During the last weeks the situation in eastern Ukraine has deteriorated rapidly with heavy fighting and consequently increasing victims not only among the combatants, but especially among civilians. This year within only three weeks until 1 February at least 224 civilians have been killed and 545 wounded as a result of fighting in the conflict zone. Deploying “deny-and-accuse-the-other-side”-tactics the conflict parties accuse each other for being responsible, supported by their media.
Negotiations to finally end this conflict are cancelled and diplomats seem to lose hope for any quick and realistic peaceful solution. Speculations about US-plans to support Kiev with lethal military equipment of rather defensive nature frighten some as they fear an escalation of the conflict and are welcomed by others as they could in their opinion increase Kiev’s military capacities and increase the price that Putin has to pay as Russia allegedly is directly involved in the fighting with own military personnel. This is of course denied by Russian officials, though reports indicating that Russian troops are present in east Ukraine seem to come up more frequently, though a smoking gun could be missing as some argue. Of course such reports are also denied as false and propaganda which leads us here to the very simple, but important lesson that “truth is the first casualty of war” and also not always what it seems.
But what is the truth then? Probably it is somewhere between “the West” and “the East”, so in “the middle”, but this doesn’t actually matter that much as the only truth probably accepted by all sides is that people (civilians) are dying. This has to stop, but how will it stop?
Actually this is also an easy question. Stop the killing by stopping the fights. Take your finger from the trigger, stop shooting and maybe more important: be ready to forgive. It sounds simple, but as usually in life, nothing is simple enough to not be complicated enough as there are always also these three questions (at least): Who wants what? Who gets what? An how can a consensus achieved peacefully?
Unfortunately an thorough answer of these questions requires again that one rare commodity that keeps being a casualty – the truth. All cards are required on the table to see if a compromise is even possible. Is Putin behind all this, trying to re-install a Soviet Empire as some claim or are NATO, the West or even members of a religious minority trying to implement an evil plan as others claim?
Taking it into a more philosophical level will lead to the conclusion that the roots for this conflict (once again) does not lie in fascists, Putins or secret conspiracies, but rather human nature – greedy, craving for power over others the man is a wolf to man – homo homini lupus.
So currently it seems that one could rather speculate on winning in the lottery than on a quick and peaceful solution for the conflict in Ukraine. A violent solution could of course be that one side wins the war after more death and destruction, some might even want that, but surely not those people whose homes are (becoming) a battlefield.
It seems that the longer the flame of war burns in Ukraine, the harder achieving a quick peaceful solution will be and the higher the probability that the conflict gets out of control threatening primarily Europe.