A Creative Solution to the Russian-Ukraine Stalemate


Gas would be flowing again within a week

Hesha Abrams

More than one hundred thousand Russian soldiers are poised freezing at the border of Russia and Ukraine. One hundred thousand Ukrainian soldiers probably terrified at the potential for destruction of their homes, families, and the deaths of thousands of their countrymen are also poised and freezing at the border.

What’s missing? It’s not endless debate and discussion among politicians. It’s the real people that will be affected by any small mistake they can catapult both sides into war. When conflict happens in your family, isn’t it usually the mother or grandmother that talks sense into everybody?

Let’s use the power of mothers and grandmothers to talk sense into everyone now. We help 100,000 Ukrainian mothers and grandmothers flood the border and supply them with endless trucks of steaming hot chocolate, coffee, sweet treats, babkas, and perogies.

Whenever possible, the mothers and grandmothers would try to also feed the Russian soldiers. It would create confusion and allow everyone to pull their fingers off the hair trigger of their weapons. By standing in the gulf between two armies, the visual and psychological impact would be extreme. Rather than tanks and rifles, the airwaves would be rapidly and effectively filled with the decompression of hostilities, which would decrease the likelihood of armed conflict.

In perfect harmony, the call could go out to Russian mothers and grandmothers to join at the border and allow their presence to encourage hostilities to dissipate.

This would provide a perfect face-saving for both sides. Everyone needs a way out with dignity and creative, unusual, and out-of-the-box solutions are often the very best solutions. There’s no defense to a scenario like this. It would rapidly and effectively change the face of the entire conflict.

The only impediment? Convincing people that it would work. Crazy bold ideas have trouble getting a sound footing. Remember President Ronald Reagan’s address at the Brandenburg Gate in 1987? He simply said, “Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall!” And that was the beginning of the end for the Berlin wall. Reagan was strongly opposed by the State Department and the National Security council. The assistant secretary of state for Eastern European affairs, a senior member of the National Security Council staff, and the ranking American diplomat in Berlin all vigorously objected. The bureaucratic consensus was that it would raise false hopes, was clumsy, and needlessly provocative.

Reagan went ahead anyway and made history by being bold.

Let’s be bold. Women don’t want their husbands, brothers, and sons freezing at the border in a political standoff over murky territorial claims. They only need a call to arms so that there is safety in numbers and a collective large group can achieve what negotiations at the bargaining table will fail to elicit. We can “do a Reagan” and be bold and creative.

All great plans are first scoffed at. As the great philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer was reputed to have said “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

Food is a great equalizer. Every single one of those soldiers, now stationed at the freezing border, is craving a hot beverage right now. Every single one of those soldiers would jump at the chance to have something good to eat. The comfort and reassurance that would come from Ukrainian and Russian grandmothers could absolutely turn the tide of this conflict.

This idea is not crazy. War is crazy without good cause. Is this conflict worth the bloodstained snow that is forecast on the near horizon? Let’s make the call and create the support for the Ukrainian and Russian mothers and grandmothers to achieve this achievable goal and wholeheartedly support them. All it takes is a hot beverage and a dessert. Small price indeed.

About the Author: Hesha Abrams, a leading mediation attorney specializing in complex matters, is the author of Holding the Calm, The Secret to resolving Conflict and Defusing Tension (July 26, 2022). HeshaAbramsMediation.com  

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