Wire stories today report Russian troops giving Ukrainian troops an ultimatum--surrender or we'll open fire. It makes you wonder whether history really does repeat itself, at least sort of, some of the time,
Once upon a time, before and after World War II, we didn't have lots of countries in that part of the world, just one great big one, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the USSR for short. It was mighty, a nuclear power like the United States. Many feared the two would have a nuclear war and destroy the planet. We didn't.
The Soviet Union dissolved in 199l; the big war never happened; and all those other countries that existed before it swallowed them—Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine and so on-- came back to life.
What happens now? I have no idea. Russia, we know, has nuclear arms. Ukraine may too.
All we really know for sure is that the game goes on. The stakes could be very high and I really don't want to play.