TURNING POINT: Getting Out of a Quagmire

NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 20 February) – It was supposed to be only a special military operation for a regime change in Ukraine. The blitzkrieg was aimed at ousting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is perceived as a serious threat to Russia being a Nazi, according to his accuser President Vladimir Putin of Russia. Putin is not aware or, to further his aim, refuses to acknowledge that Zelenskyy is a Jew.

The 3-7-day special military operation turned into a full-scale war when the Ukrainians effectively resisted the unprovoked Russo assault. Now entering a year of the anniversary of his misadventure, Putin finds himself in a quagmire. Winning the war or just getting out of it is becoming impossible. To negotiate for a peaceful end is like raising the white flag, which would be shitting on his humongous ego and on the honor of the nation he claims to represent. 

So the war must go on no matter the heavy losses and how irrational it has become. Accordingly, he has already plunged some 90 percent of the Russo army to the battlefield with no victory in sight. 

The Russo-Ukraine war is becoming a war of attrition where the invaders often suffer the heaviest toll because of morale and supply line issue.

What really provokes Putin’s invasion of Ukraine?

Russia has no need to annex Ukraine simply to expand its territory for it already owns the largest territorial area of 17,098, 241 km2 among nations, which is much bigger than the total size of the territory of Canada and the United States. The Russian domain comprises 11 percent of the entire land mass of the planet. 

Ukraine is certainly rich in natural resources but it is not enough reason to covet because Russia has tremendous sovereign wealth, too.

By all appearances, Putin wants all members of the dissolved Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) to be back to the Russian fold under the new bloc, the Russian Federation, to restore Russia’s imperial power and glory and to counter the growing might of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. 

But Ukraine refuses to return to the embrace of Russia and become its puppet.  To secure its sovereignty, Ukraine has, in fact, veered to the West and thus has received tremendous assistance from western allies in the current war.

Putin has not learned. Ukraine could be another Afghanistan for the Russians where at the end they have to leave with their tattered dream and a tail between their legs.

If, however, Putin would abandon all reason, we may witness another protracted war that may yet morph into a world war that might end all wars.  (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines.)