Click on the image above to read Battlefield Ukraine by Michael Grandt
A short excerpt from the Introduction
With the start of the Russian military invasion in the Ukraine our continent experienced the blackest day since the end of the Second World War. The 24th February 2022 will go down in history books as a gloomy change of times, because the unimaginable has returned: War in Europe, and only a two-hour flight from Germany.
When I was in Kiev, standing in the Maidan in November 2019, I could not have any idea that two-and-a-half years later, war in its most brutal form would visit this beautiful city. War can never be justified. It always impacts the innocent with arbitrariness, death and destruction, loss and emergency, with families torn apart, disoriented people, crying children and million of refugees.
My thoughts are with the many victims -- from both sides.
War is always associated with emotions and propaganda. Therefore, calmn and objectivity are important if one wants to grasp what is really happening.
What is certain is that Putin has ignited a war of aggression, violated human rights, caused unending suffering and brought the world community against him. For this, Russia is paying a horrendous price which increases every day. Effectively overnight, the largest country in the world has become a rogue state, a pariah among others – devoid of honour, respect and without any friends. Politically, sportingly, culturally and economically, the "giant" stands (almost) abandoned on feet of clay. Its soldiers, most of whom are still very young, are being “burnt out” in a brutal war.
I have Ukrainian and Russian friends, and both sides argue in their own way. Which of them is lying? Or does the truth, as so often, lie somewhere in the middle? In order to determine this, I need to go back three decades of history.
This view should however very clearly not be a description of the war in Ukraine, not a one- sided assessment or partisan viewpoint. My intention is to analyse the background and to describe why this war has come about. What is important for me is to have the arguments of both sides, those of the Ukraine and those of the Russian Federation. This is not meant to glorify, but explain.
The formulation “Putin = the bad / Ukraine = the good” is far too facile and short, because very much more lies behind this conflict.
In this publication I shall answer the following controversial questions:
- Did the West really promise there would be no NATO expansion eastwards?
- Why was Putin’s outstretched hand [to the West] withdrawn?
- Is the USA really working in the background in Ukraine and pulling the strings?