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Solidarity with Ukraine

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f8orbust

Active member
Ukraine is a democracy. IF it wants to join the EU, that's it's choice. IF it wants to join NATO, that's it's choice. It's not up for debate. It just isn't. If you believe in democracy, freedom of expression, the right to free speech, the right to freedom of thought, then your support for Ukraine should be unequivocal. Mine is.
 

f8orbust

Active member
And BTW, Putin doesn't care about NATO. That's simply a false flag around which he can muster nationalist sentiment. All he cares about is himself. Which means all he really cares about is keeping democracy at bay.
 

f8orbust

Active member
Having read the posts above I've got to say it's pretty disheartening seeing such amateurish historical discourse regurgitated ad nauseum in order to justify the actions of a paranoid brutal dictator who, along with his cronies, has hijacked an entire country for his own person aggrandisement. Putin isn't some heroic figure standing up for Russia, though he loves to portray himself as such. He's a street thug 'made good'. A gangster pure and simple who through his KGB training and an innate cruelty and immorality, knows how to manipulate, intimidate, blackmail, bribe, extort and corrupt people to his own ends.
 

buildbot

Active member
I whole heartedly agree, it was pretty shocking to read for me as well.

The world stands with Ukraine
🇺🇦
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
Two problems: 1. Ukraine does not belong to Russia, 2. NATO has no presence in Ukraine.
1. This is correct, although Ukraine has been part of Russia (and other empires) for centuries. Russia and Ukraine have a common history and culture. That is what makes what happened in 2014 so tragic. More or less overnight, two countries that have historically had close relations had that relationship overturned. Western countries supported and encouraged that development.

2. That is only partly true. American and British officers have been training Ukrainian military and militias since 2014. John McCain went as far as encouraging attacks on Russians on at least one occasion when visiting Ukrainian troops. CIA has been present in Ukraine all the time since 2014, and probably before, and they have been quite open about it.

Since Putin came to power, NATO has made a great effort to push him into a corner, declaring him an enemy from the first moment. It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone what happens when you push a man of his caliber into a corner. It's typical for the situation that the Russian president that the west could support was the weak and useless Boris Yeltsin. He was actively supported by USA, but a disaster for Russia.
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
I whole heartedly agree, it was pretty shocking to read for me as well.

The world stands with Ukraine
🇺🇦
I stand with Ukraine too, but it's pretty useless to start standing for Ukraine after the disaster has happened. This war started in 2014 based on events supported by western countries. That's the time when western leaders should have been thinking "What's best for Ukraine, short term and long term", not "What's best for increased western influence along Russian borders".
 

Shashin

Well-known member
1. This is correct, although Ukraine has been part of Russia (and other empires) for centuries. Russia and Ukraine have a common history and culture. That is what makes what happened in 2014 so tragic. More or less overnight, two countries that have historically had close relations had that relationship overturned. Western countries supported and encouraged that development.

2. That is only partly true. American and British officers have been training Ukrainian military and militias since 2014. John McCain went as far as encouraging attacks on Russians on at least one occasion when visiting Ukrainian troops. CIA has been present in Ukraine all the time since 2014, and probably before, and they have been quite open about it.

Since Putin came to power, NATO has made a great effort to push him into a corner, declaring him an enemy from the first moment. It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone what happens when you push a man of his caliber into a corner. It's typical for the situation that the Russian president that the west could support was the weak and useless Boris Yeltsin. He was actively supported by USA, but a disaster for Russia.
Both my statements are correct. Having US and UK military training does not constitute NATO presence. The CIA is not a NATO agency.

NATO has not pushed Putin into any corner. Putin is creating this situation. You seem to think sovereign countries need to ask Russia for permission to create alliances. That is not what sovereignty is about. If Putin wants to keep up this pretense, that is his choice. One thing is certain, Russia is not to be trusted and NATO seems to be the best option for these nations to keep Russia from inventing a pretext for invasion. Given Putin is threatening the use of nuclear weapons, it would seem no one is safe.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has no legitimacy except in the mind of one man.
 

