The Russian Invasion of Ukraine

I suppose I should write about the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. It is, of course, a horrible event, and Putin's actions are appalling. It started while I was on holidays with friends. We would talk about what was happening and then go have fun throughout the day. I felt awkward for a few minutes as I realized this, but we would quickly forget about it until the next morning.

It's disconcerting to be living in a world where people actively hurt others to this degree of savagery, to watch it as it happens, and to not be able to do much about it. This is also the first time I'm closer personally to a war. I've met Ukrainians in the recent past, I have Ukrainian colleagues, and the company I work for has (had?) an office there.

This doesn't mean I'm impacted by it and it doesn't bring me direct suffering from the attacks. But I can feel it closer. It's an odd feeling. The powerlessness we have in particular is suffocating. A few times in the last few weeks I felt like screaming. I wished I could just go to Putin and shake him out of his madness, screaming at him to stop this.

Other times I don't care. The apathy is scary. Shouldn't I care? Shouldn't I do more than paying my taxes and thinking that's enough? I don't know if I should. I have other things to care. I want to be with my family, I want to stay healthy, I want to have more opportunities to go on holidays with friends. It's selfish but I'm not the one hurting other people so badly. Go yell at Putin if reading this bothers you.

There are those who say the war is justified, that Putin didn't have any other option, that the US is to blame for what's happening. But Putin is the one attacking and invading another country, and killing people. It's Putin that continues to attack despite the devastation it's causing.

It doesn't matter if Ukraine or the US had their share of provocations. When that left the helm of negotiations, Putin lost all reason. If it were the US or Ukraine attacking Russia, the roles would be reversed. And the US has its share of wars it started! I remember my first involvement in war discussions in 2002, prior to the Iraq war that started early the following year. I remember opposing it too.

What Putin's Russia is doing now is the same as the US always did. More of the same old imperialism. And the US is playing its part: Using Ukraine to bring back the Cold War and its proxy wars, extending this war unnecessarily as a consequence. It is, after all, convenient: it brings them money and influence, and it appeals to their citizens need to feel vindicated against a perceived enemy.

These escalations should not happen anymore. It's the 21st century, we should have known better. And we have bigger problems facing all humanity. Climate change and Covid now feel like an after thought while this war is going on. It's frustrating.

Now, if you excuse me, I'm going to a nice brunch place have breakfast with a good friend.