The editorial on the latest news from Ukraine by our Director, Raffaele Crocco. (right)
So this is it: it’s war. The Russian army has invaded Ukraine, in an early morning attack on Thursday, 24 February. From the first reports, it seems that this is not just an operation to liberate the self-proclaimed separatist republics of Lugansk and Donetsk. The attack would be in three directions, therefore also from the Crimea and from the North, awfully close to Kiev.
The offensive was announced by Putin: security reasons, he claimed. The separatists argued about the “need to free the territory”. The reality looks quite different. The whole country is under attack and there are already hundreds of dead on the ground. Putin’s strategic objective seems clear: to neutralise Ukraine, eliminating the current government and demilitarising it, to make it a “vassal state”.
International reactions, for now, do not go beyond condemnation. Ursula Von Der Leyen called this the darkest hour for Ukraine and for Europe. UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, told President Putin “in the name of humanity, bring your troops back to Russia”. Sanctions have been announced.
On a military level, Ukraine appears to be alone and will remain so: it is difficult to imagine the intervention of European countries or the United States. We will have to witness, once again, in the heart of Europe, the death of innocents. Once again, we will have to count the number of refugees fleeing. And once again, the omnipotent mindlessness of a bolshy and mad autocrat will put rights, peace and lives at stake.
This war seems to make us incapable and helpless again, slaves of convenience and hypocrisy. The Ukrainian people are the real victims of all this. In whatever way, we must not abandon them.
Cover image: Ukrainian soldiers stand in front of pro Russia civilians after storm a rebel checkpoint near Kramatorsk ,Ukraine, Friday, May 1, 2014. (Manu Brabo)