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Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Silencing the guns in Ukraine the only desirable option

Dear editor,

Forty-one days into the Ukrainian conflict and we still don’t have a definitive hope of a ceasefire in a war that only the guileless doyens continue to believe that one side will eventually win over the other. I will however continue to espouse the conviction of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that modern wars like this one in Ukraine are not winnable.

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That the silence of the guns should be the only desirable option.

I haven’t been getting much access to the Russian’s narrative of how the war progresses for them which, I am sure will amount to a litany of successes and nothing less; however, on the recent Ukrainian front adequately covered by almost all mainstream Western media fraternities, the images and stories being revealed ostensibly translates into Russian forces committing warcrimes and crimes against humanity for targeting and killing innocent civilians in various Ukrainian cities.

I want us to though acknowledge that in this kind of war where battles are mainly fought in cities because there is no defined battlefield per se, civilians will unavoidably become victims of collateral damages.

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Although I will once again remind my readers that combatants fighting in civilian habitats-the prevailing condition in this conflict-are unpretentious circumstances of attracting deadlier enemy fire  than where battles are fought in non-residential terrains.

That is why I was not only bothered by footages of videos televising Ukrainian troops digging fighting trenches, foxholes and laying, tank, armored vehicle and truck obstacles in and around cities in anticipation of fighting the Russian soldiers but equally troubled by the inconceivable decree by the Ukrainian government proscribing men between the ages of 18 to 60 to leave the country but to stay and fight. That in my book was a blatant violation of the human rights of people who have no training or stomach to become soldiers or fight in any war, no matter the justification.  

And how many of our special pundits now denouncing Russian forces for killing Ukrainian civilians condemned the Ukrainian government’s dictum of forcing civilians to stay and fight the professional Russian soldiers?

Instead, they were the very instigators applauding the callow youth when paraded to take hasty lessons in city centers on how to load, cock and fire assault riffles without even the extra details of what to do when a weapon jams in the middle of a firefight. That was an inexcusable inspiration of gullible civilians to go and kill themselves. And as if that was not suicidal enough for the poor fellows the Zelensky government shockingly encouraged more naive civilians mostly overwhelmed by their emotions than their sense of good judgement, to arm themselves with Molotov-cocktail explosives to fight the Russians as well.

As I said before, the tolerance of newly deployed soldiers in a battlefield to lawfully differentiate combatants from non-combatants or from civilians is as tenable as the duration it takes for the rookies to remain unharmed by enemy fire. Russian armored vehicles were in the beginning filmed in Ukrainian cities being confronted and even chased away by bare-handed civilian crowds, an illustration of the fact that the actual fighting and killing hadn’t started yet.

That was followed by “triumphant” stories from mainly the Western media of lethal weapons supplied by Nato, the European Union and the Americans to the Ukrainians causing havoc on the Russian troops with reports of over twelve thousand “enemy combatants” killed including seven Russian generals: Gen. Andrey Sukhovetsky, Gen. Vitaly Gerasimov, Gen. Magomed Tushayev, Gen. Andrei Kolesnikov, Gen.Oleg Mityaev, Gen. Yakov Rezantsev and Gen. Andrei Mordvichev.  That Putin had indeed underestimated the effectiveness of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and have consequently been paying the heaviest price for his dumb mistakes. If all that account is true-the Russians neither confirm nor dispute it-can one imagine how grim and devastating it would be to the Russians? Doesn’t it mean that thousands of Russian families of dead soldiers and their generals are equally wallowing in pain and grief of immeasurable proportion?

Samsudeen Sarr

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