Shashin

Well-known member
I stand with Ukraine too, but it's pretty useless to start standing for Ukraine after the disaster has happened. This war started in 2014 based on events supported by western countries. That's the time when western leaders should have been thinking "What's best for Ukraine, short term and long term", not "What's best for increased western influence along Russian borders".
Then stand with Ukraine instead of supporting the Putin narrative.
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
And as you point out, Ukrainians suffered under the NAZIs, and yet they trust the West more than Russia. Perhaps you have not read Russian and Soviet history. The Soviet and Russian have not been very pleasent. Given the Russian invasion in Crimea and now, it seems the Ukrainians were right not to trust the Russians.

But this is a thread about the solidarity with Ukraine that has been attacked by arguably one of the most brutal counties in the world--perhaps you have read about Soviet aggression in Budapest and Prague. Perhaps even about the invasion of Afghanistan. Or even the treatment of their own citizens. You seem to be missing an important piece in this discussion. Or are you for the invasion of Ukraine, a democratic sovereign state? Your argument seems to be that Western nations have a checkered history, that justifies the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. (That is actually the definition of whataboutism where you use other examples to defend an unrelated event.)

But I am happy to talk about history. But lets keep this about the current situation in Ukraine.
Russia didn't invade Crimea. They didn't have to, since they were already there. Well over 60% of the Crimean population are Russians, and they all voted for to be annexed to Russia. If that is not democracy, I don't know what is. Not according to Ukrainian law, but very similar to the separation of Kosovo from Serbia, which was a much bloodier affair, and where NATO interfered with their military might.

Ukrainian leaders have refused to live up to the Minsk Agreement, which was signed by all parties, including themselves. Following up on that agreement would mostly have solved the conflict.

The invasion of Ukraine isn't happening in a vacuum. It's partly a result of a situation that has developed since 2014, and partly a result of how Russia is treated on the world scene. Here's an example:
Syria and Russia have been allies for 70 years or thereabout, and whatever you think about Assad, they have worked together to eradicate Islamist terrorism from Syria. They have suggested a cooperation with USA to reach that goal, something the Americans have declined. Currently, USA occupies a large part of Eastern Syria and have established military bases there. They are also illegally exporting Syrian oil to Iraq. When USA insists on offering Ukraine NATO membership and becoming an ally of USA, it's very obvious to the Russians that this will represent a threat, just like it does to their Syrian ally.

USA has established a standard for unprovoked invasions in and bombing of sovereign states. It's quite easy: you ignore international opinion and refuse to take responsibility when things crash down, like USA has done in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. If you want to be a leader, expect others to follow your example. Now you will of course come up with the Russian invasion of Georgia. That lasted two weeks after which the Russians pulled out. Not 20 years like USA in Afghanistan and Iraq.

No, I'm not for the invasion of Ukraine, a democratic sovereign state. I'm not for the invasion of any sovereign states. But you cannot expect others to follow rules that you don't follow yourself.
 

Duff photographer

Active member
Exactly.

As is often the case, to ignore the details of how and why these conflicts occur is to ensure they continue, including the suffering of those that we show solidarity for.

Personally, I must make a qualififcation which some may find offensive, but I feel I have to mention it as to not do so would be an assault on my conscience. While I have complete and utter sympathy for the innocent and decent people of Ukraine, I refuse to show any solidarity with the likes of the Azov Battalion and other far right paramilitary and political groups such as the ultra-Nationalist party Svoboda, as well as those entrenched in the government such as the Ukrainian National Guard, all of which have increased their influence since the 2014 coup, carrying out atrocities, including murder, against civilians, ethnic Russians as well as other groups such as Jews, Roma, and the LGBT community.

In addition, the two Ukrainian governments, since 2014, have been passing laws that effectively segregate ethnic Russians (e.g., no ethnic Russian is allowed to work in the civil service while the language is actively oppressed, even for those that are ethnic Russians).

This I cannot, and never will, stand by.

One should also remember the US role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Ukrainian government back in 2014 (prior to which Ukraine was peaceful with no civil war). One might recall the hacked Nuland-Pyatt phone call in 2014 revealing how deep the US was involved.

What seems to have been the straw that broke the camel's back is Ukraine's consideration last year, re-iterated recently by Zelensky, of invalidaing the Budapest Memorandum to develop (or somehow recieve) nuclear weapons if it was refused entry to NATO. This really would be the equivalent to the Cuban missile crisis.

