Off-kilter: what has war done to Europe?

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has profoundly shaken the global order. Although the attack took many by surprise, it was not entirely unexpected, as some commentators stress.

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Dnevnik (BG) /

Blind to evil

No one wanted to acknowledge the many signs that war was coming, Dnevnik reflects:

“We couldn't predict the war against Ukraine because none of us wanted it and therefore we didn't think it was possible. ... The war began, albeit quietly, when it became unmistakably clear that in Russia the constitutional transfer of power through free elections would not be respected; that democracy and its inalienable respect for human rights and freedom of the press would be gradually dismantled to the point of non-existence; that this proud people would be turned into a bunch of kamikazes who, driven by hatred and fear, would sacrifice themselves for a false nationalist ideal embodied by a new dictator.”

Maaleht (EE) /

That such things are happening on our doorstep!

This year has produced atrocities of a kind we thought would no longer be committed, laments Maaleht:

“Israeli thinker Yuval Noah Harari proved prophetic when he wrote in The Economist on 9 February 2022 that giving up wars of aggression has been a great achievement of humanity, which Russia is now challenging in Ukraine. ... A year ago we did not know that what happened in Bucha was still possible in the 21st century. We believed that such a thing might happen in uncivilised jungle-filled corners of the world, but not in a wealthy suburb of a European capital.”

Leonid Gozman (RU) /

Russia is now Putinland

Russia has been annihilated by Putin's war, opposition politician Leonid Gozman writes on Facebook:

“The main outcome of 2022 is: Russia no longer exists! Until recently, the word Russia was associated with both bad and good things - dictatorship, Stalin, camps, but also Russian culture, the conquest of space, the victory against WWII fascism. All that is a thing of the past now. ... Putin has done to the country what the Bolsheviks did: after the October Coup there was no longer any Russia. What remained was a territory where crazy things happened, but which no longer had anything to do with Russia, its culture and its history. ... The territory and the people are still there. But the country is gone.”