We are witnessing Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, a country that is trying to free itself from the shade of Moscow. It is very sad to see how the whole world watches a country being bullied and ruined. It is unacceptable. It leads to serious questioning of solidarity, security and trust.
Are we really so alone in the world? Is a country that tries to go its own way so open to attacks and bullying? Are the Cold War era and the dominance of big powers over the world never going to end?
I just have been strolling in front of the Russian Consulate of Istanbul on the Istiklal Avenue and saw tens of people with cards condemning Russia. There were Russians holding flags saying “I am ashamed to be Russian.” I think these protests are very valuable, especially for people from a country with very limited freedom of speech and basic individual rights.
Unfortunately, Ukraine has been the manipulation ground for Russia and the West. The United States tricked Kyiv's government to back them and the U.S.' aim to expand NATO to the Russian borders ended in such a catastrophe. I believe that both imperial powers, Russia and the U.S., are to be blamed for this humanitarian disaster.
Turkey is a very strategic and important country in this crisis. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s statements and the declaration of the Turkish Foreign Ministry point to a very constructive strategy. Ankara condemns Moscow for violating Ukraine’s territory and attacking a country on its soil while it also tries to keep the dialogue with the Kremlin.
Turkey is the only NATO country with good relations with both sides, which is why Erdoğan’s involvement as a mediator in this crisis might be helpful in bringing Moscow to the dialogue table.
Two days have already passed since Russia started to attack Ukraine. It is feared that the capital Kyiv will also be targeted. That would end in an even much bigger disaster since there will be street confrontations and killings, which would cause the deaths of thousands.
Another possibility is that Russia will be trying to bring down Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government and control Ukraine with a puppet leader. In both scenarios, there is an open invasion and violation of a country’s territory and independence.
Unfortunately, gunfire is nearing the capital every moment. The war would have maybe reached Kyiv while you are reading this article. Russian tanks are entering the city, which was already hit by blasts and clashes were reported from both sides.
People are scared. Men of almost all ages are kept by the Ukrainian authorities for joining the war as soldiers, the Ukrainian army seems to be very weak and among people in the areas where there are attacks there are long silences and waiting in the shelters.
These are black days for humanity. It might lead to an even larger scale war at an international level. I hope that NATO, the U.S. and the European Union will take lessons from the mistakes and disagreements among themselves which gave Russia solid ground and enhanced its self-esteem to attack Ukraine.