NOT FUNNY: The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is determined to defend his country, was a comedian whose television shows were very popular not only in Ukraine but even in Russia and the countries which were part of the Soviet Union.
By Special Correspondent
The capture of the largest nuclear power plant located in Ukraine has aroused fears of a nuclear holocaust. Fortunately, the nuclear plant was not affected during the attacks. The fear is that if Vladimir Putin gets away with the invasion of Ukraine he may try to target other former members of the Soviet Union such as Romania, Poland, etc.
HISTORICALLY, the world is dependent on the principle of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) to reassure itself that no country will be insane enough to start a nuclear war. It is now becoming clear that the primary objective of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is to capture its nuclear plant in Zaporizhzhia. Ukraine has the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. While in theory nuclear power plants are not designed to make nuclear weapons, they have the capability for doing so. When the news last came in, the Russians had taken over the Ukraine nuclear power plant. Europe and Russia itself, not to mention Ukraine, had a narrow escape as none of the missiles and other explosives hit the nuclear plant itself. If this had happened it would led to a disastrous meltdown, just like Chernobyl one which happened on April 26, 1986.
Perhaps if Ukraine had set up a nuclear weapons facility, Russia would have been a little more cautious about invading Ukraine. The best analogy is the ongoing conflict between India and its two neighbors Pakistan and China. The conflict has not escalated into a major war because all three countries have nuclear weapons.
The largest number of nuclear weapons estimated at over 6,000 each are owned by the United States and Russia. This includes a wide range of nuclear weapons including intercontinental nuclear powered missiles, nuclear submarines and nuclear weapons, which can be dropped from an aircraft.
RUSSIA claims to have developed a protective umbrella which will prevent any damage from nuclear weapons. Russia seems to be intent on conquering not just Ukraine but even control outer space. Recently, a missile developed to target extraterrestrial objects like the International Space Station, created havoc and forced the astronauts into pods.
We have earlier pointed out that the provocation for the Russian nation was the fear that Ukraine would join the European Economic Community (EEC) like its neighbor Poland had done. If Ukraine does so, it will automatically become a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), which in turn is aligned with the United States.
A large number of now independent countries like Poland, Hungary and the Muslim republics of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, were part of the United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). After the Second World War, the victors, primarily the United States and the Soviet Union divided the world into two spheres of influence. Namely the Western block and the Eastern block.
THANKS, MIKHAIL GORBACHEV
IT IS thanks to the then USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev that independence was granted to all the countries which were part of the United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). Most of the liberated countries joined the third block comprising the European Economic Community (EEC) with the exception of some like Ukraine.
Until a fortnight ago, nobody had heard about Ukraine in India. Except perhaps the residents of Arambol and Morjim villages which entertained charter tourists from Ukraine and Russia. They tourists are in love with Goa and used to come annually, they had their favorite places to stay. Even as the war rages between Ukraine and Russia, the two nationalities celebrated Carnaval together in Goa in Arambol and Morjim. They are also getting set to celebrate Shigmo which marks the Holi or larger season of springtime of Vasanta by the Hindu calendar of India.
It was not widely known that Ukraine is also the bread basket of Europe and Russia. It is the largest grower of wheat and maize which is a staple of most Western countries. Even more interestingly, it is the largest grower of sunflower seeds. If anything happens to the supply of edible oils, even India could take a major hit.
But Ukraine is not just an agricultural giant as big in geographical area as Australia, it is also very rich in other very rare mineral resources like uranium, which is used in making nuclear bombs.
LITHIUM IN SMART PHONES
EVEN more importantly from the common man’s point of view, it has the largest reserves of lithium. Most smart phones are switching to lithium batteries which have a much longer shelf life. Ukraine is the Silicon Valley of Europe. Many of the top software specialists in the world including the inventors of PayPal, Grammarly, WhatsApp are of Ukranian origin. If Russia takes over Ukraine it can also host stiff competition to Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg who are already in deep trouble.
The question on everyone’s mind is why is the rest of the world silent over Vladimir Putin’s loudly announced invasion of Ukraine. Surely the European Economic Community (EEC) which has many countries neighbouring Ukraine should be concerned? Surely NATO can defend Ukraine against Russia. The ground reality is that Russia on its own, without the other countries which formed part of the USSR, is just another small country with a lot of military hardware. As an Israeli specialist pointed out there is no logic or reason or rhyme behind the invasion of Ukraine, excepting the ego of one maniac Vladimir Putin.
The Israeli expert pointed out that the Second World War began because of the ego of Adolf Hitler. The First World War was waged for the most trivial reason. The assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a South Slav nationalist Gavrilo Princip. Both the wars had spread worldwide. In the case of the World War I two more lunatics, the Emperor of Japan Hirohito and dictator Benito Mussolini of Italy joined forces against the rest of the world. The Japanese army in fact conquered Burma, now called Myanmar, and was stopped from entering India by the Gurkha regiment of the British army.
AFTER World War II the so called super powers, the United States along with its allies the UK and the Soviet Union, divided the spoils. Since the Soviet troops who entered Berlin first and destroyed Hitler’s bunker, they retained the eastern part of Germany. So absurdly enough Germany was divided into East and West Germany. East Germany remained with the Soviets and the West Germany with the United States.
There was a huge iron wall between East and West Germany. This was brought down only after the enlightened President Gorbachev liberated all the countries which had been forced to join the Soviet Union.
The United Nations has passed a resolution demanding the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. Among the countries who abstained were China and perhaps not surprisingly, India. This is partly because during the Cold War it was Russia which was the largest supplier of weapons to India. Whenever there was a conflict between India and Pakistan, it was Moscow, which came to the rescue of India.
The United States sided with Pakistan but not out of any love for India’s Islamic neighbour. United States needed a base to attack the Russians who had marched into Afghanistan. The Taliban as we know now was the creation of the Inter-Services Intelligence Wing of Pakistan. When the Taliban was ousted from Afghanistan and Russia was forced to retreat, the US occupied Afghanistan.
Nobody seems to be willing to come to the rescue of poor Ukraine. Admittedly almost all developed countries in the West including the UK, US and the EEC have imposed economic sanctions on Russia. Which means they have stopped exports and imports from Russia. They have stopped excepting Russian currency. They have frozen the assets of Russian billionaires who have bought all the major clubs in England and in other parts of the world.
But Russia seems to enjoy the support of China. So while Russia itself may not be a formidable enemy, the combination of Russia and China could pose a threat to the entire Western world. India does not seem to have much choice except to support Russia. This is because India is dependent on the support of Russia to defend itself against Pakistan and China. If India supported Russia in the Security Concern Resolution and the larger United Nations Resolution, it was only returning the favour.
WHEN India invaded Bangladesh, it was only Russia who supported India. It is not widely known that it was Russia who came to the support of India when Goa was invaded. There are many Goans who still believe that Goa was invaded and not liberated. The fact remains that Portugal being a member of NATO, the EEC was obliged to come to the defence of Portugal.
When John F Kennedy, the then President of the United States, was told that the Indian army had entered Goa, his remark was a caustic “The preacher has entered the hen house” (prostitutes den). This was in reference to Nehru’s claim that India being a member of the Non-Aligned Movement had sworn not to use arms to liberate any country.
The Liberation of Goa drew considerable flak from the countries of West. This is why according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jawarharlal Nehru delayed intervention in Goa for 14 years!
It is vital for the world including India to come to the rescue of Ukraine. If Putin gets his way, he may target other countries. This may mark the beginning of the dreaded third world war. As the main rivals have nuclear weapons it will mean the large scale destruction of planet earth. So maybe we should all book our tickets with Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos for a trip out into outer space to save ourselves.