GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON
Today FT notes that “tedium is beginning to creep in” to attitudes to the War in Ukraine as cool-headed realism replaces the heady optimism of the early weeks of Russia’s stalled advance. Today it is the Ukrainian forces that are on the back foot as the rebooted Russian military takes more land + cities. Nothing is irreversible in war and in the months ahead it could be Russia that loses the initiative that it has recently gained but, for the present, the momentum is with Putin.
Until very recently, much of the Western media decided to ignore all the statements coming out of Moscow and, instead, embraced the enthusiasm of President Zelensky and talked up Ukrainian resistance. Much was made of the defects in the Russian military – as the FT refers, low morale, shoddy equipment, lack of initiative and brutality within its ranks. But similar statements were made in WW2 about Stalin’s Red Army and it was the Nazi Wehrmacht that was the loser – not the USSR.
This week Jamie Dimon, head of JPMorgan Chase warned that a “hurricane” is going to hit the global economy saying that the Ukraine war could push oil up to $175 a barrel. As the FT states “Though the Ukraine war is only part of the problem, the prospect of recession will test public-spiritedness on both sides of the Atlantic.”
The war in Ukraine was avoidable but poor leadership in NATO, Washington and London (still prisoners of the Fulton Missouri Cold War mentality) decided to fight but not with US or UK or NATO troops but to the last Ukrainian. No body bags are being flown home to US/UK/Euro military bases. The loss is with the helpless, tragic people of Ukraine who are paying the price for the failure of leaders to avoid war. And war was ávoidable. Lives did not need to be lost. Towns and cities did not need to be destroyed. Quite simply Ukraine should have provided an assurance that it would not join NATO. But bravado took over. And the losers? Not the politicians in London, Washington or Berlin but the men, women and children of Ukraine.
NEXT POST-MONDAY 6 JUNE 2022. D-DAY RECALLED.