Sandra Chapman: There is no place for the Putins of this world

There can be nothing more heart-breaking than to see young children, clutching luggage, trying to hold on to a mother’s hand, fear on their faces mixed with tears and desperation.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 4th March 2022, 10:36 am
A woman carries her child as she arrives at the Medyka border crossing after fleeing from the Ukraine, in Poland,
A woman carries her child as she arrives at the Medyka border crossing after fleeing from the Ukraine, in Poland,

There can be nothing more heart-breaking than to see young children, clutching luggage, trying to hold on to a mother’s hand, fear on their faces mixed with tears and desperation.

Ukraine is a tragedy these little ones should never have had to experience.

But they have. Peace and comfort is a long way off for them and so is a good night’s sleep, warm, clean clothes and a good breakfast.

Mothers are in tears, fathers struggle to keep dry eyed as they try to protect their families when they know that anytime they could be called back to join their fellowmen left behind to keep the better equipped enemy at bay.

These are awful times for what was a peaceful country where the young were encouraged to go to university, mothers worked to bolster family funds, elderly relatives were treated with humanity and respect and visitors were welcome.

Not unlike our own country, in fact.

Yes we still have those who wish to take away our desire to remain part of the United Kingdom, who have killed and maimed in the process and destroyed families.

But nothing on the scale of what is happening now in Ukraine.

I have never been to Russia nor would I contemplate going there after it’s dreadful attack on a peaceful neighbour state.

Of course there are Russians who don’t like what is happening. Perhaps this is more out of fear of losing what they themselves have.

National newspapers constantly suggest that ordinary Russian people do not approve of what their hierarchy is doing.

Perhaps they were deprived of their wish to change, to be more like the rest of us living in relative peace and getting on with their lives.

Yet despots, Putin has been referred to as that often in the past week, see nothing but their own vision of life and how it should be run with them in charge.

British history is littered with despots, just think of Henry VIII.

He thought nothing of disposing of those who opposed him, even those who didn’t, like the wife he beheaded for no purposeful reason other than he had wanted to marry someone else.

This streak of inhumanity follows generations.

Putin is as mad and bad as any despot in the past – he has always kept his family connections secret – because despots like the idea of power in their hands only – and there are more like him in other countries particularly where women have no say about anything.

The idea that Liz Truss – our Foreign Secretary – could one day hold down an important political job like Prime Minister just wouldn’t occur to Putin and his ilk.

Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May had their strengths and their weaknesses but overall they did their best for us given the difficult times they were in - May was faced with Brexit and Thatcher retained the Falkland Islands, two different spheres of politics but difficult nonetheless.

We all survived the ups and downs and no doubt there will be more to come.

But seeing a country like Ukraine with a modern society of young working parents and busy students trying to get an education being roped into a ghastly war for which they were ill-prepared is heart-breaking.

Yet, so afraid of contracting Covid is the man behind it all that he needs a table 20 feet long to distance himself from the world figures who have come to negotiate for peace and fairness.

We can scoff at him, even wish him dead, but he’s not listening.

In the end Hitler didn’t listen either.

He didn’t survive but his people did.