As events in Ukraine spiral out of expectation, while President Putin speaks his mind, other countries seem content to observe and to comment but with the clear intent of non-involvement. It is easy to stand back and utter platitudes that achieve nothing, but not so easy to accept the share of responsibility for this critical situation that is due from all of us. We have created karma, and Ukraine too is in its own distinct karmic pattern.
It is never wise to antagonise a dangerous dog, but for years the western world has chosen to disregard or disrespect a country which, and a leader who, is licking its wounds after the dissolution of its empire, the USSR; it misses the power and perhaps the fear it wielded before, and it is not so long since the Cold War between Russia and the West was the greatest global concern there was.
Putin, ex KGB, grew up and lived for those old ideals: his vision of restoring Russia to where she was before in terms of global power and influence is strong within him, and any attempt to diminish his status or that of his country does not go disregarded. So, it was a mistake (as well as rude) for most world leaders to decline to attend the Russian Winter Olympics, for President Obama to cancel a long-planned summit meeting with Putin in 2013 at the last minute, and to antagonise his Russian host unnecessarily at the G20 meeting in 2013. There have been other such snubs, and not only are they remembered by Putin but they create karma – and karma requires payback, one way or another.
What is occurring in Ukraine is Putin’s revenge, and the opportunity to retaliate is all the greater for him as a result of western failures to act and to help, to say no, in Syria and elsewhere, when we could, allowing him to become the leader of influence. We have let the dangerous dog run free.
Meanwhile, Ukraine itself is in her own pattern of karmic action and reaction: for many hundreds of years she has been taken by neighbouring countries, sometimes Poland, or Austria, or Lithuania or the USSR, or Russia, handed around like Pass the Parcel until she has forgotten who she is – if she ever knew. So, being a united one-nation is unusual, perhaps even a shock, and it may be that her karmic pattern of occupation or amalgamation with a neighbour draws her, sub-consciously, to repeating that long history of subordination.
We can help Ukraine to learn how to be a sovereign state in strength and dignity, overcoming her karma and supporting her, or we can watch her be torn apart again as Putin claims his right to karmic revenge against the world he feels is united against him and his beloved Russia and which has taken away what he believes rightfully is his – an empire.
The Russian hound is clever and angry, and intent on teaching his detractors a lesson about power: since we have helped to create this crisis in Ukraine, we have a responsibility, carefully, to help to resolve it, but it will not be easy. Our leaders have been careless, and arrogant, and this is our karmic reward. It is unfortunate, but it is fair.