Posted on 12th March 2022

Another mind boggling week when the utter depravity of war dominates everything – bombing a maternity hospital, trying to snuff out life before it has begun. Putin has no moral compass. He is right down there with Hitler and Stalin with his total disregard for human life. However this is the 21st century and despite Putin’s attempts to control information, the truth has a better chance of getting to the Russian people. Despite draconian measures and the threat of long term imprisonment, thousands of people have been out in the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg demonstrating against the war. Ultimately it is the Russian people who will overthrow Putin. It brings back the images of the end of the last Tzar but the danger with Putin is that he has control of all the apparatus of a 21st century totalitarian state – weapons of mass disinformation and control of the population. In Moscow the police have been accused of stopping commuters to check mobile phones for any sign of dissent. These are the moves of an increasing paranoid regime. One just prays that as the body bags start returning home and demoralised sons tell tales from the front that the awful truth will sink in.

Slane Castle

What about what President Zelenskyy refers to as an international game of “ping-pong” between Poland and the U.S. over the MiG jets that Zelenskyy wants for the Ukrainian air force. This all revolves around the Ukrainian President’s desire to establish a no-fly zone over his country to protect his citizens from Russian air-strikes. This all gathered momentum from about 10 days ago when Josep Borrell, the EU Foreign Minister and Security Chief stated at a Press Conference “We’re going to provide even fighter jets”. From that point the jet was out of the bag and what the Poles may have wanted to achieve became impossible because all members of NATO including the Americans are terrified of escalating the conflict

and ultimately provoking Putin into using nuclear weapons. Despite having enormous sympathy for the Ukrainians I feel the solution to this may lie elsewhere. Ben Wallace, British Defence Secretary, has announced that they are going to send the Starstreak high velocity missile system to the Ukrainians. This is a very serious piece of weaponry and “ the fastest short-range surface to air missile in the world”, travelling at 2,300 miles per hour, it is ideal for destroying fighter jets and helicopters. It can even be fired from the shoulder. It has an Irish dimension as it is manufactured by a defence firm called Thales based in Belfast. This would provide Zelenskyy with the air defence his country needs without giving the despicable Putin an excuse to use a nuclear weapon. What next one may ask ? Just look what the Russians did in Aleppo in Syria. I will never forget the images – they are haunting. Putin has got himself in a jam. His initial strategy for this war is failing and he cannot contemplate defeat. He completely underestimated the courage and resolve of the Ukrainian nation and like us all did not reckon on the charisma and leadership qualities of Zelenskyy. This is getting very bloody and horrific. Somehow he must be stopped.

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