Volodya, with your hands full in Ukraine and having to fend off punishing sanctions against yourself and members of your government as well as your country Russia from western countries, I doubt if you will get to read this article.
But I have decided to write it anyway in the hope that somebody in the Russian mission here in Nigeria will read it and make a summary of its content for the attention of your foreign minister, the baritone voiced Sergei Lavrov. I also hope that Russian media platforms and those affiliated with them operating on the internet may pick it up and make something out of it.
But if none of these happens, I would have done my bit for humanity by delivering the content to a global audience to note and perhaps initiate concerted action across the world to prevent the looming humanitarian catastrophe that will soon engulf us all as a result of the on-going war between Russia and Ukraine.
Volodya, I need not tell you that the world is already hurting from this war. The world economy is on a tailspin; inflation is ever rising and unemployment too. Industrial production especially in the industrial powerhouses is plummeting. Commodity prices are reaching the roof and becoming unaffordable to people across the globe. Energy resources, which power homes, industries, transportation and just about anything used for human convenience, are getting scarcer and scarcer and when available, pricier and pricier.
Living standards are falling drastically as a result of the combined effects of all these abysmal economic indices.
This is the grim picture of life as reported in the developed countries of the world. You can imagine how developing countries especially the bottom half whose incomes are too pitifully puny to make any significant difference at all are faring.
To make matters worse, all indices and surveys point inevitably to the fact that the worst is still to come. It is clear that humanity is once again hurtling toward the sort of dangerous uncertainty that put us all to grief in the past.
All these happenings, I must say are directly as a result of the events in Ukraine.
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic, which raged before the events in Ukraine kicked in, laid the world low in all ramifications. The world economy suffered as certain critical sectors like transportation, financial services, trade and commerce virtually collapsed.
But following the petering out of the pandemic and its worst effects, the world economy began to show signs of gradual recovery. And indications pointed to this recovery being sustained leading to hope that the world will bounce back rapidly.
Then Ukraine happened.
When Russia intervened in Ukraine, I had a very robust discussion with a friend of mine about the event and what it portended to the world. My friend was of the opinion that Russia will suffer as the west, led by the United States of America, will institute the severest of sanctions to punish and ultimately cripple the Russian economy. He said that the west will also arm Ukraine with the latest lethal weapons to enable them roll back the Russians militarily leading to their utter humiliation. And he added that you Volodya will likely suffer the fate of Adolf Hitler or Benito Mussolini of Italy.
As my friend huffed and puffed, I looked at him ruefully and told him that none of these was likely to happen either to Russia or to your good self Volodya. I said so with all confidence having been privileged to know more about you and your ways than him.
My information about you came from a German journalist friend of mine with close links to the German Federal Intelligence Service, the Bundesnachristendienst, or BND for short. He told me in your days as an officer of the former Soviet Intelligence outfit, the Kommitet Gosudartvenoi Bezopasnosti or KGB for short, you had a proven reputation as one of their very best officers such that you were often entrusted with some of the most complex tasks that needed to be undertaken.
My German journalist friend told me that in the files of the BND, you were listed among the very top Russian agents that operated in the then East Germany. He further told me that one of the most complex tasks you undertook while based in the East German city of Dresden during the cold war was to help organise and monitor the first visit of then East German leader to West Germany in the summer of 1987. According to my German friend, the visit, which you helped organised clandestinely from the Russian legation in Dresden, was to test the plan by the Russians towards changing the entire Russian controlled political, social and strategic superstructure in Eastern Europe, which was showing deep signs of stress.
With a background like that, I knew that your intervention in Ukraine was something you would have mapped out with your customary thoroughness and ruthless efficiency while anticipating the backlash from the west and instituting countermeasures to blunt their effects on Russia.
Volodya, we are now in the fifth month of the Russian intervention of Ukraine and by and large, you have not only established a bridgehead into the country militarily, you are more or less in control of it. And what is more, Russia has been able to ride out western sanctions and the military platforms that America and its allies supplied to Ukraine in the hope that the Russians will be driven out.
But all this has taken a toll on the world economy and if things continue the way they are, we might witness a dangerous escalation to the point that one seemingly innocuous incident of miscalculation will plunge the whole world into a conflagration that we may suffer from collectively.
This is the crux of this letter, Volodya.
Essentially, having reached the highest possible point you can reach in Ukraine as things stand now, America and co will never allow Russia to completely swallow Ukraine. It is such a huge country and attempting such a misadventure will be near impossible not to talk of sustaining its occupation. It will be a long, hard brutal war of attrition, in which the West will make Russia bleed profusely in military and economic terms.
Volodya, as a contemporary of yours in the Foreign Services of our respective countries, Nigeria and Russia, I want to appeal to you to pull back from the brink. Doing so will not be a sign of weakness or defeat, but of strength and statesmanship, which the world needs at this moment.
You have sent a clear message to the Ukrainians about your zero tolerance of their ill treatment of the Russian speaking peoples there. And you have not only sent a clear signal to countries in Europe that Russia cannot be trifled with, you have also, let the world itself come to see the famed resilience of mother Russia.
Volodya, with your boots now firmly planted in the Donbass, you have earned the right to be a major factor in the post war settlement in Ukraine.
If you announce a ceasefire now, you would earn the gratitude of a world hurting from the effects of the war in Ukraine. You will also position Russia to play a commensurate constructive role in shaping the new world order that is emerging from the ashes of the war in Ukraine.
Vladimir Vladimirovich, in the best demonstration of the Russian tradition of ‘’Druzhba’’ this is what the world expects of you at this moment of much suffering and uncertainty. You started this thing and only you can end it effectively and satisfactorily.
The ball is now in your court.
Until then I will say Do Svidanya.
Gadu resides in Abuja