Ukraine war
There will be no winner in this disastrous war Image Credit: Gulf News

Almost 80 days have passed since Russian troops first rolled into Ukraine. And we are no nearer to seeing the end of this war. Even the generally optimistic UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, doesn’t expect peace negotiations in the immediate future. In fact, all signs point towards a protracted conflict that could turn into a war of attrition.

The situation is getting alarming with Russia warning that the West’s increasing military support to Ukraine, especially the arms provided by the United States, risks triggering a confrontation between Moscow and Nato. On Thursday, President Vladimir Putin accused the West of triggering a global economic crisis and extreme inflation as a result of the punishing economic sanctions imposed on Russia.

It is clear that the war in Ukraine is increasingly having a global impact. Some countries, in fact, have been very directly hit by the conflict. The situation in Sri Lanka, for instance, is spiralling out of control as a result of skyrocketing fuel and food prices that are a result of the conflict in Ukraine.

It is also clear that the West wants to make Russia pay a big price. US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin said that Washington wanted “to see Russia weakened” so that it could not ‘threaten’ its neighbours again. UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Britain would seek “to push Russia out of the whole of Ukraine”. Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, declared that “we want Ukraine to win this war”. Such maximalist positions will mean that the conflict may go on longer.

Meanwhile, Finland and Sweden are likely to apply to join Nato in the coming days, something that the Russians will definitely not like. Russia had said Nato expansionism was one of the reasons for intervention in Ukraine. If Finland becomes a member, Russia would share a huge, 1,300km border with a Nato state.

There will be no winner in this disastrous war. Thousands of Ukrainians and Russians have been killed. Many more have been injured. More than 6 million Ukranians have become refugees. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been lost and food and petrol prices worldwide have increased. Literally the entire world is paying a price for this conflict.