Ukraine is under siege and Russian troops are said to be closing in on Kyiv, the capital, to decapitate the government there, and send a clear message to NATO and the United States that Russia will not tolerate having Ukraine as a member of NATO, or western troops in Ukraine right along the Russian border, and that Russia would rather go to war over it than surrender.
President Vladimir Putin of Russia has called that a red line and he’s dropping bombs in Ukraine and moving troops there to prove that he was not bluffing. He also threatened other nations who may want to intervene that they will face the consequences they have never seen before “in your history.”
The reason is Russia does not want Ukraine to join NATO because of Article 5 in the NATO agreement, which says that “an attack on one is an attack on all”, meaning that if Russia were to attack Ukraine, all 30 other members of NATO, including the United States will go to war against Russia. Putin has said over his dead body!
The question is for how long? Many argue that while Russia may soon take over Kyiv, the war may drag on and many Russian soldiers may also die, turning Russians at home against Vladimir Putin. That is, assuming that Ukrainian troops decide to fight back for a long time, exhausting Russia’s resources.
The Problem is Russia is a nuclear power and Putin may end up using nuclear power against Europe if the come comes to become. And that is the real danger. In addition, admitting Ukraine to NATO may even be costly and bring in instability as Russia might fight day and night to reverse it and the world may enter another World War 3.
But, but, but, not everyone in Russia is for the invasion of Ukraine, a sovereign nation that should make its own decisions, and join whomever it would like to join, no matter who is upset with that decision.
That is only ideal. In practice, Russia argues that the United States will not allow many countries to have nuclear weapons or even place missiles in Cuba so close to the United States. Russia then argues that if the United States can go after Iran and North Korea and prevent anyone from having missiles in Cuba for its own interests, why shouldn’t Russia fight to ensure that Ukraine does not constitute a threat to Russia?
As you can see, it’s a tough argument, between a sovereign nation and a nuclear power pointing out the hypocrisy of others. To be pragmatic here is to admit the obvious, Ukraine will not certainly join NATO and Russia may fight to the death if that was to happen as it is doing now with or without Vladimir Putin. To ignore that means going on a goose chase and wasting years in a war that will only take you back to this same conclusion, after tens of thousands have died and trillions of dollars have been spent.
When emotions are high, it’s hard to be pragmatic. We often retreat into the comfortable, the ideal, the dream of equality and the fact that all people should determine their destiny.
In reality, the powerful like the United States, Russia, China and the rest dictate to a certain extent what happens to others, who can have nuclear weapons, who cannot, which is sad, but pragmatic and true. Kings and queens and emperors have always done this for centuries. And to ignore that reality is to be idealistic, and not pragmatic.
U.S. interest. Many here in the United States have questioned whether it is in the interest of the United States to fight a war in Ukraine? Some say yes, if you do not, China will invade Taiwan in Asia while Russia will take over Ukraine in Europe. Others say, to be practical is to urge Ukraine to declare neutrality and pledge that it will not join NATO and pose a threat to Russia and end this war for a long time. It’s complicated as you can see. But below are our top stories today from here in Washington, USA, Russia and Kyiv in Ukraine.
Simon Ateba is the White House Correspondent for Today News Africa in Washington DC. His opinion does not represent that of Today News Africa.
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