Editor’s column: Putin’s pointless plan

The word “pointless” is a dangerous word for me. 

I tell myself how pointless it is for me to fight with people and get them angry at me over pointless projects or suggestions. It is pointless for me to argue with people about why I make some of the decisions I make. 

When I have rough days, my mind tells me it is pointless to get up. 

I try my best to avoid the word pointless, instead, I try to give meaning to everything that I do. 

So, it amazes me when an entire nation engages in a pointless war. A war that gives them no benefit other than land, which comes at the cost of thousands or even millions of lives.

There have been a few pointless wars in the last 100+ years. World War I, where countries decided to test new military technology by using Franz Ferdinand’s death as a springboard, was pointless. Vietnam was pointless, with very little to gain.  

You would think nations would try to avoid conflicts that outsiders would deem to be “pointless”. 

Insert Vladimir Putin and Russia. 

Once again, Russia decided to start a war. Why? No one really knows. Some say it was because Ukraine wanted to join NATO. Others say Russia wants Ukranian resources. Russia says it’s because they are cleansing Ukraine of Nazis, which is ironic considering Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, is Jewish, with family members that died in the Holocaust. 

With very little real reasoning and very little to gain, Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine at 5 a.m Eastern European time on Thursday morning. 

On paper, one would think that this invasion should have been over with Russia as victors. Russia has the world’s 5th largest standing army in the world at 900,000 soldiers, while Ukraine has 196,000. Yet, because everyone knows just how pointless this war is, Ukraine is defending twice as hard, and much of the world is on Ukraine’s side, giving aid, weapons and opening its borders to refugees. 

Instead of getting a roaring victory in four days, it appears everything has gone wrong for the Russian offense.  

Putin has killed thousands of his own men, alongside thousands of Ukrainians, for nothing.  

He has embarrassed himself and Russia as a whole, in front of the world for nothing.

His own citizens went out to protest Russia’s invasion, with thousands of protesters being arrested for being against Putin’s pointless war.

At the time of writing, his country’s economy is crashing, with the Russian Ruble trading at 40% lower than before the war. And if this war continues, he will need a lot of outside help to get it to recover. 

He severely underestimated Ukraine’s resolve, and put his entire regime at risk for no reason other than to try to inflate his nation’s ego.   

You would be foolish if you thought Putin would not eventually choose to put everything at risk in a desperate attempt to bring back his country’s glory days as the Soviet Union. 

His country was becoming irrelevant; the world only used the nation for its many natural resources. So, he chose to start a pointless war.  

Except, it is not pointless. Not to the people defending their homes. Not to President Zelensky, who is showing the world what a real leader looks like when a war comes to their country’s front lawn. And it is for sure not pointless to the thousands of refugees who left their homes this week to get away from the Russian army and the war that is being forced upon them. 

It was pointless for Putin, but it brought meaning to the rest of the world.