This Week’s Editorial: Put in a corner
This article is more than 1 year old.
Mr Putin is about to paint himself into a corner. After 28 days of warfare, he has won little ground but stirred a hornet’s nest of rage across most of the world.
Already seems doomed
Millions of children and their mothers have sought safety while the men have stayed home to defend their country.
With the sympathy of the Western World on their side – military hardware continues to come in droves – the Ukrainians are holding ground. Russian losses are meanwhile growing.
Putin thought it would be a Blitzkrieg. But instead he’s lost hearts and minds before winning them over. It’s dawning on him that he can’t win against a population-in-arms with unlimited space at their disposal.
The yellow cornfields under the blue sky depicted in Ukraine’s national flag remains a realistically optimistic picture of their future.
Refugees: from foes to friends
The Danish political focus has changed 180 degrees. All the parties are head-over-heels with becoming refugee-friendly and welcoming tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees – mainly mothers and children – and giving them hitherto uniquely favourable treatment. It’s certainly not the treatment given to the Afghan evacuees and the Syrian-Danish children remaining in the Middle East!
The Danish public has become more NATO and EU-friendly than ever before. Even Enhedslisten, despite the old-timer communists claiming they are still against NATO, don’t want to leave right now.
The PM has got the necessary support to increase the defence budget to 2 percent of GDP – welcome news as the recent aid for the Ukrainians was hard to find under the current terms.
Funny to think that Donald Trump got his way in the end, even though the hike came two years after he demanded more defence spending. What he thinks about Germany sending arms to the Ukrainians is anyone’s guess.
And that might not be the end of the spending. A referendum in June could do away with the Danish reservation that has kept its EU defence expenditure so low. Most polls indicate it will fail, though.
Still the key to peace
The repercussions of the sanctions imposed on Russia are that European countries, such as Denmark, must end their dependency on Russian gas and switch to renewables much faster than was thought possible. So Putin is in fact doing the climate a big favour!
What becomes of Russia after the Ukrainian war remains to be seen. Since 1991 we have learned to like the Russians. We have travelled there, and we admire Russian culture, and that will not change overnight.
But we have learned Russia still has an autocratic soul and that the people love Putin – or at least the majority. Big lies are hard to maintain and Russian youths are fleeing the country – partly because they are ashamed, and partly because they do not want to be drafted into military service.
All of this is putting Putin in a corner, and we simply do not know how he will react.
It is up to the Ukrainian president to come up with a solution, as currently he sits with the winning hand. Let’s hope he does not overplay it.
The same goes for NATO and the EU. There will be no peace without Russia and Ukraine at the table, and it can’t be achieved without Putin fully involved.
About Ejvind Sandal
Copenhagen Post co-owner Ejvind Sandal has never been afraid to voice his opinion. In 1997 he was fired after a ten-year stint as the chief executive of Politiken for daring to suggest the newspaper merged with Jyllands-Posten. He then joined the J-P board in 2001, finally departing in 2003, the very year it merged with Politiken. He is also a former chairman of the football club Brøndby IF (2000-05) where he memorably refused to give Michael Laudrup a new contract prior to his hasty departure. A practising lawyer until 2014, Sandal is also the former chairman of Vestas Wind Systems and Axcel Industriinvestor. He has been the owner of the Copenhagen Post since 2000.
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