In four days it will be a year since Russian tanks entered Ukraine.
Twelve months later, we still don’t know how this conflict will end.
Are we moving towards a “Vietnamization” of the conflict? Two empires waging war through intermediate countries?
Or will Putin’s Russia, under the burden of war spending, have to leave Ukraine with its tail between its legs, as it left Afghanistan in February 1989?
Putin, who is said to be ill so has nothing to lose, will he gamble and “weigh on the summit”?
We are swimming in the fog and all options remain possible.
Even the worst.
HISTORY IN THE MIRROR
That’s why watching historical documentaries is so comforting.
We know the ending.
We know how this is all going to end.
We are able to make connections, we interpret every small event, even the most trivial, in the light of what happened at the very end.
It’s like watching a chess game in replay.
Every room move suddenly makes sense.
“Ah yes, he moved his bishop to get his opponent to push his rook to the left, then he advanced his pawn to attract his knight, and…”
We look at the past in the rearview mirror.
And we analyze every shot in the light of the outcome of the game, the relentless victory of Bobby Fischer or Garry Kasparov.
On the other hand, when you experience history “in the making,” you have absolutely no idea what to expect.
The people who went about their daily lives in the 1920s and 30s had no idea that the events that made headlines every morning would lead to one of the most terrible conflicts in history.
We see German, Polish and Austrian Jews walking, laughing and chatting in old archive films of that time, and we would like to say to them: “Pack your bags and go!” And above all, don’t go to France, because they will send you to camps there too! »
What will our great-grandchildren say when they watch the reports filmed today? What are they going to yell at us for?
What is going on behind the scenes without us knowing?
Where will the train of history take us?
And it’s terribly scary.
We want to press the Fast Forward button to know what to expect.
And to be able to prepare.
THE ALMA BRIDGE
We are like Lady Di, who has just left the Ritz in Paris at 00:10 on August 30, 1997 and is about to get into Dodi Al-Fayed’s Mercedes.
The photographers surround the car. Flashlights crackle.
Do we tell the driver to go full throttle? Or on the contrary, he should drive carefully?
What will the world look like in a year?
Did Ukrainians know what awaited them the next day as they had dinner with their families on February 23, 2022?