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Opinion

Positive effects  of Ukraine invasion

FROM FAR AND NEAR - Ruben Almendras - The Freeman

The carnage, the deaths, the destruction of productive structures and a way of life in Ukraine are undeniable and condemnable. The hardships of the civilians and the fleeing refugees are heart wrenching and the whole world is appalled and grieving while blaming Putin for these events. It is very difficult to find anything good about the invasion while watching the media coverage in real time, that after a while you have to stop watching to regain your composure. Only by looking at these developments as a strategist and deriving the wider and long-term implications, can we see the probable positive effects of this invasion.

Beyond the immediate economic upheaval that this invasion has imposed on Ukraine, Russia, Europe, and the rest of the world, this has continued the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which restructured the excessive growth and consumption orientation of the world economy. This slowdown is good, as it reduces resource consumption and revitalizes nature, improves the sharing economy, and hopefully re-balances wealth distribution. A slower world economy growth that is less materialistic will lengthen the growth cycle and conserve resources. The reduced use of fossil fuel like coal, oil, gas, and radioactive minerals is good for the ecology, and may tame the impending climate change/global warming.

In the social front and human behavior, this invasion has widened and lengthened the compassion and kindness of all people that was evident in the pandemic years. Aside from the government military and humanitarian assistance extended to Ukraine, the enormous assistance from private institutions and persons to the embattled citizens and refugees has been equally large. Medical supplies, food, and accommodations from neighboring countries and the rest of the world are pouring in without fear or favor of a particular race. Ordinary people identify themselves with the plight of the Ukrainians and are giving from their meager resources and their heart.

A more meaningful and earth-shaking effect would be in the geo-political and ideological horizon. Because of the crude and un-21st century-like invasion by Russia, the democratic European countries were awakened from their stupor that they can peacefully co-exist with an autocratic Russia. The NATO and even the non-NATO countries will have to close ranks and strengthen their alliances while rebuilding their defense capabilities. Even the socialist governments in northern Europe who considered themselves “neutral” are now vulnerable and will side with the democratic Europe. The US, which has stepped back as the policeman of the democratic world, will have to regain its footing together with the democracies of Asia and the rest of the world, to stop the autocratic governments from expanding their influence. The Russian invasion has resurrected the ideological war between democracy and autocracy and history is on the side of democracy.

China is not particularly happy with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, because their plan for hegemony as a superpower was going well without firing a shot. Their influence over many countries was growing by economic means and threats of war. Now that Russia exposed its autocratic governance and use of force, China’s designs and strategy are exposed. The rest of the countries of the world are thus forewarned about Russia and China.

Morality and religiosity which grew during the pandemic years got boosted by this Ukraine invasion. The haziness of truth, justice, liberty, and human rights are becoming more defined again. Crimes against humanity are in full view and condemned. More people are praying and praying more to their gods for earthly and heavenly salvation.

The endgame of this invasion in the short-term is still uncertain, but it seems to me that this will be an important turning point in history.

UKRAINE

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