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28 September, 2022
 
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Op-ed: Winter, Putin's ally

Twice in the history of Europe, two Great Powers on the continent attempted to crush Russia, but winter saved her

Opinion

Opinion

by Kostas Iordanidis

     cior@otenet.gr

Twice in the history of Europe, the two Great Powers of the continent attempted to crush Russia. On June 24, 1812, the Great Army under the leadership of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Russia from the territory of present-day Poland.

The Russian army under the new commander, Mikhail Kutuzov, avoided engagement, constantly retreating, and finally on the 14th of September Bonaparte led an army of 100,000 into the deserted city of Moscow. In vain he awaited a peace proposal from the Tsar. But the great ally of the Russians, winter, came and the Great Army was decimated. Bonaparte's prestige was shattered, the course of the Emperor's fall began, and Europe breathed a sigh of relief.

Some simply wonder whether US President Joe Biden had foreseen that in the first six months after the outbreak of the war, Moscow would increase its revenues by 158 billion euros

On 22 June 1941, Adolf Hitler launched an attack on the Soviet Union of Joseph Stalin, his former ally at the beginning of World War II. At first, the German advance was impressive. Only this time the Soviet resistance was stubborn, culminating in the Battle of Stalingrad, which ended months later with the surrender of the Germans. Once again, Moscow's ally was the Russian winter.

The current Kremlin ruler Putin is leaving Europe exposed to the mercy of winter by cutting off the flow of gas in reaction to the EU's decision to impose a cap on Russian gas prices. Authoritarian and intransigent, he is beyond any doubt an example to be avoided at all costs for the current situation in Western Europe. But in our times, in a war - even by proxy - diplomatic rudeness has no place.

Some simply wonder whether the leader of the West, US President Joe Biden, and his associates with whom he devised the 'strategy' of eliminating Putin by imposing the harshest sanctions, had foreseen that in the first six months after the outbreak of the miserable Russian-Ukrainian war, Moscow would increase its revenues by 158 billion euros while Washington's European allies would struggle to tidy up the mess.

The answer to the previous question has no practical value. The leaders of Western Europe will still be siding with Mr. Biden. Simply because they have lost whatever political clout they were once supposed to have. With this in mind, we are heading into winter.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

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