Freedom is not something you have
been given. It is something one can
not take away. (Voltaire)
Since the beginning of the insidious Russian aggression we, the people of Ukraine, must have been living several parallel lives: the one of furious indignation at the atrocities which the blood-thirsty occupants commit on our territory, another of desire to resist the occupation at any price, and still another of the hope for the victory over the vicious foe, the feeling which strengthens with every passing day…
The war, as it usually happens, has dramatically divided the world into those who choose the wait-and-see policy stand, those who just condemn the aggression, those who support the victims, those who declare the idea of curbing the aggressor, and, finally, those who proclaim the irreconcilable struggle against the aggression, making every effort in order to smash the enemy and oust the barbarian hordes from our territory.
Willy Brandt, a great politician, knelt down at the entrance of the Warsawian ghetto in 1970, as a symbol of deep repentance and remorse of the German nation for Hitler’s and his accomplices' bloody crimes during WW2. Nearly all the European peoples, like the Ukrainians, have gone through infinite misfortunes and tragedies in their history of the 20-th century. However, the outcome for different nations turned out to be quite different: the Western society, notwithstanding the numerous hardships after the war, forced itself to build a new democratic and prosperous existence, while the Ukrainians appeared to have been suffering for many years under the oppression of the inhuman Soviet regime, and, later, under its convinced followers to whom Putin, without any doubt whatsoever, belongs…
At present, both the USA and the European states policy, in spite of certain odd and somewhat ambiguous steps in the beginning, is certainly pursuing the noble goal of resisting the Russian aggression by launching - the USA at the head together with the allies - unprecedented sanctions and providing the Ukrainian Armed Forces with extremely necessary weapons.The Western governments have also been taking recently a series of decisive economic measures (the eventual refuse of Russian petroleum and gas delivery within the year), which entails quite serious economic risks for the country.
Such a stance indicates the unanimous determination to completely liberate, at last (!) European states from the Russian influence both in economy and in policy. And that attitude is, for sure, ‘on the right side of History’. Let me explain these somewhat pompous words.
Raymond Aron, a famous French philosopher and sociologist of the second part of the 20th century, who used to be Jean Paul Sartre’s friend and then became his vehement opponent, is known to be sincere, if somewhat cynical as to the theory and principles he honestly adhered to. He held the opinion that once a politician starts being guided by moral principles, he immediately stops thinking politically...
There was nothing new in that attitude: since Machiavelli’s well-known treatise, every ruler had an accurate and pragmatic guidance as to how to scare to obedience the subjects of his crown, and how to proceed in case of unrest or other problems in the realm.
However, R. Aron’s statement, in theory, ushered in a new era in international relations: from then on, ‘la politique réale’ must be regarded as the leading pragmatic principle the states should follow, - otherwise, they are expected to face serious troubles both politically and economically, and, sooner or later, will run into a brick wall.
The Latin proverb ‘homo homini lupus est’, which Thomas Hobbes assumed as a basis of people's attitude to each other, became an axiomatic thesis in relations between the states for years…
…For years has the West been turning a blind eye on the ‘deeds' of Putin's regime. Several explosions of residential constructions in Moscow at Putin’s commands (in order to put the blame on Chechen commandos and to start a new war in the Caucasus); the poisoning and physical elimination of ‘disagreeables’ (like the cases of S.Litvinenko, Boris Nemtsov, S. Magnitsky, Anna Politkovskaya, Galina Starovoytova and many others); covert political ‘purges’ in the Russian state “apparatus”, not to mention the Boeing 777-200ER which was shot down by a Russian missile fired from the occupied Ukrainian territory. This murderous list of crimes is easy to be extended.
So Putin’s goal, in the course of his ‘glorious’ ruling,was not to acquire the full-fledged power (he had obtained it already), but to smash the opposition and exert indefinite arbitrariness.
And he did succeed in it!
The Western countries, European ones in particular, had a very profitable business with the Kremlin gangster: ‘pecunia non olet - money does not stink’...
The Kremlin cannibal had been getting all that he lustfully desired: not just easy or ‘big’ - but ‘mega-big’ money for petroleum and gas deliveries, the international status of a ‘tough’ guy and what not - you name it!
He got the respect and even admiration from all around. And, eventually, he started to believe in his own exclusiveness. Yet exclusiveness leads to impunity and permissiveness. Just as it did happen…
Some politicians, as a matter of fact, were dubious as to his personality, but their humble voices sank in the chorus of mass approval.
It was the US senator John MacCain who (one of the very few) solved the mystery of that ‘enigmatic Russian soul’, just saying: ‘Putin is a thug.’ And in another statement :”I look in Mr. Putin’s eyes, and I saw three letters - a K, a G, and a B…”
Awakening and disillusion have come to the West at last. It happened after the savage slaughters in the Ukrainian towns of Bucha, Irpin, Borodyanka, Mariupol and others… Was it too late? Much later, actually, than it should have been, alas. Namely, when Russia unleashed the war in 2014.
The governments, élites and peoples have come to realize how high a price is being paid for the ruinous political course to maintain and nourish the Kremlin butcher.
At a slow pace, but the ‘realpolitik’ order (and a good profit related to it (!) seems to be cracking down now.