It should therefore be no surprise that Putin took his actions, but by recognising that, it does not mean that those that do, condone them!

So my sympathy and solidarity is with all those who have shown restraint, decency, intelligence, understanding, and humanity in the face of arrogance, ignorance, greed, prejudice, and hate. May common sense and humanity prevail.


Cheers,
Duff.
 
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Abstraction

Active member
I'd like to offer a slightly different perspective.

I was born in Kiev (USSR at the time) and my family moved to the US when I was 10. At the time, what is now Russia and what is now Ukraine, had been a single country and many people had relatives in both: what is now Russia and what is now Ukraine. The ties aren't just cultural and ethnic, they're literally familial.

Ukraine has always consisted of the Russian speaking/Orthodox East and the Ukrainian speaking west.

The Ukrainian nationalists existed even back in the Soviet days and they were known for their mean and blood thirsty streak. They hated everyone and openly so. They hated the Soviets, the Russians, they hated the Jews, they hated the Eastern Ukrainians whom they didn't consider Ukrainian and so on. Think of them as the Klan or the Neo Nazis of the Northwest. Western Ukraine has been most nationalistic.

The US exploited that nationalist streak and propped them up in the years leading up to the overthrow of Yanukovich, who was Russia's puppet. Even though Yanukovich wasn't a bad guy and had a fairly light touch, the country was stagnating economically and most people didn't see their economic future improving under the Russian umbrella. The idea of joining the EU and the dream of an improved standard of living were tempting enough that many held their noses and joined with the nationalists to overthrow Yanukovich under the guidance of the CIA and other western intelligence services. Having gained power, the nationalists decided to "de-Russify" Ukraine, which led to the tragedies in the East.

Putin has always thought of Russia as a Global Empire and he has always sought a "seat at the table". The problem was that with a $2.5T economy, the US didn't consider Russia a global player and they didn't see Putin as an Emperor. Rather, they saw him as a king of a large, unwieldy decrepit nation with nuclear weapons - sort of like a huge Pakistan. That drove Putin insane. He once gave a speech or an interview where he described the world order he was seeking as that consisting of three spheres of influence: One controlled by Russia, the second by China and the third by the US. So, his imperial ambitions were pretty far reaching. Needless to say, the US, as the global empire didn't share Putin's vision and they saw no reason to cede their influence and reach and share the spoils with some small bumpkin of a king of a third rate power with the GDP of $2.5T. That just wasn't going to happen. The US had always had its eyes set on Eastern Europe and they took every opportunity to grab what they could by incorporating the former Soviet block countries into its own framework. That didn't sit well with Putin and he saw that as an encroachment on his sphere of influence. So, not only the Americans weren't willing to split up the world with Russia and China, but they were actively encroaching on what he considered his own empire or at least, what should be his own empire. The problem was that the countries that Putin considered as his own were afraid of Russia much more than they were afraid of the American empire and so their calculus was pretty clear: If they were destined to be puppets of an Imperial regime, they would rather be puppets of the American Imperial regime than the Russian Imperial regime. Western and Central Ukraine felt the same way and the US was more than happy to oblige and shower them with money, weapons and "advice". Eastern Ukraine was a lot more comfortable under the Russian rule. The Western/Central Ukraine was propped up by the Western empire and the Eastern Ukraine was propped up by the Eastern empire.

The clash occurred in Crimea, in Donbass and now it's occurring in Ukraine proper. If we talk about Geo-Politics, there are no good guys on any side. In fact, when it comes to Geo Politics, there have never been good guys on any side and there never will be. There are just competing interests. The civilian population always pays the price when friction between competing interests occurs. That's the situation today. It's a tragedy. Putin is not a hero and he's not a victim. The US is not the shining light of freedom and democracy in the world. It's not a Biblical fight between the forces of light and darkness, the good and evil, democracy and dictatorship. It's a fight between two imperial interests, but the price is being paid by those caught in the middle - the traumatized and displaced Ukrainian population, the Ukrainian soldiers and the Russian recruits who are forced to fight and kill the familial clan and die in the process to satisfy the ambitions of the Imperial players.
 

