And that brings me to another point. In years to come the Ukraine Crisis will be the stuff of history, and all the emphasis will be academic. The talk will be of politics, diplomacy and strategy. Any mention of displaced people, abused minorities, a few thousand deaths and a few thousand bereaved families will be made only in passing. That’s because when we view situations from a distance, be it temporal or spatial, it’s the twin issues of power and control which we consider important and find interesting, not the suffering of people. And that’s because issues of power and control have a much longer legacy than the suffering of people.
To me, that seems sadly the wrong way round. The whole point of studying history is supposed to be about the learning of lessons, and the suffering of people should, therefore, be paramount.