Even though panic, helplessness and conflicts were expected, the past year was about serenity, sanctions and solidarity – writes Wojciech Jakóbik, editor in chief at BiznesAlert.pl.
After February 24th 2022 the Kremlin’s regime three-day special operation was supposed to conquer Ukraine. It turned out that the offensive was a failure and Ukraine just might recapture Crimea. The Ukrainians enjoy the West’s support similar to the lend and lease program that made it possible for the Soviet Union to beat Nazi Germany. In return, the empire enslaved half of Europe for half a century. Only now the people of this area are liberating themselves, and with the Ukrainians in the process of creating a national identity it is becoming apparent that other post-Soviet nations are also eying independence, including Armenia, Kazakhstan and other republics that are raising their heads thanks to the Kremlin being weak. A year ago, experts said that Ukraine would collapse and the government in Kyiv would be changed to a pro-Kremlin one, but today they are asking how the world should handle the challenges that may arise if the Russian Federation breaks apart.
The West was supposed to fall apart and be hit by an energy crisis, and instead Putin’s gas station is shutting down at his own doing. Russia’s Gazprom has been fueling the energy crisis since the summer of 2021 by raising natural gas prices, and then spiking energy prices. The February attack on Ukraine shot up the prices of oil and other fuels to record levels, putting an additional strain on supply chains accelerating the inflation in the West. The Russians fed us a future of hamsters being eaten and cities freezing. Nothing like that happened. Russia starts the year with a 46 percent drop in hydrocarbon revenues in January 2023 and a 4.9 percent drop in gross domestic product in December 2022. This is only official data that can be falsified by the Kremlin, as it was happening until the very end of the Soviet Union.
The West was supposed to panic and get divided in the face of the energy, economic and military crisis in Europe. Meanwhile, despite the Kremlin’s misinformation, the passing year has been calm, marked with new sanctions imposed on the satrapy, and solidarity with Ukraine that is counting its dollars and euros that allow it to plan a counter-offensive. I wish myself and our readers that the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the last one, and in February 2024, work is already underway to rebuild Ukraine and reform the Russian Federation for the good of the world and its own citizens, many of whom will be brought to justice for the crimes committed against Ukrainians.
3S: serenity, sanctions, solidarity.