Terrible news – the shelling of the Odessa port immediately after the signing of the grain agreement, the video of the torture of our serviceman, the massacre of prisoners of war in Yelenovka, the constant shelling of Nikolaev and Kharkov – all this looks like a planned chain of provocations aimed at provoking Ukraine into a brutal response and then play this card.
Russia’s goal is clear – at any cost to slow down the flow of military aid to Ukraine and bring down the anti-Russian sanctions pressure. And the logic of all these events becomes clearer if you look at what preceded this.
First of all, this is an outstanding decision on gas – the energy ministers of the EU countries agreed on a voluntary reduction in gas consumption in the coming winter. Moreover, Europe is already clearly saying that it is preparing for a complete cessation of supplies.
Another fundamental process has also begun – Western political elites began to perceive today’s war in Ukraine as a threat to the entire world order that developed after World War II.
Yes, this is not the first war that Russia has unleashed – it has already fought in Georgia, Chechnya, and Syria. But this war is fundamentally different from the previous ones both in scale and goals. Today, the main task of the Russian Federation is the complete destruction of the largest state in Europe, the redrawing of the strategic map of the world. This is no longer a war for relatively small territories, not a war with the aim of obtaining and maintaining instruments of political pressure on neighboring states. This is a war for Europe and world influence.
Therefore, more and more the thought penetrates into the minds of European politicians: “Today is Ukraine, but tomorrow they will want to seize Moldova or the Baltic countries?” And it is not clear where the end of this chain is. This situation is very reminiscent of the end of the 30s of the 20th century, when Hitler began to seize countries one at a time, and no one knew where he would stop.
The next step for the Europeans will be the realization that if the dictator is not stopped now, the world will very quickly come to a world war. And then we will have to deal not with economic sanctions and temporary inconveniences, but with the loss of not thousands, but millions of lives.
Despite the fact that Western countries say that they warned us about the invasion, in my opinion, it is quite clear that they underestimated this threat. That is, behind the threat of a local conflict, they did not discern the beginning of a global strategic offensive against the entire world order. In simple terms, they did not view the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a threat to themselves. Accordingly, no effective preventive measures were actually taken on their part. After all, nothing prevented us from starting to supply air defense or Haimars, or, for example, starting to impose anti-Russian sanctions as Russian troops were concentrated on our border. It is this – the underestimation by Western politicians of the strategic significance of what is happening – that provoked Russia into this war.
However, we withstood a very heavy, treacherous attack. And at the cost of terrible losses, they “bought” time for the world to realize what is happening.
Unfortunately, this process is very inert. The reason is that both in America and in Europe today people are in power who did not survive the big war. Therefore, they did not see the scale of today’s threat. Therefore, they need some time to realize this and convey it to their population, which is also important.
We need to explain to people that now the question is no longer how much a gallon of gasoline will cost – $4 or $1. After all, if we proceed from the fact that it must necessarily cost a dollar, then in a very short time it will be necessary to collect millions of armies and send them into battle, as it has already been. That is, the price will be very high, much higher than the price of economic sanctions. I’m not talking about the fact that we live in the nuclear age and now it’s generally very easy to go to extremes …
Therefore, while there is such an opportunity, one must act, as in the old saying: “If a problem can be solved with money, then this is not a problem, but an expense.”
Alexander Olshansky, President of the Internet Invest holding, founder of the Olshansky and Partners digital consulting agency, Deputy Head of the Executive Committee of the National Council of Reforms of Ukraine