Remember that YouTube video where a fairly obese kid responded to a weak and bony bully by performing judo kind of move and smashed the bloke into the abyss? Do you also remember the interview after the incident? If you do, I don't need to tell how dead wrong was I. I assumed that we shouldn't ever care about those who bully others.
Similarly I once thought that any dictatorship is a nasty piece of work ruled by the lunatic, often facial hair and hygiene failing, cuckoos. I believed that the whole apparatus surrounding the supreme leader consists of cold-hearted and robotic thugs who don't deserve even remote sympathy. But my dear how deceived was I, apparently.
It's now obvious that dictatorships are woolly little creatures with very sensitive feelings. Tell one bad thing about them and you shatter their self-confidence for decades. Accuse them of human right abuses and they will go on a riot in the sandbox destroying everything in the eyesight. And we can't blame them, of course not, haven't you had that parenting for dummies lecture? By pointing out the inappropriate behaviour, you're limiting a suckling's creativity and setting a life with trauma. What next, asking to act properly and moralising about their hyperactivity?
I've been following the Ukraine-Russia war long enough to understand that some of the fellas here regard Russia as an infant of a family of drunks. Briefly, there are three camps in this debate: one camp is full of people who openly support Ukrainian sovereignty and aspiration to become a Western style democracy, other faction has affectionate fifth column-like love to Russia and thus repeat the delusion that what's happening in Ukraine is a civil war with no invasion by Putin, and finally those who don't care about Ukraine as much as they care about how the Kremlin feels.
You see, all the dictatorships and the look-alikes just want to be loved. With few land grabs here and there the Kremlin could actually fall in love with democracy and the West in general.
This sense of care comes from the same swamp as eulogies for jihadists guided by the belief that if only we weren't so nasty to them perhaps they could behave in a civil way. Or better, if only we had provided free shelter, jobs and allowed to express their unjerked energy in the form of spending whole summer sunbathing in Tanzania as Jihadi John aspired, pushing forward for the Palestinian cause, anti-Semitism in disguise of anti-Israel manifestations and going on a rampage about a drawing they don't like - the problem as such wouldn't have existed. In spite of everything, it's the feelings that matter.
In terms of Russia, we're hearing that the West has promised not to expand NATO into the East. Truthfully, no such promise was given to anyone officially, notwithstanding the people, inspired by the follies of Russia Today, consistently utter some mysterious oral agreement between low-life diplomats and thus effectively reinforce the tale told by the current occupiers of Kremlin. Even Mr Gorbachev, the man behind erratic and repetitive echo about Western 'triumphalism', acknowledged that no such agreement was actually made. It matters little to nothing that Ukraine and Georgia, two potentially militarily strong states near Russia, were denied NATO membership.
But since NATO has gradually expanded, primarily because countries craved for security, freedom and responsibility that comes by joining such organisations, this caused the Kremlin to feel deceived by their date just before the prom. As a consequence, Putin and his henchmen acted emotionally and occupied large territories of Ukraine just to get over the crushing and heart-breaking humiliation.
Needless to say, I'm extremely pleased by the British involvement in the war against Russia's attempt to reconcile their self-esteem in the vilest way. One can only imagine the sobbing howls of the Kremlin at night when Britain announced the support to Ukraine. Call me old-fashioned, but I sincerely don't care how Russian apparatchiks feel about it. They are the ones who picked up a fight when got a bit tipsy off many years of revanchist sentiments and the idiotic idea of restoring the Russian Empire with an obedient peasantry and uneducated masses.
Without a doubt, Ukraine is that chubby kid picked on by the macho goon who takes Eastern Ukrainian lunch money. But patience is limited and I'm sure Ukraine will eventually perform that martial arts knockout trick and kick the Kremlin into the chasm. And I won't feel sorry at all.