I also get overheated looking at this situation, but let’s sit down for a minute and try to analyze this as rationally and objectively as possible. Let’s also try to see the so called bigger picture. So hear me out on this one.
I have listened to his entire speech where he explains why he is attacking Ukraine. It’s something I recommend everyone to do. You can find it here: With subtitles.
Here is the gist of it.
He calls the west ‘an empire of lies.’
Am sorry, but there is much to be said for this.
The west has undertaken many, many military actions under false pretenses.
He mentions how the US deliberately lied about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction. He mentions the excessive use of force Nato lambested Serbia with. He talks about how the west has turned Libya into a wasteland and power vacuum that has developed into a safe haven for international terrorism.
These are facts. He’s not lying here. Can anyone deny that the west has always had the most benign intentions?
Russia never agreed with these actions and always condemned them.
He could mention way, way more of these examples.
Does anyone remember the Ton Kin incident? The reasons for sending troops to Vietnam were also far from legitimate. Why could the USA prop up several pro-American regimes in South-Vietnam not so long ago? Those regimes were extremely corrupt, by the way. How was that any different from what Russia is doing today?
This attack on Ukraine is morally wrong, but is the west really that different?
It’s laughable to see Joe Biden ask something like what in the Lord’s name gives Putin right to proclaim the independence of new countries? As if the US has never arbitrarily proclaimed its support for new nations… In the words of Joe Biden himself: Come on, man!
2. Broken promises
He reminds us that the west made certain promises as to the expansion of Nato. It did not keep those promises. It just kept expanding.
According to him Ukraine now has a very dangerous government with fascist elements in it.
Not many people want to see this but the US had big hand in the 2014 change of government.
Putin’s fear is that Ukraine will turn into a staging area for future operations against Russia.
You can call him paranoid, but if he hadn’t reacted it’s quite likely advanced military technology would indeed be standing right on Russia’s border.
Again, you could say that Ukraine is allowed to do just that. Only explaining Putin’s thinking here.
3. Russia has to protect itself against the decline of family values and the rise of LGBT ‘propaganda’
I have no sympathy for this point, but in his speech he clearly refers to the West’s acceptance of the LGBT community.
This can in no ways serve as a justification of an attack on Ukraine…
As a big fan of LGBT people and people’s right to express their sexuality (as long as there is mutal, adult consent) every which way that feels right to them I find it appalling that he even brings this up.
Selling the attack on Ukraine as one of the ways to keep the Russian population ‘straight’ is just sick and medieval.
I don’t know, but so far I haven’t spotted anyone else commenting on this bit of his speech…
This is one of the parts of his speech that bothers me very much.
4. Ukraine is not innocent
He tells us that Ukraine has been shelling (bombarding using artillery, not planes) the separatist regions for 8 years.
It’s true that 14.000 people died there prior to Putin’s attack on Ukraine. 80 percent of those casualties fell on the separatist side.
It’s true that the international community is suspiciously silent about that.
I still don’t think it’s a good enough reason for an all out attack on Ukraine, but in this I kind of understand Putin. Of course, it’s just a casus bella, a subterfuge, a convenient excuse.
His main concern is keeping the ‘evil’ of liberal democracy as far away from Russia’s borders as possible.
If you listen carefully to what he is saying he regrets the dissolution of the Soviet-Union and the decline of Russian influence because of that. It also seems like he was quite happy about the status quo of the cold war. He laments that the treaties and agreements that were signed back then were also lost when the Soviet-Union disintegrated.
In many ways Putin is a man who lives in the past and doesn’t want to accept the rise of modern liberal democracies. These democracies are far from perfect in my opinion, deeply flawed and heavily influenced by the monied class, but they offer their cititzens more freedom than the Russian system. Personally I would prefer living in any EU country over living in Russia.
What’s also true is that the USA and its western allies have no credibility if they want to show themselves as the champions of freedom and international law. Whenever it suited them they also did whatever they wanted with a long list of countries that did something they didn’t like or because they wanted to control the resources of those countries. I find it astonishing still that some people do not want to see this and now only focus on the evil that Russia is perpetrating.
What Russia is doing is wrong, but many other countries who now pretend to be ‘holier than thou’ have blood on their hands too. On top of this, it’s also true that the west has been deliberately trying to isolate Russia for decades. This is also a story of action-reaction. One-sided interpretations of what is happening now isn’t going to help us from preventing stuff like this happening in the future. There is much to be learned here, beyond the soundbites and the emotionally charged slogans.
The saddest part of this kind of event is always that the most innocent people pay the highest price.
The people dying now and the 14,000 who had already die prior to the attack are most likely completely innocent and only wanted to be left alone, didn’t bother anyone and only wished to live in peace.
Written specifically for my friend Veronika.
I will be called a pro-Putin bot just for even trying to understanding the guy’s logic, but let me repeat it once more: I condemn this attack on Ukraine and any loss of life saddens me more than anyone will ever know.