By Rab Bruce’s Spider

It’s very difficult to know exactly what is happening in Ukraine. We know that Putin is a past master at spreading disinformation, and the Ukrainian Government has shown itself to be equally good at propaganda. News reports from other agencies often contradict one another, and we should be familiar with the spin our own mainstream media puts on everything. The one thing we can be certain of is that we are living in dangerous times.

There are still plenty of opinions about what has caused this, with some pro-Russian writers placing much of the blame on the West and NATO for pushing ever closer to Russia’s borders. I can certainly understand that this would create concern in Russia because if things were the other way around, the UK would be terrified. If the Warsaw Pact had endured and other western European countries had joined it, Russian influence could have been very close to us indeed in a physical sense.

But, of course, the Warsaw Pact did not endure, and the reason that the EU and NATO have spread so far east is that many countries wanted to join and did so voluntarily. Nobody forced them to join NATO or the EU. This is the message Russia has not understood. I’ve seen someone claim that Russia’s fear is based on having been invaded twice in recent centuries, first by Napoleon, then by Hitler. That same writer ignored Russia’s own invasions of Afghanistan, the Crimea and eastern Ukraine among others, and did not seem to consider that, while NATO has certainly been provocative, it is Russia’s own aggressive stance which has driven many eastern European countries to seek some sort of insurance against a Russian attack. The invasion of Ukraine has clearly only confirmed the belief of many European politicians that such insurance is very much needed.

Another view being expressed in several quarters is that Russia’s invasion is little different to the USA’s invasion of Iraq which was, naturally, aided and abetted by America’s UK poodle. The USA and UK have no qualms about bombing Muslim countries who are in no position to fight back, and their own militaristic aggression has been cited as a justification for Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The old saying that Two Wrongs don’t make a Right springs to mind. Whatever the provocation, whatever the actions of others, Russia’s invasion is inexcusable, just as the current bombings in Yemen are inexcusable. The fact that our media and politicians focus on white European countries as more important than nations inhabited by non-white people is not our fault. Many of us are all too aware of the horrors being perpetrated in Yemen and Palestine. But the hypocrisy of our media and politicians should not deflect from the fact that Russia’s actions are far more dangerous because they could easily lead to a much wider European and possibly World War. Rightly or wrongly, the western nations are going to focus far more on a war on their doorstep than on conflicts further away.

I can only hope that some sort of peaceful resolution can be found to this crisis, but there is little any of us can do to help other than contribute to the aid packages being sent to Ukraine. Hopefully, some senior people in Russia will soon realise that Putin has turned almost the entire world against them. Let us hope that they will be able to make him realise that as well.

And since I’ve mentioned hypocrisy, I cannot let Boris Johnson off the hook. His comments about the UK supporting the rights of every nation to decide who governs them and which organisations they wish to belong to were quite laughable considering his attitude towards Scotland. And as for his continual claims of the UK’s world-beating position in helping refugees, they are simply in line with his habit of lying about pretty much anything and everything. When the world needs strong leaders, the best the UK has to offer is Boris Johnson? That says it all, really.