Ukraine Invasion: Who Is Winning This Barbaric War? Putin Or Biden?

The horrors of this totally unnecessary war have been visible, palpable and real across the television screens, mobile screens and the internet, SOS videos, official release of images and so on. It has reached the 6th day today in spite of the perplexing Putin offer of dialogues with Ukraine amid flying missiles, the starter of which has in fact been realized in Belarus yesterday, and as feared nothing coming out of it. Only the destruction and despair of the Ukrainians along with fellow global citizens have increased manifold. Now India too is plunged in despair with its young medical student Naveen Shekharappa dying in Russian shelling in the worst affected city of Kharkiv. Around 3500 Indian students are still reported to be stuck in that devastated city and in all, around 16000 students are still undergoing the claustrophobic terror inside the bunkers—hungry, thirsty and crowded like herds of animals.


India, preoccupied with elections like last year when the COVID-19 second wave created havoc, realized the urgency of evacuating its citizens quite a bit late. No doubt, it had been issuing advisories since a few days before the invasion started, but failed to connect with the Ukraine universities or educational institutions to request allowing the Indian students leave the country. The students, therefore, could not risk their careers as there were no online classes, and a fatal delay was thus caused. Then Operation Ganga started; but the helpless students were asked to travel hundreds of kilometres to any of the borders of Poland, 

Hungary, Romania or Slovakia on their own so as to be airlifted thereafter. Today the Government of India has issued an emergency alert to the Indian citizens to leave Ukraine by any means—bus, trains or whatever. Naveen died on his way to the Kharkiv railway station where in fact no trains were running.


Operation Ganga has rescued about 8000 students so far, but around 15000 are still huddled up there as the war goes on intensifying. To make matter worse, the Government has been trying to score brownie points for the assembly elections by chest-thumping and boasting about the great evacuation efforts and the involvement of four cabinet ministers since yesterday. And what about the so-called great Indian democratic diplomacy? Well, the country has only been abstaining from voting in the UNSC twice and once in the UNHRC lest big brother Russia gets hurt. The country has been unable to take an international stand despite its Prime Minister talking to President Zelensky while holing meet after high-level national meets. Why not now ask your big brother to allow the Indians cross over to Russia which is much nearer?


President Biden had indeed been sure about a Russian invasion days before the actual war broke out and had been issuing warnings all around. However, it’s not clear if his ‘fears’ had been based on intelligence reports or on the ‘sanctions yearning’ as displayed by him and his allies all throughout. I read one report of the western mainstream media that said if Putin did not attack Ukraine now it’d mean he was weak and scared to do so. That there were incentives or instigations for a war is a fact beyond doubt.


Now the US, most European nations, Australia and some other countries along with the NATO are sending emergency help to Ukraine in terms of money, military forces and high-definition weapons. They, the US, UK and Germany in particular, have imposed possibly the most suffocating economic sanctions ever on Russia or on any country in history, almost isolating them from the world. Nobody has in mind that diplomacy can still persuade a desperate Putin who is facing protests from his own Russian citizens and his international image getting a huge hit.


Thus, put under pressure from all sides, President Putin has issued an alert for readying all his nuclear arsenal housed in his own country and Belarus. He must have made a miscalculation too as he thought Ukraine would be conquered in a maximum two days. He did not expect or was not hoping for a terrific resistance effort of Ukraine from its very grassroot levels. We have been shown visuals of Ukraine leaders and general citizens taking up guns for the defense of their dear country. The superpower alliance did not see or did not want to realize that sanctions of this nature would only make Putin more dangerously desperate. They have also seemed to have forgotten the ominous warnings issued by Putin at the start of the invasion.


So, who’s winning this war? Obviously, all the losers only. Putin could be the biggest loser, and the superpower alliance elated and obsessed with sanctions cum strategic power controls would only create a global economic crisis later on, if not a full-scale global war. A domestic crisis is already brewing in Russia itself with its Ruble crashing, its central bank increasing interest rates to an unprecedented 20% and the suffering citizens queuing up before banks like we Indians did during the demonetization, apart from worrying about internet and mobile services cum payments. As a global unit we must know that a Russian economic crisis would soon engulf the whole world.


We still hope for an immediate end to the war, and saving the lives of many—be it Ukrainians or Indians or Russians or just any global citizens. We also mourn the unnecessary end to the life of a promising Naveen and share the pain with his family and kin.


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