By Rab Bruce’s Spider

We have our youngest grandson with us today. He’s just turned one year old and has taken a few faltering steps on his own. Like most kids of his age, he loves making a noise, grabbing things he’s not supposed to touch, and climbing to places he’s not supposed to go. He also likes cuddles, and today the best thing I could think of doing was to give him an extra hug. He doesn’t understand why, but the thought of what is happening in Ukraine, and how it is affecting millions of people of all ages, but especially the very young, filled me with despair.

This blog site concentrates on Scottish politics and I certainly don’t know nearly enough about the situation in Ukraine to make any sort of informed comment. I’ve tried to read up on it recently, but the contradictory reports and the sabre rattling from both Russia on the one hand and the USA and UK on the other have done little except to ramp up the tension.

Nobody can know how this is going to end, but one thing I think we can be fairly sure of is that it completely undermines any claims anyone might ever make that Putin can be trusted at all. I expect he will push this as far as he thinks he can get away with, and I expect the West will let him largely get away with it, sacrificing Ukraine’s independence in order to avoid a truly catastrophic World War. Whether Putin will push it further, who knows? I hope for all our sakes that he pulls back from that brink.

A part of me can understand Russia’s fear of NATO’s ever-encroaching advance towards its borders, and we should not forget the USA’s horror at the time of the Cuban missile crisis. Poking a bear will, sooner or later, result in a reaction. But the miscalculations of the West do not in any way excuse this blatant act of aggression. What the Western leaders need to do now is rescue as much as they can from this awful situation. The big problem is that Russia has done its best to de-stabilise European democracy, and in the UK it has had its greatest success because the UK Government is almost completely compromised because of ties to Russian dark money. And even if the Tories did decide to turn their backs on their Russian backers, they have repeatedly displayed just how incompetent they are at just about everything.

I’ll stop here because I just can’t face writing any more about these dreadful events. My heart goes out to all of those who are suffering because of the greed, war-mongering, incompetence, callousness and corruption of all the world leaders who have brought us to this dark place.

I’m going to give my grandson another hug.