Ukrainians, all by themselves, are fighting against what we were told was world’s second-mightiest army. Fascist Russia is systematically killing civilians, people in Mariupol and several other besieged cities and towns in eastern and southern Ukraine are being constantly bombed and literally starved, even water is running out. They are not allowed to flee, Russia want these hundreds of thousands or even millions dead to show Ukrainian nation the west how far the occupiers are determined to go. Decomposing corpses of men, women and children littering the streets and ruins will soon cause epidemics. The world would like save the Ukrainians from the genocide, but decided to stand by, afraid of stumbling into a war with Russia, and wait till it’s all over.
I argue that doing nothing and just watch Ukraine and its people be wiped off the face of the Earth guarantees a future collapse of democracy in the West and a resulting World War 3, with all the weapons of mass destruction deployed.
I am perfectly aware that our industry elites and a number of politicians blame Ukrainians for fighting back (or rather for existing). It’s the same kind of argument as blaming African slaves for the American civil war. Couldn’t these slaves just voluntarily accept their situation? Isn’t freedom something only white western European descendants deserve anyway, being genetically superior? Aren’t these Ukrainian trouble-makers who we are told are all Nazis, are really Russian empire’s property, maybe serfdom will do them good?
I am also aware that those on the radical left-wing blame the NATO for provoking Russia, which they say is merely defending itself from the western threat. Well, I am not a fan of militarism either, but fact is: Nazi Germany was, by their own propaganda, also merely defending itself from the Bolshevik empire encroaching on its borders, and declared the Jews to be the agents of the Communist ideology. The Holocaust of the European Jews was the logical consequence, and much of it played out in Ukraine (and Poland, Belarus and the Baltics, but little in Russia). Now Fascist Russia declared Ukrainians to be NATO agents who must be mercilessly exterminated to protect the Russian master race. Once you decided to commit genocide, you first declare yourself to be a victim of a foreign conspiracy, and there will be always those abroad who agree. It was like this with the Nazi Endlösung, and it is same again with Fascist Russia’s special operation in Ukraine.
Putin is a fascist in every respect – he might hold Josef Stalin as his idol, but his real similarity is with Adolf Hitler. Stalin was a Georgia-born tyrant who hated all kinds of national identity and murdered countless millions of his own citizens all over Soviet Union to suppress what he perceived to be nationalist movements. Stalin deliberately caused a huge famine in Ukraine (the 1932/33 Holodomor) to starve millions of Ukrainian farmers to death, who were then replaced with Russian industry workers (this is also why so many people in eastern Ukraine speak Russian today). Stalin did constantly persecute certain ethnic groups he suspected of being anti-Soviet, even fellow Georgians, but also millions of Russians were executed or sent to suffer and die in the Gulag. Stalin’s reign of terror targeted own citizens, but Putin wants to be loved by (ethnic) Russians.
Putin’s ideology is about the Russians being a pure and providence-chosen white master race, very similar to Hitler’s ideology, and built on the teachings of the founder of Russian fascism Ivan Ilyin (whose remains Putin had re-buried in Moscow) and of contemporary self-declared Russo-fascists like Alexander Dugin. Putin turned the Russian society into a totalitarian fascist state in every definition – its zombie population indoctrinated by relentless warmongering television propaganda machinery, convinced to be an innocent master race deprived of its due respect and possessions, which merely defends itself from foreign aggression, part of which is apparently LGBT Russians and free media. The zombified citizens are trained to worship Putin as a God-sent Führer-figure, and to hate everyone who is either not ethnically Russian or perceived as a traitor. Just as Hitler’s, Putin’s fascism culminated in a fascist aggression war against utterly innocent neighbouring people, as it happens, once again against Ukraine. It is again a genocide driven by a fascist ideology of a race supremacy, even if our society’s elites and our media refuse to publicly recognise it for what it really is.
Putin’s goal in Ukraine was never that bizarre Russki Mir liberation of allegedly oppressed Russian-speaking population, he probably doesn’t really believe in it himself, and neither do his associates and propagandists. The genocide Russians commit on their fellow Russian speakers, unarmed men, women and children, in Mariupol, Kharkiv, Chernihiv and many other Ukrainian cities and towns, proves that Putin’s concern about their welfare was a cynical lie aimed not just at the Russian Zombie nation, but at our naive and ignorant journalists and politicians. Putin’s plans for Ukraine were the same as Hitler’s 80 years ago: conquest of the Lebensraum, a land-grab by the master race, and its original inhabitants will have to go, bombed, shot or starved to death if needed.
