After months of building up a huge, powerful force surrounding its neighbour, Russia on Thursday (Feb 24) began what many regarded as unthinkable a few weeks ago: An invasion of Ukraine.
Despite President Vladimir Putin’s declaration that he had ordered a “special military operation” — what most initially took to mean limited armed action in the self-declared independent areas in the eastern part of the country — reports from correspondents on the ground revealed this to be an all-out assault, with explosions heard in many cities.
Apart from news junkies and others interested in international affairs, the gathering clouds of war in Europe attracted little interest in Singapore.
Various media outlets have tried to frame the issue, and its impact on us, in terms that most Singaporeans would relate to: Rising prices, supply chain disruptions and the like.
These impacts will hurt our wallets, and there is nothing more likely to make us perk up than having to pay more at the pump or supermarket, or having our orders from Amazon delayed.
But these explainers miss a larger, and much more important, point. The invasion of a sovereign nation by a much more powerful one rubs up against a fundamental tenet of Singapore — adherence to international law.