Two years of Russo-Ukraine war 

Two years since Russia’s ‘’military operation’’ in Ukraine, Ukrainians have fought valiantly against the onslaught, but the country is facing equipment and manpower shortages – along with wavering international support for additional military and financial aid. And official corruption that is corroding the public faith in the war-torn government and alienating the Ukrainian people.  

They have heard how their defense officials and corporate leaders ‘’attempted to steal $40 million from the budget by purchasing100,000 mortar rounds for the Armed Forces.’ Such series of corruption scandals have been the lot of Ukraine in recent months. The country ranks 116th out of 180 corrupt nations by Transparency International.          

With more than $100 billion in United States weaponry and financial aid flowing to Ukraine to counter Russia, concerns about arms falling into terrorists’ hands and dollars into corrupt officials’ pocket are mounting. 

Even US President Joe Biden is reportedly worried about the corruption in Ukraine and sees it as the real threat to Ukraine’s ability to win the war and survive as a nation. The world, under this current war fatigue and corruption, would probably see in the future, a balkanized Ukraine, split into small federal states.       

The country finally has reason to cheer as the US Congress recently approved over $23 billion aid package to replenish weapons and infrastructure, as well as nearly $14 billion to cover costs for advanced weapon systems. This largest-ever-aid package for Ukraine, will no doubt harden their resistance in the war, but is not enough to stem the tide in the conflict with Russia.         

Many in the streets and trenches of Ukraine reportedly espoused a view shared by many western military analysts: that much damage had already been done and that, while important and welcome, the billions of dollars of supplies would only go so far in resolving Ukraine’s problem, not to defeat Russia and reclaim its occupied territories. Even the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has changed his rhetoric and is now reportedly saying that his country has ‘’a chance for victory instead of win,’’ after this aid package.          

Observers say that the US and its European allies are not interested in making peace but are prepared to continue to back the Zelensky government as long as it fights Russia to the last Ukrainian. Even casual observers of foreign affairs can see the double standard of the west.   

Western allies like Israel are allowed to violate the humanitarian dimension of that blocs’ so-called ‘’rules-based world order’’ with impunity, while those of its rivals like Russia, who are only .accused of doing so, risk facing their wrath in response. 

Western diplomats and officials have drawn attention to how the bloc’s double standards towards these two conflicts has discredited it in the Global South of Africa, Latin America, and Asia. They abstained from joining the west in condemning Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan.             

As the much hyped counter offensive by Ukraine’s military has so far resulted in hefty personnel losses and the destruction of significant quantities of the transatlantic-gifted military hardware, fresh emphasis is now being laid on recruitment drive to shore up the ranks of fighters, even from some countries in the Global South.           

Meanwhile, Europe continues to bear the brunt of US pursuit of its interests in Ukraine under the guise of anchoring itself in Ukraine’s authentic rights to ‘’win the war with Russia and take its place as a prosperous, independent, open country, integrated into Euro-Atlantic institutions and global markets.’’ 

Since the conflict in Ukraine began, Europe has seen the intensification of arms and drugs smuggling from Ukraine to their countries. There, with an enormous refugee flow from the conflict zone, has rendered any control by law enforcement agencies of Eastern European countries bordering Ukraine practically impossible.           

The drugs and arms smuggling are reminiscent of the Central Intelligence Agency’s [CIA’s] cold war strategy in Afghanistan and South East Asia, where arms supplies to pro-American militant groups were funded by drug shipments from those regions controlled by the US Agency. 

It can be said that if the Ukrainian conflict drags on, Europe will have a new Afghanistan created on its borders as a launching pad for arms and drug supplies. The continent will become a refugee transit organised directly from Ukraine and in transit from Third World countries fueled by corruption. 

Maiden Dappa, a foreign affairs analyst, writes from Yola, Adamawa state