funding, from far away places.
        The simpler and sadder one is that this is symptomatic of the knee-jerk response of one wing of the Republican grouping, ie ‘If The Democrats want it; I’m against it,’

        deteremineddespitewp

        March 3, 2022 at 3:13 am

      • Yep.

        I saw elsewhere that only three Republican Reps voted no. There may have been more than one resolution along the same lines, so these three — who were also in the eight I mentioned before — were the absolute die-hards, I’m guessing.

        I saw today that there’s a Russian-born businessman (who now lives in the US) who’s put a bounty on Vladimir Putin’s head of one million dollars. He said this is because of the war crimes Putin’s committed by sending troops in there and by bombing civilian targets (including the Holocaust memorial site where many Jewish people were slaughtered).

        I don’t know if this further comment will interest you, but I’ll make it anyway. My father believes that Putin, eventually, will be tried before the Hague in the same way Slobodan Milosovic (hoping I am spelling this close enough) was, for war crimes.

        I would like to think he’s right.

        Barb Caffrey

        March 3, 2022 at 11:34 am

      • Off Topic but I has mixed feelings about “war crimes trials” especially “crimes against humanity”.

        Many a third-world thug in the past has “packed his bags and left” and was allowed to live in exile by the international community.

        Now, if a third-world thug leaves his position, the international community will “put him on trial for crimes against his people”. Of course, many of these thugs know that they’ll be found guilty.

        So what’s a dictator going to do when things heat up for him?

        Surrender to his people and be executed?

        Surrender to the international community and be executed?

        Or fight to the last man and be killed in the fighting.

        Of course, the international community might not want to pay the price in lives to take him down?

        But of course, even if the international politicians lose lives taking him down (instead of letting him go into exile), it isn’t their lives that will be lost.

        We saw this with Libya. After remarks by various international politicians and by Obama, Gaddafi knew full well that he’d be facing a “war crimes” trial. So why would he want to surrender to NATO?

        In regards to putting Putin on “trial” in becomes “interesting” considering that Russia is a Nuclear Power. If NATO goes into Russia to capture Putin, he may very well use his Nukes.

      • Paul, that’s a very good point.

        I hadn’t considered it, mostly because I was thinking only about Milosevic and how he truly did commit war crimes by any standard. I know Saddam Hussein was tried for war crimes also.

        I just don’t know what the answers are. I don’t have a degree in International Relations, as I’ve said before.

        I agree that Putin in particular would not want to surrender. And taking him alive will be very difficult.

        I also agree that the important thing is to get him out of power. If it’s an agreement that he goes, say, to Brazil or Argentina, then let him go.

        Barb Caffrey

        March 4, 2022 at 6:18 pm

      • Those die-hards will be called to account as the news goes on, no matter how much they try and hide in their home ‘turf’.

        That might not be the only bounty on his head; there are other races, Syrians, Chechens and Gregorians who have scores to settle with him.

        As a head of a very big nations and surrounded by a close court of other KGB colleagues he would be hard to winkle out.
        That said, The Downfall scenario is not totally impossible and if not ‘dealt with’ by his own people he could well be handed over as part of a deal for Russia to be allowed back into The World again.

        I would like to know his whole crew are removed as well. An unsavoury bunch-
        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-60573261.

        Take care Barb.

        deteremineddespitewp

        March 3, 2022 at 1:29 pm

      • Yes, agreed, Roger.

        The main point Paul had, though, is valid. It’s more important to get Putin (and the rest of them) out of there. If the only way to do it, say, is to let them emigrate out (maybe to Brazil or Argentina or somewhere) and not prosecute them, we should let them go.

        Getting Putin out of power is the important thing.

        I would prefer he leaves on his own, so while I’d not like it that he’d not be called to account for all of his dirty dealings, I’d reluctantly accept it as the best of the available bad options.

        If that will keep more Ukrainians and Russians alive, as most of the Russian people are good and don’t want this going on any more than you and I (and Paul) do, I’d agree to that deal (Putin and others leave on their own, but will never be tried at the Hague to go on their own).

        My issue mostly is that I don’t see how we can get Putin out without a tremendous loss of life. The bad options here are appalling.

        I worry a lot about the Ukrainians, and of course I stand with Ukraine and anyone willing to help them fight the Russians off (even though many soldiers don’t want to be there and would gladly leave if they could).

        I heard something today about this possible deal: If Russian soldiers are willing to walk away, we should give them amnesty and relocate them in the West.

        I agree with that and I think we should do exactly that.

        Barb Caffrey

        March 4, 2022 at 6:23 pm

      • We in that proverbial rock and a hard place Barb. And I agree on your assessment on removing Putin.

        In the long history of European and European/Russia conflicts (include the Ottoman Empire). Winkling out or halting the crew who starts it can be fearfully hard. And is usually a very long and messy business and relies on wearing down the population too….The Russian population can be fearfully resilient if it feels threatened.
        The only new factor in the equation is the ‘Nuclear’ one. We don’t know how fear of that escalating will impact. It is certainly the one which is keeping NATO planes out of Ukrainian Air space, so far.

        Some Russian soldiers may ‘vote with their boots’ but many will know if they do, their families back home will suffer (a standard response long embedded).

        Every day a new opinion, perspective and suggestion on the outcome.

        I suspect a Realpolitik outcome of the Russian invasion stuttering to a halt, Putin being allowed some wriggle room (To suffer whatever internal Down the Road fate awaits him). The everyone cools down, revaluates, leaving Russia to constantly complain, but do no more as Western capital flows in to repair the Ukraine and Western forces shore up the Ukrainian, Finnish and Swedish borders.
        Not satisfactory by any means, but Realpolitik as its most beneficial is choosing the least worst option.

        deteremineddespitewp

        March 5, 2022 at 5:41 am

      • I’d agree with that outcome, Roger. It would be by far the best of the available outcomes. And Ukraine would survive that way.

        Barb Caffrey

        March 6, 2022 at 12:49 am

      • Not the best by any means, and the whole mess was avoidable in a slew of missed opportunities.
        Yet here we are.
        And in this imperfect world, we end up with lousy choices.

        deteremineddespitewp

        March 6, 2022 at 3:39 am

      • That’s for sure, Roger. That’s for sure.

        Barb Caffrey

        March 7, 2022 at 12:35 am


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