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Yesterday, I became one of only 50 people Ronnie Apteker has allowed to see a magnificent documentary on the character of Ukrainian people. It’s a masterpiece that Apteker has been working on for a few years, showing how adept the pioneering internet entrepreneur has become in his passion of making movies – and how easy it must be for anyone who lived in Kyiv to fall in love with its people. Perhaps that’s why former Kyiv resident, British diplomat Cormac Smith, was so direct during our interview this week. The way a self-admittedly broken-hearted Ronnie tells it, his new homeland was on a growth path that would have made Kyiv the next Berlin. In his piece blog post below, the Witsie who graduated cum laude in his computer science MSc shares, once again opens his heart. And shares his conviction that Ukraine will win. He prays for the nightmare to end. We join him. – Alec Hogg
By Ronnie Apteker
Can Ukraine win this war? And, what does that even mean. My initial thought was that of one nation beating the other. In Russia’s case, it is simple: wipe out the Ukrainian army, and take over the capital, and put a puppet government in place. Russia certainly has a way bigger military, more weaponry, and a lot more resources. But they will not win.
What does it mean for Ukraine to win? Remember, Ukraine did not want a war with Russia, or anyone else for that matter, and Ukraine was growing their economy and getting on with the job. Ukraine would rather co-exist with Russia, as it did before 2014, than fight. I believe Ukraine will win this war, but in Ukraine’s case they do not need to conquer Russia or wipe out their army.
Ukraine just wants Russia to leave them alone. Ukraine wants to keep growing its economy and adding value to the world, which it does well, in terms of agriculture, IT, design, property development, art, fashion, music, tourism, and much much more. For Ukraine to win this war they need Russia to stop. And for Russia to stop they need Putin to be removed (and hopefully taken out). I believe this is a very real possibility.
If Ukraine can hold off the Russian army it will wear down Putin and his inner circle. And this is where Ukraine can and will win. The Russian elite are for sure feeling the Western squeeze and the longer this war continues the more they will all be miserable. To the point where they will tell their buddy Putin that enough is enough. If Putin does not win his mad ego driven war soon (he will not), I believe this is going to be his downfall, and a regime change will take place. And Ukraine will win.
There are of course many terrifying aspects of this insane and unnecessary war. What if Putin drops a big bomb on Ukraine. He said he is prepared to use a small nuclear device, whatever that means. I doubt the West will continue to sit back and watch if something like this takes place. This situation is all so volatile and it could escalate fast and before you know it will be WW III.
If anyone still doubts what Putin is capable of then you are living in some other fantasy world. Do not be naive. We were naive. We all thought it was one big bluff. The day the war start, and our building shook from the first bombs that were dropped, we were also naive. Not any more. We left Kyiv on the second day of air raid sirens and bomb blasts, and we were terrified.
Russia is failing and Ukraine is thriving. Ukraine is growing fast. Russia is going backwards. I believe Putin wants WW III. I may be wrong, but I will bet he does. I don’t believe though that his elite circle wants this. I think Putin is on his own mission and God help us all if he is not stopped. We have seen this movie before and it does not end well.
Ukraine is Putin’s kryptonite and it is just a matter of time before he is taken out. The big painful question is: at what cost? If they keep firing rockets into Ukraine they could kill so many people and destroy so much infrastructure that it takes decades for Ukraine to recover. And then there are all the ancient historical treasures in Kyiv, and throughout the country. If these all get destroyed then Ukraine will be seriously wounded.
Please God this nightmare ends soon. Ukraine is fighting for the whole world here and is hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. Ukraine will win. Putin has already lost.
Ukraine will win because they know what they are fighting for.
One last thing: it is not The Ukraine – it is Ukraine – the largest country in Europe.
- Message for ‘confused’ SA from formerly embedded advisor in Ukraine, erstwhile UK-diplomat Cormac Smith
- Putin’s high-risk gamble – Russia counts the costs
- Vlad unclad as the tide turns – Financial Times
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.