We are seeing the death toll mount, attacks on civilians increase and a catastrophe unfurl.
Few expected that Putin would take the action he has or that any action would be on the scale that this invasion is on.
He did not expect the fierce resistance his poorly trained conscript army is facing nor that it would be so bogged down by incompetent leadership.
The anticipated open arms of welcome never materialised because, given a choice, who would choose the losing side of the Cold War in that clash of ideologies?
Capitalism, despite its problems, was always superior to the values represented by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Ukraine was becoming an increasingly open and prosperous democracy whilst the remnants of the USSR, what President Reagan called an “evil empire”, is mired in corruption and incompetence.
The response to this act of war from the West, has considering how few days it has been waged, been fast and robust.
Initially and before the conflict started, Britain had been sending potent defensive weapons to the Ukrainian military that had to travel around German airspace because of Germany’s excessive pacifist tendencies.
What better way to signify a weak Western position to Putin the warmonger?
It signalled that there would be a minimal backlash from a divided West.
The new German Chancellor, dispelling the legacy of his predecessor, has now reversed that position and, having previously only committed to sending 5,000 hard hats to support the Ukrainian’s defence, is now sending over some serious defensive military hardware.
History matters and I understand Germany’s reticence over significant actions in this conflict, but it has often seemed like an easy excuse to do nothing.Germany, along with Britain and the US, is now leading an increasingly united Western response to the Russian aggressors.
Switzerland has even applied sanctions on Russia and there is an almost complete blockade of Russian airspace from Cyprus to Finland.
If Western countries had been a little more robust with the Russian dictator and his coterie of oligarchs in recent years, would we now have to be acting in haste once war has commenced? No, probably not.