Hold Fire

By Niamh Ní Bhriain, Transnational Institute

In the days following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the war frenzy reached fever pitch. A call to arms went out to join the war effort and arms consignments were shipped from the US and Europe to the country’s battlefields and trenches to counter the advance of Russian tanks and troops. Calls for de-escalation and dialogue were side-lined, ignored, ridiculed, or misconstrued as pro-Russian or pro-Putin. It became taboo to reject militarism in favour of peace. There are no easy solutions to stopping war once it has started, but by now it is clear that providing high-calibre weaponry worth tens of billions has not stopped the fighting. Peace will not be achieved through military victory and in attempting to do so Ukraine has become a bloodbath and its people cannon fodder. By now the country is almost entirely irrelevant in a geopolitical quagmire between the world’s most powerful...