Post-Cold War Order Unravels as Russia Invades Ukraine

Russian President Putin sealed the end of the post-Cold War order in the world by announcing a military invasion of Ukraine. The liberal ‘end of history’ proves to be a delusion and a myth.

Abdullah Ayasun

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Russian tanks and missile launchers fire rockets in a drill near the Ukrainian border in September 2021. (Photo: AP).

After months of military buildup on three sides of the Ukrainian border and a flurry of Munich-like diplomatic shuttle by the war-weary Western heads of states to arrest an impending reality, President Vladimir Putin announced the much-anticipated Russian military action against Ukraine.

He described the “special military operation” as a necessary measure to “demilitarize and denazify” the Ukrainian regime, which, according to Moscow, has been launching a genocide against Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the East. The doublespeak and fact-twisting that laced Putin’s Monday and Thursday speeches beside, the Russian leader has long telegraphed his intentions to revive Russian imperium that vanished with the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century, to use his own phrase.

Early reports suggest a full-scale military assault, with explosions and blasts being heard in capital Kyiv and the north-eastern city of Kharkiv.

Putin’s move literally sealed the end of the post-Cold War order in Europe and the world. It took a little more than three decades for the official end of ‘End of History,’ the intellectual declaration by Francis Fukuyama to mark the triumph of Western liberalism following the defeat of the communist Soviet Union in 1989. The deceptive tranquility and liberal optimism that ran the course during the 1990s despite the horrors in Rwanda, Bosnia Herzegovina, and Kosovo ultimately proved wrong.

While the world entered new territory after the 9/11 attacks against the U.S. in 2001, Europe remained relatively calm so far now. No great war has ever taken place in the old continent since WWII. That…

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Abdullah Ayasun

Boston-based journalist and writer. Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. 2023 WHCA Scholar. On art, culture, politics and everything in between. X: @abyasun