Russia is like a sad, poetic paradox: while investing in Russian peace, Europe has prepared Russia for war; while Russia may be able to win parts of Ukraine, it’s losing Europe
I don’t know how to say this to make this clearer, other than by stating that in Ukraine, Russia is gaining losses. Or, more broadly, that in its confrontation with the civilized West, Russia has won a losing ticket.
Whatever European partners build for Russia, in the past year has begun dismantling, whatever partnership was build, is now fully dysfunctional and, more broadly, whatever hopes Europe had for a civilized and prosperous Russia are now falling apart.
Through large amounts of money and over the limit benevolence, Europe tried to progress Russia on a path of peace, hoping that prosperity and opportunity will calm imperialist wishes still alive in large masses of poverty-stricken and frustrated people.
Thus, Europe has failed in Russia, mainly because Russia wanted for Europe to fail, as this European compromise-bringing mindset was in flagrant opposition with the soviet-style wishes of power many people still linger for.
If Europe had invested the same amount of money in any country other than Russia, that country would have forever been grateful for the European benevolence. But not Russia. Russia still thinks that 90% of whatever Eastern European countries make is of their divine right to take, as it was during the inglorious days of USSR.
Had Europe invested the same money in Ukraine or Western Balkans or Middle East, there would have been some peace and some progress. But not in Russia.
Because Russia is like a sad, poetic paradox: while investing in Russian peace, Europe has prepared Russia for war; while Russia may be able to win parts of Ukraine, it’s losing Europe. Although Russian gains in Ukraine have been rather fast, such actions have been destroying everything that was decades into making.
Special cooperation with Europe? Gone. Credibility to European energy consumers? Gone. Access to NATO transparency programs? Mostly gone. Access to major capital markets? All but gone. Access to advanced technologies for natural resources and IT? Yes, gone.
As such, whatever Putin thinks Russia is gaining is secondary to everything that Russia is losing, and there is no easing in sight as the European Union, the European Commission, OSCE and NATO will go to the greatest of lengths to bring peace in Europe.
Of course, whether or not Ukraine will succeed in its European endeavor is still subject to more good work being done by Verkhovna Rada and more money being poured in by benevolent investors.
What is beyond any doubt is that Europe’s tolerance for war at home is null. And Russia will feel the full length of it, not as some form of revenge, but as a form of not needing to send your beloved children to war, now or decades from now. But I digress.
Putin’s regime is the last stance of Russia’s paradox: by waging war in Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine, Russia has ultimately attacked itself. In medical terms, this is a form of deadly auto-immune disease that can only be cured with help from outside.
Tags: Op-ed, Putin, Russia