World News: EU Geopolitics Poised Between Cynicism and Hypocrisy

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If the Ukrainian crisis upsets the European geopolitical balance and stifles a flabbergasted West, it also refers to its wanderings and approximations towards Russia. There are so many flaws that Vladimir Putin has exploited with cynicism.

Although slowed down by the heroism of the regular forces and that of the Ukrainian resistance, the advance of the Russian army appears over the hours as most worrying. If the military aspect is naturally the one that strikes the most, the human dimension, with the fate reserved for the civilian populations is also a source of major concern.

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Yet, in parallel with this aggression, which defies the laws of understanding in a geopolitical context marked by nuclear deterrence, is emerging another reality, of political essence, capable of questioning contemporary democratic societies today. Russia's invasion of Ukraine thus sends Western democracies, including the United States, back to their wanderings, and by some aspects, to their vanity.

Long convinced that democracy was a precious, even sacred, political good, many countries governed by this system have, voluntarily or involuntarily, ignored, or sometimes condescendingly, the authoritarian or dictatorial regimes, often preferring, hypocritically, to deal with them on the pretext of economic interests presented as superior. The example of Russian gas is the perfect example.

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Faced with a reality aimed at denying the existence of a democratic Ukraine, these same Western nations, rightly wounded and outraged by the principles they defend, are now obliged to use all available means to protect an attacked country.

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By applying a whole set of economic measures supposed to weaken Russia, the Western bloc hopes to make Putin bend from then on pushed to withdraw his forces from Ukraine because torn by the financial and monetary consequences of his bellicose act. The question then arises is whether these measures will be enough to change its position? Will these measures be the only price to pay? It will be up to everyone to answer this question, but another reality, more material this one, is impeding.

The military strength of Vladimir Putin's Russia, which commands the second most powerful army in the world, impresses and sends the armies of the Western bloc, outside the United States, to a simple observation: even together, the various European forces could not compete with the Russian army in terms of both men and equipment. And what about the nuclear armada that outnumbers that of Western Europeans.

In 2018, Russia had 2,000 deployed strategic armies, while France and the United Kingdom, associated, had 450. Thus, the advance of Russian forces in devastated Ukraine seems almost inevitable unless in a momentum with consequences impossible to imagine, Europe and the United States decide on an armed response, perhaps the only option capable of hindering Putin's march. If there is no evidence that Ukraine will be his only goal, the European nations are now warned: When Putin wants, Moscow takes.

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Engaging in an armed conflict with Russia on Ukrainian soil would amount to a political, human, and diplomatic explosion such as has not been seen since the Second World War. But who in Western Europe, and more broadly in the West, wants to reach this extreme? If manifestations and outpourings of solidarity multiply in favor of Ukraine, which is now ready to engage militarily, that is to say on Ukrainian soil, alongside President Zelenskyy's nation?

Dying for Kiev is not protesting for Kiev. In the end, the Ukrainian conflict has highlighted all the contradictions of our democracies, all its approximations and denials in the face of a regime that imprisons its opponents, murders journalists, and beheads free and sovereign democracies.

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Vladimir Putin, a fine strategist, has been able to manipulate and play, with all the cynicism that we know him, these mistakes and these flaws, these divisions and these contradictions, capable of pushing Westerners into the inertia of an endless questioning: should we intervene militarily in Ukraine? And waiting for a long-awaited response, Ukraine is sinking into chaos every day. And many Westerners nurture the secret hope that the Russian population, exasperated by the economic consequences of the invasion, will turn around and revolt against Vladimir Putin.


Bio: Olivier Longhi has extensive experience in European history. A seasoned journalist with fifteen years of experience, he is currently professor of history and geography in the Toulouse region of France. He has held a variety of publishing positions, including Head of Agency and Chief of Publishing. A journalist, recognized blogger, editor, and editorial project manager, he has trained and managed editorial teams, worked as a journalist for various local radio stations, a press and publishing consultant, and a communications consultant.


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