I wrote a post about this on the same date last year. You can find it here and it mentions the danger to Ukraine of a Russian invasion. Sadly that forecast was all too acurate. This is really a follow up to that post.
I think that it is probably valid to draw some parallels between the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on the 7th of December 1941 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the 24th of February 2022. Both were made with no prior declaration of war. True, the Russians announced a ‘Special Military Operation’ (whatever that was supposed to mean) just minutes beforehand. The Japanese had intended to do the same, but could not because the embassy in Washington took a too long manually decoding the message from their government. This was because their government had ordered that the decoding machines be destroyed earlier in case they fell into American hands. In both cases the build up to the attacks were there for the world to see. The massing of Russian forces on the borders of Ukraine and spurious invented reasons for the attack, and Japan’s ever widening conflict with its neighbours.
In both wars the aggressor nations repeatedly acted outside of the normal rules of warfare and the Geneva convention. Both achieved a fair measure of success in the early stages of their respective conflicts. The Russian armed forces occupied great swathes of Ukraine’s North, East and South. The Japanese ran through the Pacific Islands, Malaya, Burma, Borneo and came close to the north of Australia. Both seemed to be unstoppable. But that was not the case.
Eventually the Allied forces began to overcome the Japanese, many see turning point as being the Battle of Midway on the 3rd of June 1942. After that date the Japanese were slowly forced out of all of the areas they had so quickly conquered. And we can see that happening in Ukraine now too. The momentum has pivoted in the defender’s favour. Now we can all begin to hope that the final outcome there might follow a similar path. That would see Russia pushed back to its 1991 borders, with a spent military force and a whole slew of folk appearing before War Crimes Tribunals.
I just hope that this time there will be no use of the ultimate deterrent by either side.