Editorial: Ukraine, Putin and the United Nations


By Sule Ahmed Oyofo, editor-in-chief, Abuja.

The continuous bombardment of the cities of Ukraine at this time in the year 2022, is leaving much to be desired. And people are asking: the horrific television footages and scenes of massive structural destruction; the rising death, tears and cries of the wounded and trapped; are they real? In the past, documented events of what happened have been narrated and read by the new generation that now populate the world. They read about the barbarism of the First and the second World War, about the cruelty at Nazi concentration camps, the brutality, torture and bestial nature of men; now, they are seeing live what was thought to exist only in story books and the archives.

This is not fiction; this is not another stunt by Arnold Schwarzenegger or James Bond; this is happening before the eyes of people who thought such bestiality was a figment of imagination. They reason rightly that in the event of any such occurrence in this century, there were enough bulwarks to tackle it. But today, they have discovered in the hardest way: nothing has changed; and their thoughts meaningless! Since February 24, 2022, Ukraine, a neighboring country to Russia has been under savage attacks with the United Nations apparently unable to prevent the carnage.

Amidst the terror unleashed by falling bombs and rockets, the world goes to sleep while the Russian siege continue. From Luhansk, to Dombas, Kherson, it is a story of tears, death and destruction. In Moscow, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin the president of Russia whose father had served as personal cook to two equally deadly dictators Josep Stalin and Vladimir Lenin would see no reason to relent until according to him “the property of Russia” is reclaimed. He calls it a “special military operation”; he has no single thought for the thousands of soldiers who had needlessly lost their lives.

Putin, a former Intelligence officer and a KGB agent is much feared in Moscow and no one dare oppose him. That’s why he has been a regular feature in the political and social life of Russians since 1999. Though he is credited with series of liberal reforms such as introducing flat income rates of 13%, new land and civil codes, increase in GDP and drastic reduction in poverty, he may well have lost that with his expansionist programme. If Putin is now seen as a villain, the United Nations is regarded as worse. Established in 1945 after the second world war by about 51 countries, part of their charter reads “maintaining peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.

The bitter lessons from the second world war had prompted this declaration. Since then, a lot has happened to cast the organization in bad light. The resistance by renegade nations, the rebellion by the Iranians and the rise of rogue North Korea and now Russian incursion into Ukraine is all a source of worry to an incredulous world. The Iranians have in the past described them as “toothless bulldog”; others like North Korea would dismiss whatever declaration is made by them as “piece of rag”. No respect is accorded this prestigious body for the simple fact that they have proved ineffective when needed most.

They promised “collective security” after the second world war, but today appears to have gone back to defensive alliances and power blocs. How then can they maintain peace with the likes of Putin, Khameini, Endrogan and Kim Jun of North Korea. Kim daily provokes the world with regular missiles test; how far he can go, no one can tell. That he is a threat to world peace is indisputable. Somehow the United Nations must find a way to get things right. If the world is to remain peaceful, the onus is on them to deploy whatever—even if diplomacy to enforce discipline.

Russia cannot be allowed to destroy Ukraine and the United Nations should do more to rein in Putin. Or can it be said that Putin is stronger than the world? Definitely not. Ukraine must be liberated; Ukrainians must be saved from the rampaging Russians—even at the risk of a third world war! It is time for Putin to be put in his proper place-since he has refused to listen to reason. He cannot be allowed to cut short the lives of innocent Ukrainians. The United Nations must step up its operations—of fold up.