Ukraine and the fear of war in Europe

Der Spiegel reports: Following the apparent failure of the Geneva agreements, the inconceivable suddenly seems possible: the invasion of eastern Ukraine by the Russian army. Fears are growing in the West of the breakout of a new war in Europe.

These days, Heinz Otto Fausten, a 94-year-old retired high school principal from Sinzig, Germany, can’t bear to watch the news about Ukraine. Whenever he sees images of tanks on TV, he grabs the remote and switches channels. “I don’t want to be subjected to these images,” he says. “I can’t bear it.”

When he was deployed as a soldier in the Ukraine, in 1943, Fausten was struck by grenade shrapnel in the hollow of his knee, just outside Kiev, and lost his right leg. The German presence in Ukraine at the time was, of course, part of the German invasion of the Soviet Union. But, even so, Fausten didn’t think he would ever again witness scenes from Ukraine hinting at the potential outbreak of war.

For anyone watching the news, these recent images, and the links between them, are hard to ignore. In eastern Ukraine, government troops could be seen battling separatists; burning barricades gave the impression of an impending civil war. On Wednesday, Russian long-range bombers entered into Dutch airspace — it wasn’t the first time something like that had happened, but now it felt like a warning to the West. Don’t be so sure of yourselves, the message seemed to be, conjuring up the possibility of a larger war. [Continue reading…]

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3 thoughts on “Ukraine and the fear of war in Europe

  1. Paul Woodward

    In case it wasn’t already clear, War in Context isn’t a mini-version of a site like Reddit where the content is essentially a poll of reader interest. Being the editor means that for every item I choose to post, there were 10, 20 or even more that I looked at and decided to ignore.

    The piece by Seumas Milne that you refer to in a roundabout way — an article that you’ve presumably already read — yes, I read it too and if I was to post it, I’d have to spend a lot of time deconstructing his polemics and showing why I think he’s misleading his readers.

    I’ve got better things to do with my time, but Milne fans know where to go to find his work.

  2. Steve Zerger

    I must be as gullible as you are Josie. Or else the deception is very cunning, I’m not sure which. Looks like a fairly straightforward recitation of events and a sensible point of view to me.

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