The incalculable costs of one man’s ambitions…
We’ve been here before.
For those who know their history, they will have read or learnt about the Soviet-Afghan war which ran from 1979–1989.
They will have read about the operation storm-333 which gave rise to the idea of Soviet occupation of this ancient land and everything which followed subsequently.
When the general secretary of the communist party of the USSR —Leonid Brezhnev —made the all important decision to invade Afghanistan in support of the fledgling pro-Soviet government in 79, not even he could have envisaged the degree of havoc that this war would wreak upon the Soviet empire and the wider world in the decades to come.
Afghanistan would become the crucible in which Islamic fundamentalism was forged when the Americans and Brits under Reagan and Thatcher funded the mujahedeen to take on the might of the Soviet empire. The heroes of the war — Osama Bin Laden and his minions — would go on to form Al-Qaeda, which carried out acts of terror across various countries in Europe, Africa and the United States of America.
And Soviet Russia?
It lost the war which it should never have waged and within two years of its withdrawal from Afghanistan, Soviet Russia completely unraveled and splintered into fifteen states, from which the likes of Latvia, Estonia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Belarus, Chechnya and Georgia emerged.
Given the degree to which the USSR had overextended itself in Afghanistan, the collapse of the old Soviet empire was now inevitable.
But that was then and this is now.
Today, Russia has got a leader in Vladimir Putin, who is determined to recreate the glories of the past.
Not content with having Belarus, South Ossetia and Georgia under his direct control, our man decided to undertake the invasion of a sovereign state which is seen as strategically important to the west and east.
Back when the invasion began, the expectation was that Ukraine would offer very little resistance, sue for peace with Putin dictating the terms and conditions of how things would go.