As the Russia-Ukraine war evolves into a global catastrophe

Russian President, Vladimir Putin may have proved himself to be irrational and unreliable with a penchant for autocratic rule while suppressing dissent from within his own country to his policies. Is that much different from other rulers in power around the world in so called democratic nations who manipulate the principles of democracy to bend to their will?
The alliance of western countries in their very forceful support for Ukraine, they are dumping deadly arms and armaments in Ukraine without any clear idea of where all these weaponry is going to end up.  If the west is gambling that Putin is susceptible to deterrence and that he may not react to them recklessly increasing their belligerence in opposing Russia, this is an inelegant form of diplomacy that compromises peace. The elected western leaders like Biden and Johnson are playing war games on Russia’s doorstep, to excite their electorates, while fighting their own internal leadership battles within their own countries. It is difficult to think of a more dangerous time to do this, when maximum restraint and cool headed deliberations are called for creating the conditions for peace. While there can be no conceivable excuse for what Russia is doing to its neighbour, and the war is at the brink of spilling beyond its borders into Europe and beyond, the burning issue is not finding any which way to damage Russia, but to exercise thought on how to end this damaging war in which there can be no winners. After all the separatist conflict within Ukraine has been going on for eight years, without making it necessary for Europe, America and Britain to get involved.
While Putin may be an autocrat there is no evidence so far for the assumption that he wants to invade Western Europe, in spite of provocations by NATO. At this point, a good strategist needs to look beyond the present scenario to assess risks as well as probabilities for peace, even at the point of maximum danger. It is worth remembering that it was good judgement and astute steadfast search for peace that narrowly resolved the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, when both adversaries had to climb down in their own way.
Although NATO is now showing restraint, for the last two decades, it had been engaged in the provocative policy of encirclement of Russia. Western sanctions and military aid to Ukraine, so far does not seem to have deterred Putin in his continuing military adventure in Ukraine, although they have greatly increased the cost of war to Russia and Putin will have to stop when he has reached his military limit.
Ukraine’s Zelensky was reported to have been willing to compromise and accept the “Russian-ness” of Crimea and south eastern Ukraine, which western leaders like Biden and Johnson would not allow him to do, perhaps because they both are weak domestically and any compromise for peace in the Russia-Ukraine conflict would weaken their international stature. The western leaders have not so far openly declared that any peace deal between Russia and Ukraine is for them to decide. Instead the western leaders want Ukraine to keep on fighting for as long as it takes for Russia to be utterly defeated. What they want is to triumph in their proxy war, while condemning anyone who disagrees, with cowardice and as Russian apologists. This Russia- Ukraine conflict which now threatens the world with worsening hunger, inflation and economic hardship has been visited on the world, by the western leaders hijacking this conflict for their own purposes to bolster their standing with their own electorates.

Dr George John MBBS FRCPsych FLS
Emeritus Consultant Psychiatrist (Retired)
Kadavanthra, Kochi 682020, India