A long-drawn spectacle


Wars are accountable to the people who launch them and the victims they kill. This war somehow seems different. In Ukraine, it is tragically theatrical and absurd as well. The Russian invasion has dragged on for close to three months. Perhaps even Vladimir Putin does not know if he is winning or losing. It has caused enough mayhem already, disfigured several cities and suburbs of Ukraine, maimed, wounded or killed hundreds, maybe thousands, of civilians and soldiers. The breathless bodies decaying in mass graves are testimony to the depths of Russian villainy. And yet, look at the irony. The Ukrainians, who have cornered the world's sympathy and aid worth billions, are starving because of a food shortage. Ukraine is among the top exporters of grain, but Russia is denying Ukrainians access to produce. Russia, facing western sanctions, is earning more revenue than in peacetime. More bizarre things are happening as the war continues to take its toll, making one wonder if a surreal media spectacle is being played out around the wanton destruction.
The sanctions are deliberately weak to probably ensure an unaffected supply of Russian oil and gas to Europe. Russia earned $9 billion in additional revenue from energy sales in April due to spiralling oil prices. A big draw on US television was the sudden appearance of the wife of President Joe Biden in Ukraine. Jill secretly landed in Ukraine's Uzhhorod, on Mother's Day. She is used to such visits, having earlier gone to Baghdad in 2010 along with her husband, the then Vice-President.
Ukraine claims a part of the food problem is caused by Russia "stealing" its grain, vegetables and sunflower seeds and shipping them home. The diplomatic world is in turmoil as Russia expels dozens of Italian, Spanish and French diplomats because they did the same to Russian diplomats. At the same time, diplomats of BRICS members are busy preparing for the Summit meeting with India, Brazil and South Africa, readying for a cordial meeting with China and Russia. But what takes the cake is Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy taking time off his war to open the Cannes film festival, telling an elegantly dressed audience how "hundreds of people are dying every day" in Ukraine. And Zelenskky seems to be in a hurry not to end the war but to launch publicised war crime trials against captured Russian soldiers.

Share This Story

Comment On This Story


Photo Gallery

BSE Sensex
NSE Nifty