This war cost the USSR no less than six billion dollars per year and finally ruined the economy which was not flourishing to begin with. In 1980 the West boycotted the Olympic Games in Mostoc, however this had little influence on the minds of the ‘Kremlin dreamers.’ A little later the leader of leading Western countries decided to punish the Soviet Union economically for such audacious military behavior and they, as many historians and political experts think, made the oil prices fall. In mid-1985 one barrel of oil cost eight dollars instead of 35 and the Soviet Union lost a reliable source of income. On March 8, 1983, U.S. President Ronal Reagan called the USSR “an Evil Empire,” insisting on the principal lack of morality within the Soviet totalitarian regime. Eight years later the Soviet Union, as a result of the Western sanctions and the war in Afghanistan, ceased to exist.
However, the “Evil Empire” did not die, it returned to us in another form. The war in eastern Ukraine is ‘Afghanistan 2.0.’ It is difficult to say how much it will cost Russia, but it is obvious that the price will be very high and the result will be similar to the result of what happened in Afghanistan. “Only fools learn from their mistakes,” said Otto von Bismarck. The current Kremlin leadership does not even want to learn from others’ mistakes. They can beat Ukraine on paper and in a computer game, but not on the battlefield or the market. Only not very smart people who lost sight of reality could begin war with no prospects of winning.
Already in a year’s time, according to my calculations, the economy will fall catastrophically in Russia, which will lead to mass protests. The pensioners who defend Crimeaisours, foaming at the moth, today, will be just as angry when they shame the Kremlin and demand that Crimea be given to Ukraine, without the possibility of buying even a piece of sausage with their pensions. This will happen swiftly and unexpectedly. This reminds me of the lines from Krylov’s fable: “Ah, Moska [a small dog], means it’s strong as it barks at an elephant…” Today the entire world is the ‘elephant,’ with which the Kremlin leadership and Putin personally decided to compare their strength. It remains a mystery what they were thinking by challenging all of humanity.
The Kremlin residents live for today. They are not very concerned what happens to the country tomorrow, their main concern is the oil price, their survival guarantee. Putin is at a crossroads: go forth – you lose your head, go right – you won’t get back aline, go left – you die, go back – you’ll find your death. There is nothing left but to point at the United States and say: “It is all them, the hypocrites!” ‘They’ organized Maidan to ruin Ukraine and damage Russia, ‘they’ bait two fraternal nations against each other and ‘they’ send Russian troops to fight with Ukraine.
Civilization is over the epoch of canons, when everything is decided by the number of ships and canons. Russia has nuclear weapons which the chekists, full of bravado, use to blackmail the whole world. It won’t help. However, the chekists know how to bluff and show four aces they don’t have. Why, you ask? Why confront the world where all of their children, wives, lovers, capital, property, all of their glamorous life is? To lose it all at once – what for? How will the Kremlin’s new plan end, nobody knows. Only it is most probably that it will end badly, and not only for the Russian government. Whenever and however peace comes to Donbas, the people who died for someone’s ambitions cannot be brought back. An eternal curse will hang over every person who pulled the trigger or gave orders to destroy.
The war has become different: the only one who will be able to restore fraternal relations between Russia and Ukraine is the one who finds courage to tell the truth about all the crimes committed by the Russian government. The one who says to Ukraine: we made a mistake, please forgive us.