Posted on February 17 Updated on 2/17/2023 5:00 PM 2023 at 5:06 PM
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This is the first high-intensity war between two European nations since 1945. After a year of fighting on Ukrainian soil to repel the Russian invasion that began on February 24, 2022, the scale of human casualties and destruction is dramatic. Mariupol or Butcha, formerly unknown cities, are now inscribed in a geography of horror for the whole world. The war does not seem to be over yet, and there are even fears of a Russian offensive in the east.
Russia continues to speak of only a special operation, but the war in Ukraine would already be one of the deadliest of the 21st century. No official census, but estimates speak of 30 to 40,000 civilians killed, 20 to 25,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed in battle against 45 to 50,000 Russian soldiers. But what the conflict has also destroyed is a geopolitical balance that extends beyond the borders of Ukraine and Russia.
The Russian regime was not what Europeans believed, and they were slow to recognize the threat when Vladimir Putin massed his troops on Ukraine’s borders in late 2021. The mask fell, plunging the European Union, which traded extensively with it, particularly for its hydrocarbons, into a severe energy crisis. The sad event helped close European ranks. Now it seems certain to them that Ukraine shouldn’t lose. What would happen to their follow-up if Russia managed to swallow their neighbor?
La Story is a Les Echos podcast presented by Pierrick Fay. This episode was taped in February 2023. Editor-in-Chief: Clémence Lemaitre. Guest: Yves Bourdillon (journalist at “Les Echos”). Directed by Willy Ganne. Production and publishing director: Michèle Warnet. Music: Theo Boulenger. Graphic identity: Upian. Photo: Portal/Marko Djurica. Sounds: TF1, Kalush Orchestra “Stefania” (2022), Lady Gaga “Poker Face” (2009), La Gazette, Euronews, BFM TV.
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