Three areas where Putin has already lost – The Weekly 86
1. The Ukrainian nation has been born
The Ukrainian nation has been born: after 150 years of the country’s struggle to form a united Ukrainian nation out of three different groups: a Ukrainian-speaking community with a Ukrainian identity; a Russian-speaking community with a Ukrainian identity and the Russian-speaking people with a Russian identity, the efforts finally bore fruit on 24 February. The history of the independent Ukraine may have been dominated by the dilemma whether it should be a united nation-state on the eastern border of the West or a multi-ethnic society on Russia’s western border, but all of that is in the past now. Regardless of their language and religion, the people of Ukraine, when faced with a Russian attack, all became united under the blue-yellow banner. If Putin had any hopes that his troops would be met with a warm welcome and he can make Ukraine his satellite, he was bitterly disappointed. The Ukrainian nation has been born and now it is ready to protect itself while siding with the West instead of Moscow.
2. Europe is united
Europe is united: the European Union, which was the butt of so many jokes for supposedly spending months on debating “the ideal curve of the cucumber”, needed no more than a week to become a united community that is able to assert and represent its interests and values. It has become an alliance that can no longer be undermined by Russian propagandists and the political forces funded by them. It is now a community where even Viktor Orbán will have to keep the line.
3. Energy carriers can no longer be used for blackmail
Energy carriers can no longer be used for blackmail: if Putin thought he had the upper hand over Europe because the continent’s countries are dependant on Russian fuel, by now he must have realized it was just his wishful thinking. Europe (except for Orbán, who is still talking about his freedom fight for low utility prices even while Ukrainian cities are bombed to the ground) immediately began to eliminate its dependence on Russian energy and find alternatives. In the long run, these efforts may give a huge boost to the use of renewable energies.
There’s nothing good about a war, but these three facts are beyond doubt. Let’s hope Europe will no longer need a series of tragedies to recognize its own opportunities.