Shashin

Well-known member
Russia didn't invade Crimea. They didn't have to, since they were already there. Well over 60% of the Crimean population are Russians, and they all voted for to be annexed to Russia. If that is not democracy, I don't know what is.
None of the Crimean population were Russian. They were all Ukrainian. I guess by that logic, Japan bombing Pearl Harbor was OK because there were already American Japanese there. Naturally, the ethnic/racial justification for invasion and armed conflict have been bloody all around the world. As you pointed out, Serbia being an example, Myanmar being another. That certainly is not a geographically isolated phenomenon. Your argument that Russians are justified in invading and taking a nation based on racism is rather chilling (and Putin has made racist statements toward Ukrainians). I, for one, don't buy that justification any more. In 2022, we should not tolerate that logic.

(BTW, in those Crimea elections, how many people all over Ukraine voted? And were those election run by the well-known "defenders" of democracy that invaded Crimea?)

Yes, history is complex and bloody. The US has done many horrible things around the world. But they does not absolve or lessen the tragedy in Ukraine. But you keep resorting to whataboutism arguments.
 
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f8orbust

Active member
I've just been reading about the economic sanctions that are coming Russia's way and they are, quite frankly, staggering. Especially those targeting its central bank and sovereign wealth funds, which will make it almost impossible for Russia to prop up its rapidly depreciating currency.

So there may well be regime change at the end of all this (whenever that is). Ironically though, it probably won't be in Ukraine.
 

dj may

Well-known member
Report from Ukraine below. A mother with whom I am acquainted.


Today my youngest daughter turns 6 years. This little girl is getting ready for school - learning hard to write, read, and count. And she is getting used to the sounds of war and studying the algorithm of actions during the shootings. After coming back from the shelter she said to me, "Mommy, you can't get me anything sweet. Water and bread will be enough so that we don't go hungry".

My middle daughter is 10 years old. This is a talented, smart and very responsible girl. She strictly refused to leave to a safer place: "I'm on my land and I won't go anywhere from here. If necessary, I will learn to shoot and protect my family. "

My oldest daughter is a special needs child. Since birth, she has been suffering from an incurable disease that destroys her body. She's only 14 years old, and has already undergone 9 difficult surgeries that have helped somehow restore her body's integrity and prevent nerve ends and veins breakdowns. She needs constant supportive treatment, examinations and follow-up surgeries. This young girl is fighting her war, the war on disease. She knows all about courage and bravery. And forced to lead another war, a war for his country.

This is what our children live now, children who have been carrying a new status for the 6th day - children of war. And, we, their mothers, will become a living shield for them.

We are no longer broken. But we need to stand up. And if possible to stay alive...
Take care of us all, God, and our Ukraine!!! 💙💛🙏💙💛🕊💙💛
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
Let me make one thing very clear:
I have not at any point defended Putin's actions towards Ukraine. What I do say though, is that it's absolutely necessary to see all sides of what is happening and to understand the history behind it. If we don't try to understand the thoughts behind Putin's attack, we will never understand the conflict. This is not, as I have pointed out before, happening in a vacuum, but is a part of a global power struggle between mainly three "imperial" powers, USA, Russia and China, all of which prefer to fight their wars anywhere but on their own turf.

The only way to solve the conflict to the best of the populations of Ukraine and Russia is to take "global" out of the equation, and to reconstruct the relationship between the two nations. There are negotiations going on in Belarus between the two parties, and that is good. Hopefully we will not see interference from other countries during that process.

This is a conflict that can not, or at least should not, be solved by means of military power, and that is where Putin has stepped fundamentally wrong. The western reaction now seems to be to send more weapons to Ukraine. While that may sound like a good idea, it will probably only make matters worse. Russia will still be vastly superior when it comes to military power, and more weapons will mostly mean more dead bodies in a conflict that Ukraine will lose if it's going to be "solved" at gunpoint.

Again: Negotiation is the only way to a lasting solution. Sooner or later they have to meet face to face. It's good that they have already started.

As for "whataboutism", that's a word created by those who want to avoid discussions around their own sins. When a country from the other side of a globe has made themselves a part of a conflict, their track record will be taken into consideration and discussed. If you raped a girl last week, you are not qualified to babysit my daughter, and your behaviour will be discussed.
 
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