Saturday, 26 July 2014

World's Slowest Invasion


Invasions come in many guises. It may be an invasion of insects in your home, or perhaps a bacterial invasion of your body, but the ones that capture our attention as a whole are invasions involving countries.

Since the beginning of man, the invasion of one sovereign nation by another has taken place in one form or another. From the largest in history; Operation Overlord, the invasion of France in World War II, to the centuries old back and forth battles of the Middle East. One of the oddest I’ve seen, however, has to be one of the world’s slowest: the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. In what is practically a summer re-run of Hitler’s annexing of Czechoslovakia prior to the second world was, Vladimir Putin is slowly but surely devouring his neighbour.

There is no real surprise here. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, the signs were all there that this was one part of the USSR Moscow did not want to see go. Of course the Kremlin has tossed a few different reasons out there. The people of East Ukraine are mostly Russian anyway or the Ukraine government is corrupt/too friendly to the west/doesn’t play nice... Take your pick. Things seemed to be going smoothly for Putin as the rhetoric from the UN and European Union, although loud and boisterous, wasn’t really going to make a difference. The recent downing of a civilian airliner, assumingly mistaken for a Ukraine military flight has slowed things down a little, but in today’s world of ‘what’s the next news story’, that will soon be forgotten by everyone save the victim’s family members. Already things are growing hotter in the Middle East and that is now taking over the headlines.

In a news report today, someone pointed out that Ukraine’s armed forces have been active as well. I can’t imagine why. Just because some massive country next door annexes a huge chunk of your country isn’t anything to get all hot and bothered about, is it?

I expect by the end of next year, Russia will have ‘annexed’ the rest of Ukraine and one can only wonder at what Putin’s next move will be. Hopefully the world is not heading for another Cold War. I thought the term ‘duck and cover’ had been filed away forever, but maybe not. (Ukraine Air Force Mig-29 image taken at CFB Chatham, New Brunswick 1992)

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