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What does Catch-22 mean and why do Western media use this expression when writing about Ukraine?

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What does Catch-22 mean and why do Western media use this expression when writing about Ukraine?

More and more often, international media use the phrase "Catch-22 situation" when writing about the situation in Ukraine. Find out why this term has become so popular and what it means

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Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion in 2022, Western media have not stopped writing about Ukraine and the situation on the frontline. However, more and more often, the headlines of these articles are complemented by the phrase "Catch-22 situation".


Why the Western media use this phrase, what it means, and why it has become so popular in the international media - we will discuss further in the article.


What is Catch-22 and what does it mean?


"Catch-22" or "Trap for Fools" is a novel by American writer Joseph Heller, which became his most famous work. This book reached its peak of popularity during the Vietnam War, but today the Western media have begun to mention the novel when writing about Ukraine.


The theme of the absurdity of war runs like a red thread through all the pages of this novel. The author gives countless examples in the text that eloquently describe the senselessness and hopelessness of situations that a person faces in war. 


For example, the military rule "Catch-22" allowed American pilots participating in World War II to refuse to fly if they felt they were going crazy. But at the same time, it was believed that those who invoked this rule were demonstrating a desire to live, which is the basic instinct of a mentally healthy person, and therefore these people could not use the Catch-22 rule.


So, after the publication of Heller's novel, the expression "Catch-22" came to mean an absurd, meaningless, and hopeless situation.




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Why does the West believe that Ukraine is in a Catch-22 situation?


Western headlines are full of the phrase "how can Ukraine get out of the Catch-22 situation", and these articles touch not only on the direct invasion of russia, but also on issues related to Ukraine's membership in NATO, Western aid, agreements with putin, counteroffensive strategy, etc.


The West was particularly heated about joint planning of a counteroffensive and why the United States and Ukraine failed to succeed. Another topic of heated discussion was the issue of financing Ukraine, as the issue of financial assistance is closely intertwined with internal political strife in the United States. The problem of corruption in Ukraine was also discussed with equal vigor.


However, the term "Catch-22" is used more to attract attention and engage Americans in events than to actually describe what is happening in Ukraine. First of all, Western society is used to identifying itself with the protagonist of a novel who is trying to escape from the war with all his might. 


We remind you! There are almost no russian parts in the missiles and weapons used by russia in the war against Ukraine. Instead, almost three-quarters of them are made in the United States. Read why sanctions are not working and which countries are helping russia destroy Ukrainian cities in our previous article.


Photo: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images


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