Why appeasement never stops aggressors
It seems to me that the West is naively expecting that Russian aggression can be stopped only by sanctions, UN resolutions and rulings of international courts.
Interestingly, according to some historians, it's the terrible human losses in World War II that explain the wave of post-war pacifism and the overwhelming support of the European population for the appeasement of that period's aggressors - Germany, Italy, and Japan.
The conditional list of historical appeasers could start from British Foreign Secretary John Simon, who, on March 22, 1932, in his Parliament address on the aggression of Japan in China, said that toward Japan, the British government could only act in a friendly and conciliatory manner. Further on, this list could include another acclaimed British politician, Austin Chamberlain, who on February 27, 1933, during a parliamentary debate on the Manchurian crisis, said: "When these troubles began in Manchuria the facts were obscure, and, having regard to the long continued and severe provocation which the Japanese had suffered at the hands of China, my sympathies were wholly with Japan."
However, the classic case in the history of the appeasement diplomacy is the Munich Conspiracy of 1938, when Britain, France, Italy and Germany together destroyed the only democratic East European state at that time – Czechoslovakia
However, the classic case in the history of the appeasement diplomacy is the Munich Conspiracy of 1938, when Britain, France, Italy and Germany together destroyed the only democratic East European state at that time – Czechoslovakia.
At the same time, the appeasers of that period persistently persuaded Prague, which had a powerful military industry and a rather capable army, not to resist the attacker, because it "could cause a pan-European war." No wonder a well-known British historian Norman Davis called Munich one of the most horrific capitulations in history.
In his book World War II, Winston Churchill wrote about Britain's then prime minister Neville Chamberlain: "His all pervading hope was to go down in history as the great Peacemaker."
By the way, it was then that the "epidemic of appeasement" first affected the fate of Ukraine, since under the conspiracy of Nazi Germany and Hungary, the modern Zakarpattia, which at that time was an autonomous part of Czechoslovakia, was arbitrarily and contrary to the will of the people transferred under Budapest's control.
Many in today's world don't want to notice this: some are frankly afraid of unpredictable nuclear Russia, some passively observe, selfishly worried only about their wealth, hoping for some compromise to be reached
With the end in the 1990s of the confrontation between the U.S. and Soviet Union and the rapid expansion of globalization, which meant an increase in intergovernmental interdependence, at last, it seemed, the time would come to recognize and respect the rights of smaller states and peoples. Unfortunately, this did not happen.
Apparently, today one can agree that the flywheel of the next global conflict has actually been launched: it can be seen in the aggressive actions on the part of Russia, Moscow's attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of the countries in the post-Soviet space, the ever higher rates of the global arms race, and an increase in the level of tensions in Middle East and Asia, as well as in the construction of the Nord Stream 2...
Many in today's world don't want to notice this: some are frankly afraid of unpredictable nuclear Russia, some passively observe, selfishly worried only about their wealth, hoping for some compromise to be reached.
And some naively expect that aggression can only be stopped by economic sanctions, UN resolutions and decisions of international courts.
Oleh Bielokolos is a Director of the Department for International Bilateral Relations at the Maidan of Foreign Affairs NGO.