This is why Ireland, not only as a European country, a member of the EU and most importantly a member of the UN Security Council, must raise the most vigorous objections to Russia’s illegal and amoral actions. This is an important moment in history. We need to stand and be counted and make sure that our leaders know that there should be no equivocations here. Putin is a thug and there are those that think, with considerable justification, that he may be mad. He is driven by an obsession to restore Russia to its past glories but he looks back to the Czars rather than the USSR. Maybe he will go down in history as Vlad the Bad. He has submarines lurking in the Black Sea and troops ringing Ukraine. He has eluded to the use of nuclear weapons. This is a very bad and potentially dangerous situation. I think we are lucky to have Micheal Martin as Taoiseach. He is calm and confident and will serve us well, but he should remember Munich did not serve the Allies well during WW2 and that thugs like Putin will just take advantage of the policies of appeasement. Just think if it was Dublin rather than Salisbury that had become a victim of Putin’s schemes. A very disturbing thought. Then the world really is being turned upside down when you have a former US President coming out, as he did this week, calling Putin a “genius”. Of course it had to be Donald Trump but ultimately the U.S. electorate had the good sense to throw him out of the White House. Then you look at the appalling images of the storming of the U.S. capital and you realise what a delicate flower is democracy. During the Pandemic, I’ve been watching some really fascinating material on the 2nd World War and thinking often that this was something my parents lived through and thanking the good lord that we escaped. However, for the people of Ukraine their nightmare is present and very real. The lives of their families and their friends are at risk. Soon there will be refugees fleeing Putin’s tyranny. Which countries will take them in ? Should the Russians cut off gas supplies how will we deal with this ? Already there is turmoil in the markets. Putin has been preparing for this, hoarding gold, the price of wheat, oil and gas, all commodities Russia produces, shooting up. However, despite fear of being arrested, thousands of people took to the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg to demonstrate against the war. Perhaps there is hope.
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