The current discussions between friends or experts about the war in Ukraine, usually lead to past reports of the mistakes, responsibilities and aggressive actions of the West in the Balkans, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, military involvement in Ukraine and the periphery region of Russia.
It seems that all those who try to justify Russia’s indisputably murderous, criminal actions on European soil, with the daily deaths of children and civilians, have been finding it difficult for years to adopt the Western narrative, for deeply ideological reasons, not to mention the psychoneurotic empathy towards the Western order of things and perception of the reality of which they are -unfortunately for them- part. They live and breathe in a country of the European Union that is Greece for example, but their minds and souls are attracted to Mother Russia, the undefined East, because they do not like the Americans, NATO, Germany, France, UK, the established political-economic-social formations, big capital, capitalism in general with all that entails.
Let us ask ourselves whether after the Second World War the Western powers gathered hundreds of thousands of troops outside the borders of a sovereign European country, with a clear tendency of revisionism, invasion and domination. As much as the Russian propaganda machine claimed that it was a military exercise, the invasion and the prolonged war shattered diplomatic hopes and the current situation recalls the horrors of Hitler’s doctrine and strategy.
No war in the West has resulted in the conquest of third-country territory in the name of a supposedly reviving empire that fell in the past like Russia. As much as supporters of the Putin regime want to speak with anti-Western arguments, they must finally realize that Putin’s war is completely different from Western military operations mobilized by bloody terrorist attacks by extremist Islamic groups in the territory of USA and Europe, ethnic cleansing, overthrowing of dictatorial regimes that had turned into a hatchery of sworn enemies of the West.
We are facing a new polarization. On the one hand, those who consider Putin crazy, a criminal and demand his exit from power, and those who support him inside and outside Russia, consider him a genius and that he can deal with the West, Europe, NATO and USA. The various kinds of Putin supporters, supporters of the undefined Eastern narrative, opponents of the West and the European values, have not lived a single day on Russian soil as citizens. They enjoy the democratic freedoms of the West and fantasize, on a dream level, of the day when the Western way of life will be destroyed. But if someone were to place them in Russia from tomorrow, they would be pressured. They would accept the oppressive social, economic policies, the totalitarianism of everyday life experienced by millions of citizens in Russia, China, Iran, North Korea. Their hypocrisy is tolerated only to the extent that Western liberal democracies tolerate their speech in public debate and on the internet.
The signs of Nazism in Russia, to use the same propaganda tools of Russian foreign policy and communication, have begun years ago. The poisoning of persons, enemies of the Russian political hegemony, even in foreign lands, was a harbinger of the current war invasion and the unstable world geopolitical behavior.
Were missiles fired from a NATO member country on Russian soil? No. So where does Putin ultimately base the invasion of Ukrainian territory by the Russian military machine? Supporting the Russian-speaking population in eastern Ukraine? What justifies total war? The decision was probably made solely by Putin himself, and recent Western intelligence reports suggest disagreements with the military leadership and the restriction of close military advisers whom dictator Putin believes he should temporarily remove.
The war in Ukraine is the continuation of Russia’s military involvement and hybrid war in Georgia, Moldova, Tajikistan, the cyber attack in Estonia until it was Ukraine’s turn with the events in Crimea. Putin’s war redefines Russia’s relationship with the rest of the world but also its apparent desire to approach or occupy territories from the countries of the former Soviet Union.
No one disputes that nationalist elements have developed in Ukraine’s political history and in the change of power, but to adopt Putin’s argument for universal de-Nazism is merely a cover-up and hides the inward beliefs of various Putin supporters, anti-Westerners, anti-capitalists, anti-Europeans in general who are always “against” what the West stands for. Those who have not yet realized that Greece’s participation in NATO has removed many times since the junta coup until today, the possibility of military engagement with neighboring Turkey. Those who did not wonder why Russia did not invade Ukraine in previous years after NATO had already expanded to several countries of the former Soviet Union. Only in 2004 Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia joined NATO and Russia did not attack any of these countries. For all these reasons, the anti-Western arguments remain far-fetched, utopian and have nothing to do with the new reality, the new Cold World emerging between West and East if we include China in the equation.
Economist – Writer – Business Consultant