Every war is a defeat of peace. Every war is pain, suffering and death. In every war, peace is a complex journey of reconstruction. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has awakened from their torpor European countries accustomed to the idea that war was someone else’s problem. The world is, in fact, troubled by numerous conflicts, mostly in Africa and Asia, but virtually all continents are affected (see The armed conflict location and event data project, in https://acleddata.com). The map shows the tragedy of the “Third World War in Pieces,” about which Pope Francis has long spoken.
The international bodies that should be working to ease tensions and defuse conflicts seem powerless. When they began their task, at the end of the Second World War, Maritain hoped for the formation of “a supra-national community founded not on treaties, based on the authority of States, but on a sort of constitution of the world.” Despite the utopian reach of these intentions and the progress made in the last 70 years, unfortunately the adage that “the spirit lags behind events” still applies. “We are tragically late, as economic, military and identity interests trump thoughts of peace” (Fabio Mazzocchio, “Il realismo della pace e le sue condizioni”, in https://rivistadialoghi.it/il-realismo-della-pace-e-le-sue-condizioni).
The war in Ukraine, which for years has been fought unobtrusively – “a low-intensity conflict” experts called it – within the Donbass region, has now exploded in all its violence. After February 24, 2022, an effective communication strategy touched the consciences of Italian, and more widely European public opinion. Democratic governments and international organizations quickly approved the proposal to isolate the aggressor country with an unprecedented embargo (cf. Fernando de la Iglesia Viguiristi, Le conseguenze economiche della guerra di Putin, in Civ. Catt. 2022 II 239-253).