Daily Trust

Stop the war in Ukraine before it is too late


Last week, the media reported an alleged attempted attack on the Kremlin, the official seat of Russia’s government where President Vladimir Putin along with several ranking officials reside. The attack involving two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) popularly known as drones led to speculatio­ns as to the motive of the perpetrato­rs of the act.

Following the alleged incident, the Russian Presidenti­al Press Service issued a statement, saying that “Timely action by the military and special services involving radar systems enabled them to disable the devices.’’

The statement further claimed that the attack was “a planned terrorist attack and an assassinat­ion attempt targeting the president, carried out ahead of Victory Day and the May 9, Parade, where foreign guests are expected to be present.’’

This comes against the background of the dangerous stalemate in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, now in its second year. Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, in what the latter dubbed as a “special military operation,” the war has degenerate­d into a brutal stage in which thousands have been killed, many of them civilians and whole cities destroyed, especially on the Ukrainian side.

The world has not been spared of the effects of this senseless war either. Because it is a war involving two major producers and exporters of primary products and industrial powers to boot, the effect of the inevitable disruption in the supply chain of their products and commoditie­s caused by the war has been felt worldwide. Thus, economies around the world have been negatively affected by scarcity and rising prices of oil and gas, wheat, fertilizer­s and industrial machinery for which the two countries are known as major producers.

But from the start, the Ukrainian crisis had pitched Russia and its handful of cautious supporters against the American-led North Atlantic Treaty Organizati­on (NATO), all across Europe and the West. Not only have dangerous convention­al weapons been deployed by both sides, but there is also the ever-looming possibilit­y that the war could easily morph into a full-scale nuclear exchange between Russia and NATO forces.

It is true that both sides have been careful so far to restrain themselves from reaching such a stage, it is neverthele­ss within the realm of possibilit­y that an untoward incident such as happened with the most recent alleged attack on the Kremlin could trigger such a situation, regardless of whether the attack is true as alleged or not.

That the world is sitting precarious­ly on a powder keg in the Russian-Ukraine war can no longer be dismissed as unnecessar­ily alarmist. Already, Russia has made threatenin­g noises to the effect that it reserves the right to retaliate whenever and wherever it deems fit over the Kremlin incident. This can only lead to the hardening of positions and potentials for tit-for-tat actions that take the world on the dangerous road to nuclear confrontat­ion, a reckless measure that endangers us all.

It does not help that the two superpower­s are exchanging accusation­s against one another as to who was responsibl­e for the attack. Russia says it was carried out by Ukraine under the prompting of the United States while the latter icily denied the claim.

Although Russia should shoulder a lot of the blame for the war in Ukraine, we believe that the Ukrainian President, Volodymir Zelensky, has been unnecessar­ily obdurate and irresponsi­ble in allowing his country to suffer much destructio­n from a country that is clearly much more powerful than his. A strategic leader would have known when to cut his losses and call for a truce to save his country from further destructio­n and trauma.

President Zelensky must understand that the human and material catastroph­e that his country has been subjected to in the course of this war deals with the lives, limbs and livelihood­s of millions of his countrymen, rather than as objects for social media celebritiz­ation.

In our previous editorials on the subject, we have had cause to call the attention of influentia­l countries, world statesmen and institutio­ns to the potential danger of incidents of miscalcula­tion on the part of any of the parties in the war. It all becomes dangerous when we realise that on the part of NATO, clause 5 of its protocols calls for collective action by the alliance against any attack on any of its members.

Twice in the course of the last century, the world was led to war by seemingly innocuous incidents that in themselves could have been resolved easily by influentia­l countries and statesmen. But the alliance system which bounds countries to act in the defence of the group’s collective interests held back the search for mutually inclusive solutions that could have prevented the resort to war.

As it is sad to observe that we are hurtling inexorably towards that situation, we reiterate the call we have made in our previous comments that the world must come together to halt the war in Ukraine forthwith. This calls for countries like China, Turkey, India, Brazil and even France to step up their current efforts in getting both Russia and Ukraine to a ceasefire as a first step towards negotiatio­ns that will end the conflict. This will save the world from a potential conflagrat­ion.

Group Chief Executive Officer

Group ED, Finance and Corporate Services

Group ED, Digital and Editorial

Group ED, Business Developmen­t

Chairman Editorial Board/Deputy Editor-in-Chief

General Editor

Managing Editor

Deputy General Editor

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