Ukraine war: I hope Putin doesn't have a sting the tail

While listening to current news about the conflict in the Ukraine I keep hearing contrasting reports of moves towards peace talks between Russia and Ukraine officials – and feel hopeful. Then I see and hear about further indiscriminate bombing from Russian forces carrying out the ‘Russian Special Operation.’

By errol edwards
Monday, 21st March 2022, 4:46 pm

It’s so difficult to see any quick end to this disaster, in fact it's now impossible for this to ever be put behind us in our or our children's lifetimes. It’s all very confusing and depressing. “Putin’s changed the world forever,” was a quote I heard on ITN.

Never be surprised at anything which happens in this conflict. I did consider Putin to be as thick skinned as they come – to fly in the face of the whole western world's objection to him amassing his forces on the Ukraine border and then shocking most by actually invading, carrying out what so many are calling “war crimes”.

If Boris has taught me anything at all it is that to be leader of any country you have to have the thickest skin and strongest will to forge through with your policies and actions.

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Ukrainian servicemen carry containers backdropped by a blaze at a warehouse after a bombing on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 17, 2022. Russian forces destroyed a theater in Mariupol where hundreds of people were sheltering Wednesday and rained fire on other cities, Ukrainian authorities said, even as the two sides projected optimism over efforts to negotiate an end to the fighting. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Notwithstanding a few u-turns and Covid-restricted get togethers, Boris Johnson has toughed it out, taken all the flack and is still there.

Boris knows that as a leader of a western democracy in a country which expresses its rights to free speech you have to expect people to speak their minds

To hear that Putin is extremely angry and upset at being called a war criminal by President Biden surprises me, even though through this conflict, I try not to be surprised.

President Putin is a leader of a country which operates state-controlled TV stations, locks people up for anti-government protests, or dissent, and doesn't believe in free speech. As most dictators, he is very thin-skinned – vanity and ego overrides his personality.

Servicemen attend the funerals of major Ivan Skrypnyk, who was killed during Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at Lychakiv cemetery in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on March 17, 2022. (Photo by Yuriy Dyachyshyn / AFP) (Photo by YURIY DYACHYSHYN/AFP via Getty Images)

He’s surrounded himself by ‘yes men’ and anyone speaking up or against their leader is quickly removed.

As an ex-military person, I’m again surprised at how people casually talk about the threat of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

After service personnel we learn, with regular updates and refreshers, about the effects of weapons of mass destruction.

We have an insight into what they are, and what they can do to people and everything else they touch.

People clear debris outside a medical center damaged after parts of a Russian missile, shot down by Ukrainian air defense, landed on a nearby apartment block, according to authorities, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 17, 2022. Russian forces destroyed a theater in Mariupol where hundreds of people were sheltering Wednesday and rained fire on other cities, Ukrainian authorities said, even as the two sides projected optimism over efforts to negotiate an end to the fighting. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

My hope was that these weapons are seen as so destructive that no one would ever dare to use them.

We learn that none of these weapons are to be taken casually.

While Putin’s troops fail to make efficient progess, and sustain many losses, he continues to bomb Ukraine indiscriminately. Why would you destroy a place you hope to occupy?

Putin has shown petulance and a vindictive nature throughout his rule.

My hope is that he doesn’t have a sting in the tail for when his troops start to withdraw back to Russia.

If this war has taught me anything, never take anything for granted, or be surprised.