In June 1991, when the war broke up in Yugoslavia, I had the chance to be a close observer.
I was taking part in a Conference in Prague with the Johns Hopkins University in a long-lasting program connected to east-west “cultural” relations. The program also included several scholars and professionals from Yugoslavia and other eastern European countries except Soviet Union and DDR.
President Havel invited a selected panel of us to write and issue a statement about the situation. While we were discussing, Germany (Kohl) and the US (who in Prague was represented by the former tip-tap-girl Shirley Temple at the time US ambassador in Czechoslovakia) hastily recognized the new Republics without any concern about possible reactions by the legitimate Yugoslavian government. The secession had been prepared in the previous decades by the participants in the conference and a couple of the panel members. The creation of a sphere of influence and the secessions of post Yugoslavia republics were the real goals of the program. All the participants in the panel and many more had been involved in onsite intelligence for thirty+ years. It’s hard to believe they were not aware of the likely consequences of the possible options on the table.
Some of us suggested to slow down unilateral recognition and negotiate it with the legitimate Yugoslavian government to avoid possible confrontational reactions.
No way! Americans pressed the Germans (who immediately obeyed, proving political subservientness) and the other sycophantic European allies, though hesitantly, hastened the recognition. We were informed that only the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Gianni de Michelis, proposed to slow down the secession process but eventually had to concede.
We all know what happened in the following years in the Balkans with NATO and US bombing and a lot of killings.
Following a wiser approach, President Havel took time to negotiate the separation of Czech Republic from Slovakia, and it happened peacefully notwithstanding several problems especially with the Hungarian minority.
The morale is: sometimes one wise person (or part) can avoid wars even among warmongers criminals.
The Russia recognition of the two new republics in Ukraine is one of the many violations of international law (mostly of them have been perpetrated all around the world by the US) which can only imply more bloodshed if the reaction is stupid. How much does it help to insult Putin by calling him a murderer (Biden)? What does it imply refusing any negotiation? Is it a peace policy to systematically denigrate the counterpart and provoke it in every possible way? Does it help to exhibit an anything-but-proved morale superiority?