When we ask whether Russia will enter Ukraine, we forget that it is already there, both in the occupied Crimea and in the Donbas, which is constantly plagued by shooting. However, the escalation of tensions at the border makes us wonder whether Putin will go further or just start a fire that will be extinguished in a moment. The fact that stationed at the borders of over 100,000 soldiers are supported by the increasingly developed military infrastructure and the supply of anti-aircraft missile batteries. Putin’s domestic policy needs may also contribute to the attack, as he may need it to strengthen public support for his presidency – as evidenced by the extremely aggressive war propaganda in the Kremlin-controlled media.
The almost inevitable harsh reaction of the world to the aggression, including sanctions which undermine the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, speaks against. Moreover, Russian generals know that this war is unwinnable because of the hatred of the Ukrainians for the aggressor and the ability of the Ukrainian army to resist (as opposed to from the situation in 2014). The Kremlin also remembers from the war in Afghanistan more than three decades ago what the public impressed with the bags of corpses of soldiers returning from the front. The most important argument against aggression, however, is that the status quo, in which the war smolders in eastern Ukraine, is convenient for Moscow because it permanently destabilizes the political and economic situation in the country.
In 2022, COVID-19 will not let Europe forget itself. Its new variant, the Omikron, is as easily spread as flu and just like flu. However, with over a million new cases a day worldwide, even a small percentage of seriously ill people are, in absolute numbers, a real tsunami that will flood hospitals and overflow morgues. It’s scary to be afraid, especially in Poland, where the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus still significantly exceeds the data we hear from other countries.
Poland will also be exposed to high inflation this year, which is admittedly high in other EU countries, but internal factors – the delayed reaction of the central bank and the resulting pro-inflationary economic policy of the government – may have much more severe consequences for us.
This year the president will be elected by the French. The favorite is the incumbent Emmanuel Macron, but he may be seriously threatened by the center-right candidate of the Republican Party, Valérie Pécresse. This is a big change compared to the situation a few weeks ago, when the far-right Marine Le Pen was considered the main competitor of Macron. For Poland, the elections in Hungary will probably be more important, where Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has an unexpectedly strong competitor – the joint candidate of the opposition, Péter Márki-Zay. If he manages to win, PiS will lose its only ally in Brussels, who protects Poland against serious EU sanctions for violating the rule of law.
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