I type this with a heavy heart. I have been dismayed and totally horrified by the news reports of the atrocities that are being uncovered, that have been committed by the Russian forces in Ukraine. The kind of vile, evil things that the Russians have perpetrated on the innocent civilians of Ukraine have not been seen since the days of Atilla The Hun, Pol Pot, Josef Stalin and Sadam Hussein. I am sure that there are, or have been, many others throughout history but surely they belong to less civilised, less knowledgeable and less humanitarian eras? What is being witnessed in northern Ukraine as the Russian forces retreat is mind numbing.
The wanton killing of people in the street, the rape and murder of women, young girls and of children, the torture and dismemberment of innocent people are acts of barbarism that cannot be allowed to go unpunished in the 21st century. If the individuals who commanded or allowed these acts to happen, starting with Vladimir Putin himself and progressing down the line to the commanders on the ground and the men who actually did these horrific deeds are not brought before the International Court of Criminal Justice at The Hague, then our civilisation and all of the nations within it who believe in the rule of law and in human rights and dignity, are reduced to the same low level of barbarity. To allow the perpetrators to go free would be to condescend to the worst kind of evil and would open the door to similar acts being perpetrated in the future without fear of retribution.
I have always had a keen interest in the events of the 2nd World War, simply because my father served in the North African campaign, the Italian campaign and the European campaign. The horror of the Nazi concentration camps made civilised people doubt their sanity and mechanisms were set up at the end of hostilities that were to prevent such things ever happening again, the most important of which was the League of Nations which became the United Nations Organisation. Within the United Nations, a Security Council was created. Forgetting, or ignoring the fact that the Russians, under Stalin, had double crossed their allies by annexing most of eastern Europe and by erecting an "Iron Curtain" that divided Europe in two, five member states were made "permanent members" of this council, being China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the USA. Then these five were were all given the right to veto any resolution drafted by the council! This, of course, made the United Nations virtually toothless, only able to intercede in matters that concerned countries or states that were of no particular import to Russia or to China. It is against this background that any resolution drafted and brought before the Security Council condemning Russia's actions in Ukraine has been vetoed by Russia. The president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky told the UN that they should dissolve the Security Council, erase it from their charter, and than start again with a fresh Security Council without the veto rule, or remain an inconsequential body with no real power.
I see two possible scenarios unfolding now:
1) Russia becomes totally isolated from the civilised world, a pariah state, totally embargoed, with all visas of any kind held by Russian citizens, cancelled by the issuing countries. Russia joins the ranks of the likes of North Korea, Myanmar and Syria. This situation resolves into another prolonged cold war. Eventually, the Russian people will realise how their president and his cronies have deceived them and deprived them of the goods and freedoms that they once enjoyed before Russia invaded Ukraine. There will be a civil war inside Russia, with some of the former Soviet Union countries such as Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan supporting the Russian regime. Ultimately, UN supervised elections will result in a regime change. Timeframe: 10 to 15 years.
2) Russia continues to commit atrocities in Ukraine to the point when the civilised world will stand no more and NATO throws down the gauntlet. Putin relishes the opportunity to vanquish the west and takes up the challenge, resulting in WW3. He could very probably use biological weapons as well as small nuclear weapons i.e. nuclear tipped artillery shells and short range rockets. He will not use full-blown nuclear intercontinental missiles because he is not that stupid that he would not believe that the USA would retaliate in kind, resulting in the total destruction of Russia. The USA would annex Cuba early in the proceedings. Taking advantage of the wests preoccupation with the war in Europe, North Korea will attack South Korea with a high probability of the use of nuclear weapons, if only because Kim Yong-un and his sister are megalomaniacs. Likewise, China will attack and invade Taiwan. African countries would not be physically involved, but their allegiances will dictate their degree of participation. Australia and New Zealand will support the UK in every way possible while maintaining a "ring of steel" around their coastal waters. Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia will keep their heads down. NATO would eventually win the contest with Russia being occupied and placed under a UN or NATO governing body. Timeframe 2 to 5 years. Timeframe for a return to normality 20 to 30 years.
We should hope for the former but prepare for the latter scenario and never trust the word of the Russians.
London, April 9th, 2022