We Need A Peacekeeping Force for Ukraine?

We watch and wait with growing horror. Out of nowhere we are now facing a European war that we always thought could never happen, ever again. Our governments along with the US are cobbling together a consensus on sanctions, but we know they are worse than useless. Russia has amassed a huge war chest ready for this moment and there will be no monetary pain. And anyway, China will always trade with Russia.

We know that Putin wants to reverse European history since 1989 and restore the USSR to what he perceives was its former glory. Although his monologues suggest he is a madman, in reality his course of action has been obvious since 2014 when he marched into Crimea and the world stood by. We have shown him that he can act with impunity.

We understand that his military advisors have told him that he must act swiftly, because his troops are in an incredibly harsh environment and will lose battle readiness very quickly. So we should expect tanks will roll in the next few days. There are numerous scenarios; the most benign is tanks roll into the existing parts of Lugansk and Donetsk that the Russians already control. More likely Russia will move to embrace the entirety of Lugansk and Donetsk. But equally likely is that Russia will move troops currently in Belarus the some 40Kms down the road into Kyiv, with disastrous consequences.

Forget the sanctions, the west has left Ukraine to fend for itself! Western governments have withdrawn their diplomats and advised their citizens to leave immediately! Ukraine is just starting to mobilise. They are bravely talking up their capabilities; how they will fight to the last man and woman. But you can forget that. The Russians will dominate the entirety of Ukraine in days; there will be thousands of deaths and terrible hardship, and we will watch on the Internet and on television and bemoan how useless our governments are. What could any of us have done?

Well there is something we can do?  Could we mobilise public opinion throughout Europe and quite simply travel in our tens of thousands to Ukraine. Although some airlines have stopped flying, Ryanair are continuing to fly to Ukraine. We should encourage Ryanair to put on MORE flights. We  could encourage top bands and performers, U2, Ed Sheeran, Queen, the Rolling Stones, Springsteen et al to mobilize and encourage their followers to travel. The Ukrainians are an entrepreneurial nation, and we should encourage them to create informal, pop-up festivals with transport and basic accommodation and supports a few kilometres behind the line of contact. Could it be done? If we waited for governments it wouldn’t happen. But if there was a groundswell of popular opinion that we can’t allow the worst case to happen, miracles could occur. The Russians would hate it! But even the Russians might think twice about the level of publicity that would inevitably occur!

Back in 1989 the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism happened because ordinary people acted. Marie and I remember the emotion of visiting the site of the Pan-European Picnic where ordinary East Germans walked, cycled and drove in their ancient Trabants for hundreds of miles to the little town of Sopron on the Hungarian/Austrian border and simply walked past the border guards.

Here in Ireland we are acutely aware that borders can be drawn by powerful people with no thought at all about the consequences for ordinary people. Today we have the technology to mobilise. Much of the time it might be said that it’s mostly used for nefarious purposes. But here’s an opportunity to use the technology for good!

On the Border: My Blog Post on how we visited the place where the fall of the Iron Curtain started in 1989!

About davidsprott

Artist, writer, veteran IT professional
This entry was posted in Russian Aggression, Travel, Ukraine, War. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to We Need A Peacekeeping Force for Ukraine?

  1. annieasksyou says:

    David,

    This is a brave idea the Ukrainian people deserve, but I wonder how many selfless souls would do it.

    • davidsprott says:

      Hi Annie, Well everyone has been desperate to travel for two years, here’s a novel experience. Seriously I do believe this is a pivotal moment in history. If we allow Putin to resurrect the USSR, worldwide democracy will be dealt a killer blow. And you know your next president (sic) is a huge fan of Putin!!

      • annieasksyou says:

        I keep saying I choose hope. I will not entertain the idea that our next President will be…

        Aerial bombardments will soon begin in Ukraine, I’m hearing. Maybe not the best time to visit, though I share your belief that we must help the Ukrainian people as best we can.

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