Two years of war in Ukraine: A Summary so far

Zelenski. Wikipedia

Two years ago, Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, shocked the entire world – sending his armies rushing into the heart of neighbouring Ukraine. For months, Russian preparations were seen, and warnings passed, but no one knew whether Putin would really dare to try and plunge Europe back into the era of the world wars, where it was legitimate for powers to conquer weaker neighbouring countries for reasons of ‘security risks’ and ‘national interests’. But Putin did so, bringing the war to Europe for the first time in decades, and with a huge threat to the US position as the world superpower and peacemaker.

A lot has happened since then. The Ukrainian people managed to enlist for the effort in their masses, under the command of an impressive leader, Zalensky (a Jew of his origin). The Russian army proved to be significantly weaker than expected, and failed to conquer Kiev, the capital, but only the southern provinces of Ukraine. Ukraine received a lot of financial aid and weapons, while harsh sanctions were imposed on Russia. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, millions displaced and become refugees, and right now the war is in relative stagnation, when it is not clear how one side can gain an advantage over its opponent.

So, what good things can be said to have come out of the war so far?

First, the image and character of Putin and the Russian regime behind him were exposed to the public at the height of their ugliness (which only got stronger last week, when the leader of the opposition, Navalny, found his early death), while the West was revealed to be capable of standing up for itself. Not fully committed, but with strong, sustained, and relatively uniform support.

Secondly, so far, Israel has managed to manipulate itself in a position of influence over the war – first as a mediator and later as a moral supporter of Ukraine but with military neutrality (due to Israel’s special relationship with Russia in the Syrian-Iranian arena). However, this may change considering the pro-Hamas stance Russia has taken since the outbreak of the war in the Gaza Strip.

And thirdly, Operation ‘Olim Home’ – tens of thousands of immigrants came to Israel from Ukraine and Russia, and were absorbed in cities and communities throughout the country. We are always happy about the immigration of Jews, even if the circumstances are not great. So, if there is an immigrant located next to your place of residence – be friendly!

To respond– rxpuyhi@gmail.com

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