On the 24 February 2022, Russia invaded its former territory of Ukraine, on the pretext that the Ukrainians were about to join NATO, (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) which Moscow claimed would threaten its Western Borders.
It is now been 100 days (and counting) and the nuclear powered “superpower” has been reduced to a spent fighting force with no leadership and thousands of its troops killed.
What it has achieved in Ukraine is rape, murder and destruction of buildings and villages and the displacement of more than 6 million citizens. Russia now appears to be “third rate” army and certainly not a “superpower” the rest of the world thought it to be.
It must be noted that no one can truly verify the stories and claims that come out of the Kremlin. In fact, one news portal, Euro News has a segment which actually checks the facts and reports what it knows as fake news. Such is the turn of events.
What we do know is that about 20 percent of Ukraine is now under Russian control. Much of this lies in ruins. If this was Moscow’s aim, then it has “succeeded” in its mission!
What the invasion has caused is a world-wide shortage of grain and wheat as these two countries, Ukraine and Russia produced enough to supply the world. Now much of the wheat and grains lie in storehouses unable to be shipped to the global markets. The Russians have gained control over the major shipping ports and has prevented any traffic to the hungry millions especially in Africa and other parts of the world.
The shortage of wheat has also affected Malaysia, where the famed “roti canai” is now being sold at double its normal price. Shop owners claim that the shortage of wheat has forced their hands.
With such a scenario clouding our daily lives, the war in the distant lands of Ukraine have certainly made life miserable for the lot of us. The dictator in Russia, who is reputed to be the “richest man on Earth” with a fortune running into the trillions, has certainly not gained any of his objectives. Instead he is now being looked upon as the new “Hitler” in the 21st century.
He and his troops have already been cited for war crimes and crimes against humanity. A whole host of other Russian leaders, including Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov have also been implicated. The cost of living in Russia has gone up, but it makes no impact on a hard line leadership in the Kremlin.
There can be no winners in this war, only outright losers. Some experts say the war will last a long time…..years perhaps. How much more of Ukraine lie in ruins? One can only guess at the extent of the brutality of the former KGB officer who now runs Russia.
In the end, the world will sympathise with Ukrainians who have held off a better equipped and so called super power for more than a 100 days (and counting). According to some reports, Russia has lost several generals in this war. How many more generals and troops will they lose before the war is over?
G S Kumar
G S Kumar is a veteran journalist and broadcaster. He actually began his journalistic career with the Asian Defence Journal (ADJ) back in 1974 as an Assistant Editor. He returned to broadcasting and spent the next 17 years on both sides of the Causeway before ending his stint as an Executive Producer with Current Affairs in Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Then from 1988 till now he has served with The Straits Times (Singapore), SingTel Yellow Pages and even with The Malaysian Reserve. He is keen on news and current affairs and the “plight of mankind” in an ever changing world.