Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Why would Russia invade Ukraine and what does Putin want? | News | The Times
The mage was taken from

Does Putin have any justification for starting the war? He may have some genuine grievances at how NATO was slowly moving towards Russia; how the direction that Ukraine was taking was helping the West to reach all the European borders of Russia. However, can there be any justification for invading Ukraine and causing the inevitable, unnecessary loss of innocent lives? Under no circumstances can an invasion of Ukraine be justified.

Those who participate in great power games come in a variety of forms. One such type consists of people that can be described as historical/ethnic or historical/religious nationalists. Putin belongs to this group. Had Russia been a more free and economically prosperous country, there would have been no reason for Ukraine to try and move away from Russia and move towards western Europe and America. But Putin is a dictator and runs an authoritarian government based on mandates gained from several unfair elections. So, it explains why Ukraine would choose Europe and America rather than Russia.

I am also sure that many people in Ukraine support Russia. But as far as I can see, most Ukrainians want to move away from their powerful, authoritarian neighbour that caused them so much sufferings over the years in history. They want to be freer and enjoy greater prosperity, diversity and choices in life.

The nationalist mindset based on history is a very dangerous entity. It involves looking at history in a narrow, politicised way consisting of full of grievances and narrow-minded black and white interpretations designed to inspire certain types of political activism. The logic of the nationalist mind causes some to be seen as ‘ours’, while others are excluded and ‘othered’. The othered becomes the enemy, based on the historically interpreted divides, and blamed for some imagined wrongs of the past through their religious, ethnic or racial connections with groups who are imagined having done the wrong to the ancestors of the ‘ours’ group.

Each manifestation of the nationalist mind is slightly different, based on each context and their unique history and how the nationalist mindset originated in an individual. In the case of the Indian subcontinent, the Hindu nationalists have developed an intense hatred of the Muslims, who are othered and delegitimised. Their anti-Muslim justifications are received from particular interpretations of history, which their followers believe without scrutiny and critical questioning.

History can create problems as well as help solve them. It can also imprison or liberate people. Armed with good history, based on evidence and critical/scientific examination of available records, can help challenge bad nationalist history. The long term process of dealing with bad history that the nationalists utilise – such as what Putin used to justify aggression against Ukraine and the Hindu Nationalists’ othering and delegitimising of the Muslims – can be partially dealt with by engaging in good history. There is also a need to develop strong emotions for truths and objectivity to challenge the feelings of the highly charged nationalists.

How will the Ukraine tragedy end? Unfortunately, it is not possible to predict this accurately. We may misconstrue and confuse how we feel it should end or fear how it might end with prediction and equate one with the other. But based on my observations of invasions during my lifetime and what happened eventually and reading about many more before I was born, I cannot see how Putin will succeed in the long run to subdue and control Ukraine. But history is full of surprises so that nothing can be ruled out.

I hope the inevitable bloodshed of the invasion and what happens in the aftermath will not be very high, and the Ukrainians will soon become free and independent from the yokes of a mad, unstable Russia under a dictator.