Står vi foran en massakre, der ikke kan løses med diplomatiske midler?
The steel plant in Mariupol is turning into a humanitarian disaster while the world is watching
Are we facing a massacre that wil not be solved through diplomacy?
Are there new reports about the discovery of new mass graves and more signs of massive human rights violations in Ukraine on today´s news? Is there a new account from a horrified woman with a rushed adrenaline fused voice or the sound of deep grief standing in front of a tv-reporter?
Several times a day I check the news and my podcasts. What’s the latest developments in Ukraine? Where are the Russian forces, how are the Ukrainians doing? I find myself wondering if I am borderline morbid, if it is tasteless to follow a development where people’s lives and horrific circumstances unfold before my eyes, while I intensely follow the development as if I was watching some kind of Netflix series.
“Why am I and the rest of the world just sitting here, waiting for what is going to happen next to the surrounded soldiers and civilians at the steel plant in Mariupol ?
I am fairly sure I cannot be the only one feeling this way. If you look at the news coverage of the war in Ukraine, there must be viewers like me following the development closely. The war in Ukraine is covered massively by news outlets, experts of all sorts are brought in to explain the geography and military movement in Ukraine to the viewers while pointing to an electronic map, military experts and politicians are interviewed about the latest development, and every day journalists in Ukraine are ready with a new affected Ukrainian citizen telling his or her personal horror story.
I remember the feeling of constant alert from the first year of the Corona virus. The feeling that it was crucial, a necessity to get the most current details, graphs, personal accounts to better understand and figure out the best way to handle my own life and my family’s situation.
But the truth is, the more I try to understand, the less I actually understand. Of the horrors, of the slow reaction of the Western states, of the human psyche. It should not come as a surprise – it was after all in the high school’s ancient knowledge classes, I became acquainted with the phrase “I know, I know nothing”.
So why do we follow developments so intensely when we are powerless and the only thing many of us can do is to send donations? Why am I and the rest of the world sitting in front of our screens waiting, watching in slow-motion, for what is going to happen to the surrounded soldiers and civilians at the steel plant in Mariupol?
It is an accepted and convenient truth that humanitarian disasters must be resolved through diplomacy. But what happens when one humanitarian corridor after another is either canceled or much smaller than agreed upon? What happens when the Russian forces move closer and closer and hermetically hold women, children and the elderly in an iron grip, where it is only a matter of time before either there is no more food or they are stormed? Is it still, then, up to diplomacy to let the Russian bear call the shots and use the West in their sick manipulatory propaganda program?
As an individual citizen it is hard to to anything about the situation in Mariupol, isn´t it? Think about it. Had it not been for individuals taking the initiative when Russia invaded Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians would have arrived in Poland without a roof over their heads. Before the politicians were done negotiating solutions, individuals in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Poland, and many other countries felt compelled to do something.
The steel plant in Mariupol is what we are all watching these days, watching and waiting for what is going to happen. One one hand side I want to yell: “Do something! The West must send forces and get people out, this ends in a terrible disaster!”
On the other hand, the consequences of what a military intervention from the West would mean for Europe is beyond what I can fathom. Would this be the beginning of a great war in which the western countries, including Denmark, was at war with Russia and its allies?
So here I am, watching. I do believe, everyone can contribute change – if nothing else then with donations and shouting from the rooftops. But when you cannot act in other ways, we in the West have learned to trust a political solution through diplomacy. Let’s hope for a diplomatic solution before a massacre in Mariupol unfold on our screens.