Sir, – According to our media, the atrocities and warfare currently happening in Ukraine are all the fault of a maniacal Russian leader, Vladamir Putin and his supporters. Certainly, the conflict is not the walk over he might have expected.

As Richard Wright mentioned in his usual well informed Euro Notebook column recently, the Russian economy is heavily dependent on large sales of oil and gas.

Not unlike the Arabian producers way back in the 1970s, it might well have occurred to the Russians that they were selling their gas and oil too cheaply – and to a group of western nations stuck on an economic model that assumed that resources were effectively infinite, with any and all consequences somebody else's problem.

Western money has ensured that markets usually favoured them and the poverty of other people was all their own fault.

Covid-19 and climate upheaval puts a different light on that self deluding view. 'Cometh the hour, cometh the man' – but who could imagine that he might be Mr Putin?

It has been forecast that, despite repeated climate change summits, fossil fuel burning is set to increase. Whilst prices of road fuel are now at record levels in UK, it is worth noting that if you are paying less than 172p per litre at the pumps, more than half of that is taxation.

In US, however, increasing fuel tax is no recipe for winning an election!

Sandy Henderson, Faulds Farm, Braco