02 March 2022, The Tablet

Putin’s unjust, immoral war

Ukraine besieged


Events are unfolding in Ukraine with lightning speed, so that what was unthinkable at the start of the week could be inescapable by the end of it. For instance, at what level of suffering experienced by the ordinary people of Ukraine does the Western resistance to direct military help start to crumble? Wars can be driven by public opinion as much as by generals and politicians, and already a transformation in attitudes and approaches to economic sanctions is taking place across the globe.

There are now two wars being fought side by side, one with missiles, bullets and tanks, and the other with credit cancellations, freezing or closing accounts, confiscating assets and abandoning sporting fixtures. Nato may inch towards military options, even the possibility of imposing a no-fly zone over Western Ukraine or at least the use of its stock of armed drones, while civilians on all sides inch towards deprivation, even destitution.

Both these campaigns are inevitably aimed at whole populations. Residents of apartment blocks in Kyiv and Kharkiv tremble as Russian tanks approach, while an unprecedented programme of economic and trade sanctions, aimed at causing the collapse of the Russian economy, can only mean if they succeed the emptying of supermarket shelves in Moscow and St Petersburg, the drying up of cash machines and petrol stations, and power cuts across the land. In both cases it will be the poor that suffer most severely.

Get Instant Access

Continue Reading

Register for free to read this article in full

Subscribe for unlimited access

From just £30 quarterly

  Complete access to all Tablet website content including all premium content.
  The full weekly edition in print and digital including our 179 years archive.
  PDF version to view on iPad, iPhone or computer.

Already a subscriber? Login