Lavrov and the obsolescence of society

When Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, he and Russia discarded centuries of science, culture and diplomatic engagement not to mention common sense, writes Peter Polack.

The comity among countries carefully nurtured in the post-World War 2 period has been rendered meaningless in one fell swoop. No amount of intervention was able to relent the bloodletting and the numerous calls from world leaders did not stop a single rocket, bomb or bullet from destroying children, women and the elderly. International diplomacy has been castrated by a rogue super state, so what now?

There are already murmurs, particularly among some United Kingdom politicians, that the sanctions will remain until the Russians withdraw from Ukraine. The voters should disabuse them of that view come the next election.

The sanctions should remain for a hundred years or until free and fair elections are held and prospective leaders like Alexei Navalny are released to contest a fair referendum on leadership.

The world has forced this template on countries behaving in a similar manner in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. There is no need to change that reliable course of action.

Putin’s main conspirator is Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov, the dethroned king of diplomacy who ran the vessel of engagement onto the rocks.

A fluent Sinhalese speaker who departed his posting in Sri Lanka just before the country descended into the violent horrors of a civil war, he is intimately familiar with the concept of Balkanization. Diplomats worldwide would have had contact with Lavrov over many years in many countries without a clue as to the Russian end game now presented in all its gory detail.

These diplomats have all been made obsolete by the Russian aggression and they should probably look for another line of work - there are many openings on the front lines of Irpin, Kherson or Mariupol...


Peter Polack is a former criminal lawyer in the Cayman Islands for several decades. His books are The Last Hot Battle of the Cold War: South Africa vs. Cuba in the Angolan Civil War (2013), Jamaica, The Land of Film (2017) and Guerrilla Warfare: Kings of Revolution (2019). He was a contributor to Encyclopedia of Warfare (2013). Polack worked as a part-time reporter for Reuters News Agency in the Cayman Islands 2014-16.

His work has been published in Small Wars Journal, Defence Procurement International, American Intelligence Journal, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center magazine, Military Times, Foreign Policy News, EU Today, Radio Free Europe, VOA Portuguese, South Africa Times, Africa Monitor, Folha de Sao Paulo, NODAL Cultura, Caribbean Life, Jamaque Paradis, History Cooperative, INews Cayman, Jamaica Gleaner, Miami Herald, Reuters and The New York Times. His latest book entitled Soviet Spies Worldwide: Country by Country, 1940–1988 will be published by McFarland in 2022.

The book is a compendium of Russian espionage activities with nearly five hundred Soviet spies expelled from nearly 100 countries worldwide. In April 2021 he completed Only the Young Shall Die by with Jack McCain USNR about raising the age of military enlistment. He is currently doing research on a curated collection entitled War In Pictures of almost 1,000 images throughout several conflicts over many centuries.

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