Two years of war in Ukraine and only one certainty: we are forgetting about it

Two years and only one result. A bloodbath. The Russian invasion of Ukraine not only stole the future of an entire generation of young people, who had to abandon their lives and families to become cannon fodder. Just as it has not only erased entire cities from the maps. And it has produced an energy crisis, a food crisis and a diplomatic one (see yesterday's statements by the Russian ambassador to Italy, who denounces a “climate of pre-war psychosis”), which have upset the global economy and forced the Europe to rethink its relationship with the East.

But above all this ramshackle invasion by a leader nostalgic for the empire has forever changed our way of perceiving Russia, which has definitively aligned itself at the zenith of the West, with alliances at the antipodes, and at the same time has fueled the need for defense and security of the European continent, which perhaps has never been so united and compact in the face of a problem. Russia, as far as we are concerned, has lost the best and richest customer on the planet, namely Europe itself, and has condemned itself to indigestible ties, such as those with China, Venezuela, North Korea and Iran .

If there has been a positive result for Moscow in these two years, it really cannot be seen on the horizon. When Moscow tanks surrounded Ukraine and pushed into the outskirts of Kiev, many rushed to declare that Russian forces would only need three days to capture the capital and put an end to a country that had only temporarily become independent.

While today, with the war now entering its third year, we know that this was never a possibility. That that plan was the result of an error of judgment. In fact, Putin's dreams of glory have remained such, and to date Moscow is barely able to keep Crimea free from the conflict, while calling the (few) conquests of that series of villages disintegrated by bombs and abandoned by everyone in the Donbass, where the war seems to have crystallized for some time.

A new imaginary border surrounds the uncertain fate of the conflict: it is what the optimistic Russian president sees one day, waiting for Western support for Ukraine to fail. And which the next day makes him so paranoid that he claims to silence every possible rival for the upcoming elections (March 17), fearing a defeat which however cannot happen.

And it cannot because fear is still the best currency in circulation in Russia, and the widow and friends of Alexei Navalny, killed in prison last week because he was a symbol of dissidence and resistance to that singular power that gives life and death, dictatorship.

So, what to expect from the future? This invasion has so far brought death and destruction not only to Ukraine but also to Russia itself, where cities like Belgorod suffer repeated attacks and even the outskirts of St. Petersburg have seen its precious refineries blown up, bombed by drones. In all of this, NATO, rather than submitting and recording the fact, has expanded to include new members (Finland in 2023 and Sweden is on the way) and this year will provide itself with greater funding to support the common defense of Atlantic Alliance.

On the Russian front, the army has suffered enormous losses, and a large part of the Black Sea fleet has sunk or been forced to make repairs that humiliate the glorious Russian navy. And how can we forget that Wagner's mercenaries, the militias in Moscow's pay, mutinied and marched on Moscow threatening a coup, which then mysteriously reversed? Their leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, died over the Russian skies in circumstances not yet clarified: a bomb on the plane or an anti-aircraft missile. Finally, the International Criminal Court also got involved, issuing an arrest warrant against President Vladimir Putin himself for alleged war crimes.

In conclusion, despite the death in prison of Russia's critical conscience, Navalny (whose mouth was taped in true Soviet style), it doesn't take a political scientist to understand that something went wrong over there in the Kremlin.

To think that, even in 2001, almost sixty percent of Russians supported the idea of ​​Russia joining the European Union, while today that same Union is preparing for a possible Russian attack, investing in defense like never before and meditates on a political unity where Moscow is outside while Kiev is inside.

Obviously, in the Kremlin they see things very differently. The “de-Nazification” war must be continued at all costs, and the numbers say that in the long run the Russians will prevail. Because that's ultimately their thing. They argue that it was NATO's eastward expansion that weakened European security and led to war with Ukraine. They accuse NATO of having broken a promise made to the Kremlin, presumably in the last days of the USSR, according to which the Alliance would not accept countries previously in Moscow's orbit. And everything would descend from there. But all this is still not enough to explain three essentially unsuccessful years of war. It is not enough to justify the brutality and violence carried out on our doorstep, against a brotherly people.