No wonder Russian occupiers told the staff of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant that their plant is owned by Russian Rosatom and it is the territory of the Russian federation from now on and “forever”. No wonder the Russian army is trying to stage a “referendum” to break away the city of Kherson and surrounding area into another puppet-pseudostate, presumably the “voters” will have to be bussed-in from Crimea (annexed in 2014). Meanwhile Fascist Russian soldiers do not just go from house to house robbing people of food, electronics and valuables (while occasionally destroying the houses and shooting inhabitants in the process) – they see the whole country as their war trophy.
Because Putin’s Russia is a warmongering fascist state which uses genocide as a tool of land grab, the West and especially the the European Union (EU) cannot allow Russia to win this war. Not just that: we cannot allow Ukraine to lose. If Ukraine ceases to exist, it will be the end of our own democracies and the return of European fascism.
There are many voices demanding President Zelenskyy just announces unconditional capitulation as Russia keeps demanding to end the human suffering. Thing is: it will matters even worse, exactly because Ukrainians refuse to surrender. This is not a “normal” occupation like 8 years ago in Donbass, you cannot enforce public support by bombings and mass murder. There is nowhere to flee when the enemy wants to destroy your entire country. There is no way to peacefully accept an occupier who engages in genocide on your own people, this never happened in history. Ukrainians will fight their Russian fascist occupiers just as they fought the German Nazis.
Russia is nonchalantly tacking off a list of war crimes to commit. The fascist invaders are already using all the weapons banned by Geneva convention specifically against Ukrainian civilians: vacuum bombs, cluster bombs, white phosphorus bombs, landmines etc. They already shoot at everyone they see, even and especially at women and children. Will we watch in the next years and months Fascist Russia building concentration camps where prisoners are starved and made to work till they drop dead? Or Russia using Babi Yar to shoot thousands of Kyiv inhabitants? Or Russia executing hundreds of Ukrainians for each Russian soldier killed by partisans? Or Russia gassing hundreds of thousands with chemical weapons? Nazi Germany did all of that, and what makes are so sure Putin’s regime is not prepared to do same, and worse? Can we passively watch something like this happen in occupied ex-Ukraine without turning into fascist monsters ourselves?
I will not discuss all possible war scenarios, but the only one which will not lead to a disaster is a collapse of Putin’s regime, with the dictator either dead or on trial. Anything else will mean a future collaboration with Putin’s regime, simply because our societies and economies are addicted to fossil fuels, and Russia is one of world’s biggest producers of gas and oil. Especially Germany and other European states will cease functioning if Russian gas were suddenly turned off, that is how ill-prepared we were for this war. This is also why all ongoing Russian massacres in Ukraine are sponsored in real time by Germany (and other EU states), while our pundits pampered by three-generations of amassed wealth discuss how wrong it is to invite Ukraine to join the European Union. Apparently restoring post-WW2 Germany into a world power was a god-given German right, but Ukrainians should just please die faster because we need Putin’s gas.
Our today’s democratic politicians may be more or less staunchly opposed to Russia, but if the fossil fuel shortage exacerbates, the industry will increase the lobbying pressure and the voters will demand their cushy lifestyles back. Plus the Ukrainian refugees may be welcome now, but the nation has a population of 44 million, and experience says the pampered western society might change its mind as the refugee stream increases. As the result, next elections in Europe and USA could usher in far-right xenophobic regimes. The new rulers would either directly befriend Putin’s Fascist Russia (as they already promise), or start wars elsewhere to secure resources. The European Union will fall apart in violence.
And then of course there is climate change which most certainly did not go away just because there is a huge war on. The climate disaster is getting worse while we stopped paying attention, scrambling to secure fossil fuels from the Middle East or Venezuela so we can continue driving cars as we love to. Storms, floodings, droughts and wildfires will make the political situation much, much worse.
It cannot be repeated often enough: fossil fuels wake this war possible. We sponsored and we are still sponsoring Russia’s war crimes with our oil and gas purchases. We knew since 2014 the latest (when Russia first attacked Ukraine and grabbed some Lebensraum) what’s at stake, but we preferred to prostrate ourselves before Gazprom and Rosneft, while eagerly passing laws against wind mills. Imagine what historians will make of that in the future. If there is a future, that is.
In the end, if we allow Putin to have his way, the war in Ukraine will come to our own homes exactly because we let him win the Ukraine war. Don’t forget the theatre rule by the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov: “One must never place a loaded rifle on the stage if it isn’t going to go off.” We have nuclear arms placed on the world stage for over 70 years now. Putin threatened to use them several times already.
Слава Україні! Героям слава!
Please find charities to donate to at the end of this article. Prof Timothy Snyder lists Ukraine charities in US, Europe and especially Poland here. Or donate to a humanitarian charity project of your choice. Ukrainians are fighting for all of us.