Since the war started in Ukraine a year ago, most mainstream Western pundits, politicians and public intellectuals have been outraged that the rest of the world has not been as outraged as they are. A new survey , carried out by the European Council on Foreign Relations, has made a valiant effort to find out why. The survey’s title says it all, “United West, divided from the rest”. Of course, most non-Westerners are puzzled by the West’s incomprehension and self-righteousness because there is a very simple answer – it’s your war, not ours. What’s worse is that instead of containing and localising it, you are deliberately turning it into a global problem for everyone! The council should be commended, as do the survey’s three principal authors, for finding out what has been obvious to many people around the world, but perhaps not in the West, especially those who work in the news media. Its research efforts are especially remarkable given that one of the authors, Timothy Garton Ash, has been the typical liberal hawk against Putin’s Russia. A professor at Oxford and senior fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution, at Stanford University, Ash has been one of the most distinguished historians of this generation. He has also consistently advocated the most hard-line position for the West to take in the war. The survey is testimony to his intellectual honesty. In Russia-Ukraine war, more disastrous phase could lie ahead Fellow survey colleague Mark Leonard is the author of the bestselling Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century , first published in 2005 and according to its book cover, translated into 19 languages. Leonard seems to have jumped the gun, as “Western unity” now essentially means European subordination to the United States. What the Ukraine war has shown decisively to the Europeans is that their security still depends on the Americans, perhaps now more than ever. Brussels’ pursuit of an independent foreign policy, so openly celebrated until recently, lies in tatters. If I have not so far been reporting on the actual results of the survey, it’s because it is concisely written and full of helpful and easy-to-understand graphs and charts. You will be much better off reading it directly instead of taking it from the usual substandard and diluted reporting from the mainstream press. I will refer to a few of the findings below, though, because they show the wide perspectival gulf that has opened up between the West and the rest of us, not only over the war but also on the world we live in today. In the survey, “most Europeans and Americans agree they should help Ukraine to win, that Russia is their avowed adversary, and that the coming global order will most likely be defined by two blocs led respectively by the US and China”. Outside the West, it’s almost the opposite. Most believe the world is breaking up into a multipolar international system, rather than one being divided into just two blocs. Most in India, China and Turkey identify Russia as either an ally or a “necessary partner”. Those in the West are willing to make their own sacrifices to support Ukraine to win the war while people outside the West prefer to end it quickly, even if it means for Ukraine to cede some territories to Russia. Russia and West clash over probe of Nord Stream sabotage In the non-Western world, many more people think Russia is stronger or just as strong as before the war than those who think it has been weakened. This is despite the many supposed military failures, even debacles of the Russian army. In the West, as in the US, Britain and the EU, it’s of course the opposite. This stems from a profound perceptual difference about the war between the West and the Rest. Seen strictly as a Russian invasion, as it no doubt was initially, it was a fight between David (Ukraine) and Goliath (Russia). But now that it has been turned into a proxy war of the West, as the US and EU have admitted as much, it’s Russia now being seen as David against Goliath (the West). This is an important point that Kishore Mahbubani made in a recent, widely read op-ed in this newspaper. “Sympathy is also growing for Russia. It is seen as a US$2 trillion underdog battling the far superior US$26 trillion US economy and the US$17 trillion EU economy,” he wrote. “Many are surprised the overwhelming sanctions imposed on Russia have not led to its collapse. They are amazed that Russia is still standing despite these massive blows.” In a commentary in the Financial Times, Ivan Krastev, the survey’s third author, cited an Indian diplomat, who said, “the war in Ukraine is about the future of Europe, not the future of the world”. And while the West demands the entire world to “feel the pain” of Ukraine and sympathise with it, it happily ignores or downplays the great sufferings that occur in Africa, South America and the Middle East, almost all of which the Western powers have a hand in. Witness the vastly different treatments the EU and Britain accord refugees from Ukraine and Syria. Chinese modernisation may baffle the West, but it works Millions have been displaced in the eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo by the fighting between the government and a rebel group called M23, with involvement from outside forces. The refugee crisis there is as bad as that from Ukraine. Where is the compassion and constant media attention for those victims with darker skins than ours? An Israeli military operation has just killed at least 10 Palestinians and injured more than 100 others in the occupied West Bank under a government that can be accurately described as of “the extreme right”. Imagine the West’s reactions if the People’s Liberation Army had moved into a major city in Xinjiang and inflicted a comparable level of casualties on the Uygurs. In any number of recent conflicts, say the stand-off between Armenia and Azerbaijan or the (internationalised) civil wars in Syria and Yemen, it’s always possible to sympathise with one side or the other and paint it as a black-and-white struggle. But more likely, as an ordinary person with daily tasks and responsibilities, you just don’t care about those faraway places. And you would be right; your time and energy are limited. This is despite the tremendous suffering on the ground. But that’s not necessarily a moral failing on your part. You don’t see the Western news media reporting on those conflicts 24/7, even though their governments’ weapons flood those conflicts too. But the West tells the world that we must all rally for good Ukraine to defeat evil Russia. There is no greater stomach-turning hypocrisy than turning your own particular interests into a universal moral principle, and then criticising others for failing to follow you.