Tha Murray MacLeòid a’ faighneachd: Dè a’ chrìoch a tha gu air a' chogadh anns an Ucràin?

Fhad ’s a tha sinn a’ feuchainn ri ar n-inntinnean fhaighinn timcheall na h-uabhasan mòra a tha a’ tachairt anns an Ucràin, agus an tuilleadh sgrios dol a thighinn, tha ceist ag èirigh nach gabh cha mhòr smaoineachadh air: Dè a’ chrìoch a tha gu bhith air a seo?

[English-language version below]

Do mhuinntir an Ucràin, tha an droch rud air tachairt mar thà; tha na daoine gam marbhadh le bomaichean Putin ’s gun faochadh air fàire.

Le sreath de thancaichean a’ ruighinn dà fhichead mìle a’ feitheamh air crìochan Kyiv, tha a h-uile coltas gur ann nas miosa a dh’fhàsas cùisean mus tèid iad nas fheàrr. Chan e gèilleadh a tha fa-near dhan olc.

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Tha e do-chreidsinneach seo a bhith a’ tachairt anns an Roinn Eòrpa às dèidh na thachair 80 bliadhna air ais. Ach, sin an suidheachadh anns a bheil sinn, suidheachadh nach fhaca duine dha mo ghinealach-sa: tha ar rìoghachd agus ar dòigh beatha ann an cunnart.

Chan eil ach còrr air seachdain bho bha sinn a’ bleidrigeadh mu dheidhinn riaghailtean a’ ghlasaidh agus cia mheud glainne fìon a dh’fheumas duine mus canar pàrtaidh ris. Saoilear a-nis gur e àm eile a bha sin; àm nas neo-chiontaiche.

Thathas ag innse dhuinn gum bi buaidh eaconamaiceach a’ chogaidh seo againn airson ùine mhòr, ged nach biodh ann ach prìsean connaidh. Feumaidh sinn a bhith deònach a’ chosgais sin a ghiùlain airson feuchainn ri Putin agus na tha timcheall air a chronachadh.

Feumaidh a h-uile duine againn dèanamh nas urrainn dhuinn airson làmh de chàirdeas a shìneadh chun Ucràin agus feuchainn ris na tha iad a’ fulang a bheagachadh ann an dòigh a choireigin.

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Saighdear Ucràineach a’ cuideachadh leanaibh seachad drochaid a chaidh a sgrios ann an Irpin, Dimàirt. (Dealbh: Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images)

Ach, dè mu dheidhinn na ceist nach gabh cha mhòr a’ faighneachd?

Mar as motha a thig cuideam air Putin, ’s ann as raige agus as cunnartaiche a dh’fhàsas e, agus sin a’ fosgladh an t-slighe chun an dearg dhroch rud: armachd niuclasach.

Tha slighe ann mus tachair sin fhathast, ach tha Putin fhèin air seo a chur far comhair agus nuair a smaoinicheas tu na tha e air a dhèanamh gu seo, cò chanadh nach eil e dha-rìribh?

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Cha robh sinn a-riamh cho faisg air sgrios niuclasach bho bha èiginn eadar Cuba is Ameireagaidh ann an 1962. Chaidh slighe fhaighinn a-mach às a sin gun sgrios. An turas seo, tha an cogadh air tòiseachadh mar tha.

A rèir aithrisean, ’s ann aig an Ruis a tha an àireamh armachd niuclasach as motha san t-saoghal; 5,977 rocaid. Tha 5,428 ag Ameireagaidh, 290 aig an Fhraing agus 225 againne.

Dhaibh-san a tha an aghaidh armachd niuclasach ann am prionnsabal, cha dèan dol a-mach Putin diofar: canaidh iad fhathast nach bu chòir do rudan a nì uimhir a sgrios a bhith aig riaghaltas reusanta sam bith.

Ged a tha am prionnsabal sin, an cois argamaidean gum biodh e na b’ fheàrr an t-airgead a chaitheamh air rudan eile, furasta a thuigse agus ciallach ann an aon seagh, tha na tha a’ tachairt anns an Ucràin a’ sealltainn dhuinn cho cugallach ’s a tha ar saoghal agus cho frionasach ’s a tha ar saorsa – agus nach eil crìoch air cho olc ’s a dh’fhaodas mac an duine a bhith ri cho-chreutairean.

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Tha dòchas ann fhathast gum bi oidhirpean dioplòmasach soirbheachail agus gun tig Putin gu ciall a choireigin.

Thig sin ro anmoch dha mòran anns an Ucràin, ach tha a’ chaochladh cho eagalach ’s nach gabh fiù ’s smaoineachadh air.

Fios bhon neach-deasachaidh:

Tapa leibh airson an aithris a tha seo a leughadh. Tha sinn an eismeil ur taic nas motha na bha riamh agus buaidh a’ Choronbhirus air buaidh a thoirt air luchd sanasachd. Mur eil sibh air a dhèanamh mar-tha, ma se ur toil, nach beachdaich sibh taic a chumail ri ar obair-naidheachd earbsach, a tha sinn a’ dearbhadh a tha fìor, le bhith toirt a-mach ballrachd digiteach.

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As we watch with increasing horror at the events unfolding in Ukraine, the unanswered and almost incomprehensibly terrifying question remains: where will all this end?

For Ukrainians now living under the terror of Russian military aggression, the worst has already come to pass; their country and population is being ravaged at the hands of a barbaric dictator, with one of the world’s most powerful armies at his disposal.

With a 40-mile-long convoy of Russian tanks on the outskirts of Kyiv, it looks like it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets any better. Putin does not give off the image of a man prepared to contemplate retreat.

For this to be happening in 21st-century Europe, given the horrors of 80 years ago, seems almost unfathomable. But we are now in a reality that no-one of my generation ever thought we would see: a direct threat to our way of life.

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Only last week our thoughts were occupied by what now seem like trifling matters, like who did what at lockdown and how many glasses of wine constitutes a party. That seems like an age ago now, a more innocent time.

As we have been repeatedly told, the economic fallout of this will be with us for years to come, if for no other reason than the effect on energy bills, which were already soaring.

It’s a burden we simply have to bear as part of efforts to try and isolate Putin and his puppet generals. We will, no doubt, respond enthusiastically both on a personal level and at a government level for humanitarian support. That’s the least we can do.

But what of that huge unanswered question?

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As sanctions get ramped up, the chances are that an unhinged Putin will simply revert to type with increased aggression. That, then, opens a path to the unthinkable: nuclear deployment. He has already raised the possibility and that, given his actions so far, cannot be dismissed as mere sabre-rattling.

The eternal hope remains that we will avoid that ultimate end-game, but it’s never been closer since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. That was resolved without any blood being shed. This time the warfare has already begun.

According to reports, Russia has the biggest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world: 5,977 warheads. The US is reported to have 5,428, France 290 and the UK 225.

For those who are ideologically opposed to nuclear weapons, Putin’s naked aggression will make no difference: they will still argue that a civilised society should be no place for weapons of mass destruction.

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While that principle, along with arguments that money would be best spent elsewhere, is entirely reasonable and persuasive, Ukraine shows us just how fragile our freedoms truly are and that, unfortunately, there seems no limit to man’s inhumanity to man.

The hope is that Putin will be offered a diplomatic “golden bridge” and that some sort of sense can still prevail.

For many in Ukraine it is already too late, but for the rest of the world the consequences of anything else are unthinkable.

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