As soon as they smelled blood, Russian troops moved into Kazakhstan with the speed of insects attracted to a light on in the middle of the night. Now they are deployed in Belarus to carry out “maneuvers”, as well as surrounding part of Ukraine with a powerful rebellion (100,000 soldiers) that remind us who they were. And who are they?
For those resting on their laurels (the majority), there are several things to remember: they invaded Crimea and took it for themselves; they shot down a plane from a commercial flight between the Netherlands and Kuala Lumpur as if nothing had happened; and maintain an open conflict in eastern Ukraine in which 14,000 people have already died. 14,000 people! It is already a tenth of what was left by the last savage war on the European continent, that of Yugoslavia.
The crumbs that events throw so that we can walk the path of conflict are entertaining us like some more news, but soon they will deposit us before the mansion where the ogres live: which is the aggressiveness of Russia, its anxiety to reestablish and exhibit its imperial spirit and the string of corpses that we can contemplate. That we could, if we wanted.
And it seems that it is far. But Russia’s strategic turn that accompanies this pre-war and war movement involves paying much more for gas, since huge quantities that previously went to Europe are now traveling to China, a more voracious and less demanding customer than we are. Cyber attacks happen. And the European sanctions, the frustrating method of punishment that is in the hands of the West, falter before the new capacity of Russia and China to ally without needing us too much.
What are the solutions? Here comes the contradiction. Europe and the United States lose protagonism, power and maneuverability in a new universe in which other powers consolidate their strength. The castle of welfare and rights that makes up the Old Continent attracts millions of immigrants fleeing climate change and conflict, but it is not being able to effectively attract those who seek democracy. This is no longer in fashion. The world has changed without us knowing yet what form the near future will take: it will not be a Cold War, it will not be a world war, nor will it be an empire of liberal democracies; a new distribution of power will give more to autocrats and less to democrats. And in this context comes a more than possible new war in Europe. @bernagharbour
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