The Fall of the House of Russia
Good or bad news for Europe?
Ukraine now has a solid chance of winning the war and Russia will lose it, because aggression by one state against another is no longer tolerated by people in the 21st century; because the Ukrainian "nation at arms" is stronger in its fierce will to resist than the tonnes of mechanised steel stockpiled in the fashion of a previous century; because Europe and the West have had enough of the provocations, encroachments and destabilisations of an aggressive Russia on every continent.
It is in Europe's interest to stop Putin, otherwise he will not stop. This is why, in the space of two days, the European states were the first to unanimously pronounce the clearest condemnation of Russia's aggression in Ukraine, along with the severest sanctions against the aggressor. The Americans joined them, giving these actions the decisive weight of the Atlantic Alliance.
Russia was wrong to refuse the hands extended by Europe: association with NATO (Partnership for Peace, NATO-Russia Council), partnership with the European Union (1995) and the strategic goodwill repeatedly expressed by Italy, Germany and France.
It feared that its own people would prefer an open and free society in which power is no longer confiscated by the few surviving agents of a totalitarian dictatorship and where wealth is captured by a mafia-like minority.
Putin's Russia has missed out on everything.
It has humiliated or enslaved so many peoples in Europe, and it has not understood that this is a time for peaceful relations and the healing of memories. It has fought the European Union with all its might, and its Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov now considers it "aggressive". Well, well, well ….! Does Europe have any weight on the international scene? In any case, it carries the message of peace and dialogue, whereas Putin now embodies war and his armies, rape, torture and barbarism.
The price it risks is centuries of humiliation at the hands of its neighbours.
In 1939, it declared war on Finland purely because its borders were too close to its own. It almost lost the war. Today Finland wants to join NATO. What a splendid result for the Russian leaders! In 1939, Russia signed the German-Soviet Pact joining forces with the devil to carve up Poland and annex the Baltic states. In 1945, it brought an iron curtain down over half of Europe!
It would like to continue its illegitimate operations, forced occupations and annexations. Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Donbass, Crimea and now Ukraine! Where will it stop?
Is it not urgent to prevent it from continuing to violate the will of the people in this way? And will Russia still find honest defenders to explain these abuses?
Are these acts of aggression characteristic of the world's largest country, which constantly seeks to expand while neglecting its own land? Or is it just another case of deranged leaders, drunk with nostalgia, blind revisionists and nationalistic readers of history?
With the sanctions, the expulsion from international organisations, Russia must prepare for a lasting isolation from the civilised world. As a pariah in international relations, neither artists nor sportsmen want to engage with it! Long-standing relations, nourished by shared culture, camaraderie and scientific interests, and promising commercial relations are being sacrificed to the madness of this post-communist power. It is seriously damaging the interests of its own country. It will take Russia more than a generation to recover. This is not good news.
Europe and the West are going to win against Russia without really being at war, and they owe it largely to the Ukrainians. It is good news for peace and a lesson for the world: people have rights that they increasingly intend to assert, and international politics is not just the cold, cynical expression of states. It is also a space where law regulates and pacifies.
This does not exempt us from imagining the next step: the establishment of structured sustainable and peaceful security on the continent. Can we hope that this will be possible with a normalised and reasonable Russian leadership?
Russia will always exist, but its future now depends on the fall of the House of Putin.