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Nigerian Professor on Russia-Ukraine war

By Tony Afejuku
01 April 2022   |   3:42 am
Let me serve my readers today, this Friday’s, menu and dish on Russia-Ukraine war. This dish which you shall relish comes in the form of the sole subject of an interview a Nigerian professor in Eastern Europe granted me a few weeks back.

Dark smoke and flames rise from a fire following an air strike in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, on March 26, 2022. – At least five people wounded in two strikes on Lviv, the regional governor said, in a rare attack on a city that has escaped serious fighting since Russian troops invaded last month. (Photo by Ronaldo SCHEMIDT and RONALDO SCHEMIDT / AFP)

Let me serve my readers today, this Friday’s, menu and dish on Russia-Ukraine war. This dish which you shall relish comes in the form of the sole subject of an interview a Nigerian professor in Eastern Europe granted me a few weeks back. The Nigerian professor is a definitive expert on Eastern European affairs with particular expertise in Russian-Ukraine political and historical encounters. I am deliberately blotting out his identity here, including his current abode in Eastern Europe – although he has been entering and leaving Russia and Ukraine as he pleases for years. He is more than handsomely fluent in the languages of both countries as well as those of Georgia, Belarus and Poland, etc. Absorb the tongue of the Nigerian in his mask.

Columnist: I have just seen the video of Russia’s massacre in cold blood of some Ukrainians, some of whom got up untouched and intact after the Russian fire blackened out, so to speak. Did you see the video in question?

Professor: Yes. A fake video. Yes. No doubt. Clearly a production by an anti-Russian group. It is part of the Russian-Ukrainian war. Every war has its own catalogue of lies and misinformation and dis-information.

Columnist: How far can or will Russia go especially as NATO countries are pouring weapons into Ukraine and risking a dangerous conflict with Russia?

Professor: The war is entering a very dangerous phase. The United States is plotting to provoke Russia into attacking a NATO country like Poland so that NATO’s Article 4 could be invoked to declare a NATO-Russia war. Let us hope Russian does not fall into this trap.

Columnist: So U.S wants Russia to be trapped and crushed?
Professor: That is the plan. That is their plan. A weak and subservient Russia is the goal of the U.S.
Columnist: Will the U.S succeed in this plan? Will China not enter the war in support of Russia? You are a live-and-on-the-ground witness and expert. We are interested in your answer – you not being an armchair commentator and researcher or am I wrong?

Professor: First, Russia must not attack knowingly or otherwise a NATO country. Second, China may stir its Taiwan pot. I see Chinese military involvement in the Russian-Ukrainian war as a bit remote.

Columnist: Let us go back to the scene of the “dead” Ukrainian soldiers or non-soldiers murdered during the Russian “invasion”…

Professor: Ukraine live TV supposedly filming dead persons killed during the invasion. But during filming, one of the dead woke up adjusting his/her dress for comfortable posture…Ha ha ha!!! Someone rushed to him or her, “die, die, you fool, you are on live TV, die” Ha ha ha!!! Propaganda that went wrong, that had gone wrong.

Columnist: Very hilarious!!! Truly very hilarious!!! Ha ha ha!!! If I may go back to the Chinese interest in the war; I saw a video in which a Chinese senior official was threatening the U.S. and making specific reference to the intention of the U.S. to embolden Taiwan Independent Forces… Is China apparently not more concern with its own problems, with its own China-Taiwan problems than with Russian-Ukraine war and America’s interest there?

Professor: Not at all…
Columnist: Is this not contradicting your earlier remark/observation?
Professor: Not at all. I said: “Second, China may stir its Taiwan pot.”
Columnist: Let China do as it pleases China until America does as it pleases America. Phew!
Professor: My position does not change.
Columnist: The UN General Assembly reportedly dealt Russia an “overwhelming diplomatic defeat over Ukraine invasion,” losing a vote there by a staggering margin of 141 – 5 after an “emergency debate…” What is the way out now for Putin? This is a mighty blow that is mightier than a mighty blow. Do you agree?

Professor: He is in a huge fix. Putin is in a huge fix, a very tight corner with little or no space to engineer a successful operation. My view is that he will continue with his plot to take over a significant proportion of Ukrainian territory, while the sanctions are grinding Russian economy to a halt. The endgame for the Kremlin seems to be a divided Ukraine with the Russian sector under Russian control, while the Ukrainian sector will be forced to be a neutral state with its neutrality guaranteed by an international treaty. We shall see.

Columnist: How does this scenario benefit Ukraine? Or will this scenario of a divided Ukraine begin to benefit Ukraine in a short or long run? Or will Ukraine fight to finish?

Professor: A weakened and defeated Ukraine will have little choice in determining the endgame. Assuming that the U.S. and its allies elect to intervene militarily (via their foot soldiers, etc.), Ukraine will be turned into a battlefield that we have not seen since 1945. Will this scenario invite the White House and the Kremlin to release their respective arsenals? It could happen. However, in the absence of U.S./NATO military intervention, Russia will accept a ceasefire only after it has achieved what it set out as its minimum goal.

Columnist: But I am seeing America and its allies strangulating and sinking Putin and Russia without Biden and America firing any bullet at the Kremlin. The diplomatic isolation and economic noose will eventually do the work for Biden, NATO, the EU and Ukraine. Maybe my projection is a non-projection. I insist you should please talk again on this. Or you won’t?

Professor: There is no doubt about the effect the sanctions and diplomatic isolation are having on Russia. But that will not make Russia to capitulate. How far will the West allow Ukraine to disintegrate? Ukraine is like a baby held up from the balcony by a fugitive threatening to drop it from a 30-storey building.

Columnist: Please explain the metaphor. Ukraine is strong enough to survive from a 30-storey building even in its baby state. Ukraine is a very determined baby unwilling to cease to exist, I think. Or?

Professor: I am not doubting Ukraine’s determination to exist, but the question is whether the collective will to fight a losing battle at a huge human cost is strong enough? Is the baby strong enough to be a full-grown man now?

Columnist: Ukrainians don’t want to lose their democratic freedoms and other democratic advantages, no matter what. Is this not what is giving them their manly manliness?

Professor: The outcome of the war and the subsequent peace treaty and other matters will determine the future structure of Ukraine.

Columnist: We shall continue our delicious discussion and splendid interview in the coming days. What a sumptuous time we have had!

Professor: Interview?
Columnist: Interview? I think so. Or have I ambushed you as Putin has ambushed Ukraine? But be unworried. Your identity will be blotted out. I won’t allow Pandemonium Putin bring pandemonium to you where you are in Eastern Europe. We are fellow comrades and activists. But you are deliciously objective. You have been sumptuously objective.

Professor: Thanks, Comrade. You decide: to blot out or not to blot out my identity. We are courageous enough to stand before truth and face truth. No matter the circumstances. No matter our circumstances.

Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.