Irrelevance of “sweet fairytales”
To protect itself, Ukraine needs to immediately get rid of pernicious illusions
When a person (community, nation) stands at the brink of disaster, euphoric dizziness, as well as its alter ego, hysterical panic, presents the greatest danger. The only way to salvation is to keep thinking soberly and coldly. To overcome all the dangers, one needs to be able to clearly see reality such as it is. Therefore, getting rid of any illusions is the main key to restoring the state, for we are now living through a tough wartime.
Now to a brief listing of the most dangerous illusions. We will not mention “victorious” appeals of 2004, made from the stage of the Orange Revolution Maidan, such as “East and West are one” (another version was “We do not see Donetsk residents as enemies, come to us to eat pies”), or “Police are with people!” The current tragic turn of events, including the April 2014 armed rebellion in eastern Ukraine, which has been a joint crime of the Kremlin occupiers, their collaborators from the Party of Regions (Mykhailo Dobkin, Oleh Tsariov, and Oleksandr Yefremov are still seen as “respected politicians,” and the first two campaign for presidency instead of being interviewed at the prosecutor’s office!) and local underclass scum who brutally beat Ukrainians meeting no resistance from the local police and security service who have been bought and then overbought by the Mezhyhiria family [the Yanukovychs. – Ed.] – this tragedy has made it clear that these “sweet fairy tales” are at very least childishly naive. They were repeated even during the early weeks of the 2013-14 Euromaidan of Dignity. However, the reality turned out to be far more brutal and terrible. Of course, the biblical image of the lamb and the lion that have sealed their friendship is beautiful and impressive, but...
But, actually, we are not speaking about that now. Do we imagine what the modern Russia is – not so much Vladimir Putin personally as the society as a whole? Here is “a voice of the Russian street” (and it by no means should be ignored, because these people have every reason to state that “Putin is us”). We try to preserve the peculiarities of word choice and spelling in translation: “How long will the Russian people tolerate lyes [sic!] from the media in Europe and the Western countries? All media in Europe and the West are engaged in a conspiracy against Russia and all the news are un reliable [sic!] insults against Russians and Russia. Russia is the only country that protects the rights and opinions of the people in contrast to Europe and the West, where the main role is played by money and influence of America. Maybe it is time to open the eyes of Europe and Asia and show them the real enemy of humanity: America, or, more precisely, a handful of billionaires, who rule all America, not the American people” (posted at ovego.3dn.ru/pub/ live_tv/ novosti/euronews_onlajn_transljacija/5- 1-0-116).
THE POSTER READS: “!TURCHYNOV, DONBAS = CRIMEA?” / Photo by Artem SLIPACHUK, The Day
Millions of Russians think this way. This confused thinking, and posters in Donetsk and Luhansk regions stating things like “We will not be slaves to Europe and the US,” and, to be frank, terrorist scoundrels who hide behind agitated women, grannies and children, all these phenomena come from the same source! That is why it is necessary to see the face of the enemy unadorned...
They say that “no one wants bloodshed,” “no one wants to shoot” (this is not the case, as the terrorists are shooting already, it is Ukrainian security forces who do not want or are unable to repel them), “bloodshed and forceful response will trigger a civil war and Russian invasion.” Such statements are also, at least, misleading, for blood has already been shed, the Russian invasion has already begun (special forces in Sloviansk!), and there is only one way left to minimize bloodshed: the security structures of the state (if we still have one) must fulfill their mission. Otherwise, the Heavenly Sotnia will very quickly be reinforced by many hundreds more of the best people in Ukraine.
Another take on chimeras and illusions. The Ukrainian tradition of the past 23 years, and even longer, involves secret agreements between political and business elites, when yesterday’s enemies treat cynically with each other with the public left in dark. However, Russia, when seen without illusions, does not work this way: there exists and will exist in the foreseeable future only one political and business clan in that country, called Putin’s cooperative “Ozero.” What does this difference mean, I think, does not require any explaining. Also, keep in mind that “terrible” warnings sent by the West to the Kremlin, such as “There will be costs if Russia continues its aggressive policy,” do not frighten Putin, because he knows: the entire history of Russian despotism, from the monarchy through the Soviet totalitarianism to the present regime, shows that a nation which suffers from a distortion of consciousness through its contamination with great-power chauvinism, such a nation is willing to contend with very high costs if the Fuehrer says: “We must!”
And most importantly, it is not Putin’s zombifying TV propaganda, and not the president of Russia himself who is the problem. The problem is this: now, and only now, before our eyes (not in 1991, and not in 2004 either) Ukraine has finally taken its first real step towards a genuine, not virtual independence. It is only the first one. But Putin’s regime sees it as a mortal danger. Therefore, the struggle with the Kremlin will continue, it seems, not for years, but for decades, and will be extremely fierce. Any pacifist slogans are tantamount to surrender under such conditions.
Yevhen MARCHUK, ex-Prime Minister of Ukraine, posted on Facebook:
“We hear a lot of fair criticism now stating that Ukraine is losing the information war to Russia and asking why the government is purportedly not dealing with information security, why Russia is ahead of us in information field? These claims are in principle true. However, what are we seeing now? News streams at almost all national TV channels of Ukraine looked like some Separatist Herald on April 13-14. They were presenting events essentially promoting the activities of the separatists in detail, thoroughly covered, without any comments, explanations, assessments, or general conclusions, repeating them quite a few times. The separatists do not need to create any propaganda centers in Kyiv. Their actions are highlighted by Ukrainian TV channels without analysis, without journalistic assessments. Separatists often get camera time. Moreover, even armed Russian soldiers are called separatists. Is there a real need for some government regulations for the TV to understand how to present this information in what is effectively wartime? Is it not understood that the balanced coverage principle cannot actually be applied in wartime as it is in peacetime? That one may not broadcast actual enemies’ speeches as they go about subverting Ukraine? Why patriotism, professionalism, and accountability fail to do their job? Owners of TV channels stand to answer some questions of their own.”
Marek SIWIEC, MEP:
“The Kremlin’s strategy is to repeat what happened in the Crimea, as well as disrupt the presidential election. Throughout the world, there is a very strong reaction to this, as well as to the events in eastern Ukraine. However, I do not know how strong the new Ukrainian government and police are, what capabilities the authorities have.
“Now it is very much in the hands of the Ukrainian government, as much will depend on its decisions. Another question is will the EU and the US provide stronger support for it?
“We can provide military support for Ukraine. We do our best to support it politically and economically, but the most important thing is for the government in Kyiv to have complete control over the country and all its cities. Should it maintain control, the EU will provide concrete and effective support.”