It has turned out that Morality cannot remain to be an unloved stepdaughter of her stepmom - Politique Réale, but it is born to be the Mistress of the house, the Landlady in the international political kitchen. It has become evident that states’ welfare, as well as people's personal well-being are interdependent on moral values. The moral values are the basis people are willing to die for…or to kill for. So it was throughout the entire history of mankind. And that is what’s actually happening in Ukraine nowadays: the Ukrainians die for their freedom and independence, and they kill the occupants who came to take their Freedom away and turn them into slaves. That is what we mean by the Return of History ‘on the right side’.
After February 24, 2022 - the tragic reference of the “hot phase” of this war, the West hospitably opened its doors to shelter a legion of refugees. We are all infinitely grateful for that!
Together with Ukrainian refugees, thousands of Russian oppositionists who escaped from the bloody Putin’s regime, also arrived here. Some of them who are engaged in political sciences - the so called “politologists”, leaders of public opinion, analysts and various sorts of experts who used to try to shape the public opinion in Russia, (too bad, often without any feedback from the mass in their own country) have started playing an important role in molding it in the West.
They are trendsetters of political attitudes towards the war in Ukraine, and being permanently in the limelight, they set the pitch in the Western mass media practically everywhere. Most of them are intelligent and rather decent people, some may be really prominent. And there would be nothing bad in all that, if it were not for that terrible war which raises certain considerations, to which I would like to call your attention.
- In the first place, all those experts are completely rejected in Ukraine. They were hardly seen or heard in 2014, at the initial phase of the hybrid war Russia launched on our territory, but for the time being, in the minds of Ukrainians, those Russians are but a kind of accomplices of the war crimes of the crazy Kremlin’s top management with the maniac Putin at the head, as long as they could do nothing to prevent the horrors of this war!
- Secondly, not everyone, but quite a lot of those analysts are imbued with the “imperial gene” which they cannot hide and conceal even under the present circumstances, when it is quite obvious what destructive and ruinous consequences such an indoctrination in the war state must have. The traditional imperial Russian “high-hating” to the “inferior nations” of the ex-Soviet Union was incompatible with liberal and democratic values, yet now it is just the road which leads directly to the bloody hell…
- Thirdly, the more those Russian experts are involved in what is going on in their country, the less they are “up to speed” on what is really happening in Ukraine. Being out of place, they are not capable of comprehending the processes taking place “deep down” in our present-day being, and they can only make guesses. The discourse they adhere to appears to be far away from the Ukrainians needs, fears, hopes and aspirations.
As it is, no Ukrainian experts at all, by a strange concatenation of circumstances, are represented in the information field of the Western countries (the situation in the USA, due to the Ukrainian diaspora’s efforts, as a whole is a little better, but still not sufficient all the same).
So the narratives which only come from the “one side of the conflict” tell badly on the whole comprehension of the extremely complicated situation the Ukrainian people have to go through.
Moreover, the scarcity or complete absence of Ukrainian political analysts, survey authors, political correspondents and leaders of Ukrainian public opinion within the frame of the Western mass media, does inevitably lead to a dramatic distortion of the viewpoint on the war events and their realistic understanding in all spheres of the public life in the West.
That is why, the necessity for objectiveness requires the invitation of various Ukrainian experts to mass media (alongside our high governmental officials who regularly appear on the screen), which could remove the controversial issues in the war events coverage immanent to hot discussions.
For the time being, disregarding the obvious backing up the Ukrainians’ historic life-and-death fight, it should be stated, without any false pathos, that the Destiny of the Western Democracy and liberal Ideas is at stake nowadays.
The well-meant support and appeals to keep firm and strong are not sufficient, evidently. Our stoical Armed Forces, bleeding in the cruel fights with the superior Russian military, are also defending the West and its values against the barbarous tyranny, and they are in need, without any doubt whatsoever, a lot more modern weapons and military equipment than are now being provided by the West.
The point is, Putin’s intentions are not limited by the liquidation of Ukraine as a state and physical annihilation of the Ukrainian people. Putin’s cherished desire is centered arou the total destruction of the Western liberal democratic matrix(!) as such, on the rejection of all Western values, on the transformation of the whole world into a concentration camp in which the peoples’ freedom will fade away and disappear, and in which, in the long run, “big red leaders” like him (or, ideally, his “divine majesty” in person) will reign forever..!
As it has been stated above, certain transformations of mentality, morality and manners are taking place nowadays. The cruel and blunt Russian aggression has triggered all of that. At least, we, the Ukrainians, do hope so. Evidently, the people who thrive
should not avert their eyes shamefacedly any longer and keep away from the hardships, privations and tragedies other peoples are forced to face and endure.
Everything is relative, as we know. If a lot of Europeans are worrying about the soaring prices for some goods, or getting scared of freezing in winter because of the insufficient gas delivery, they have to know that the Ukrainians would feel delighted to be in their shoes, instead of being permanently under the enemy’s bombing and shelling days and nights long!
We are all linked together on this earth, and, probably, as we’ve stated above, most Europeans, fortunately, do feel an acute empathy to our people’s fathomless suffering and grieves, now that tens of thousands of the innocent civil Ukrainians are being savagely killed in the European neighborhood, just round the corner!
And if the Kremlin vampire craves for more and more blood, a force capable of stopping him should be found and used.
Actual and prophetic as never before do sound the words of the great John Donne said centuries ago: ‘...any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.’