Don’t be deceived: Russia is waging war



2014/07/14 • Politics

By Robert van Voren

Over the past months there have been so many moments that I need to take a walk to rid myself of anger or frustration over the Ukrainian-Russian war, that it sometimes feels like a permanent state, rather than an extraordinary one. Yet there are moments when that anger reaches unusual heights. This is one of those.

War? Yes, you read me well, there is nothing wrong with your eyesight: Russian-Ukrainian War.

Sure, the war is undeclared, and Putin waves his hands saying “ya tut ne pri chom” (free translation: I am totally innocent), but every day more Russian military hardware, mercenaries and other terrorists, instructors and FSB and GRU officers enter the country. And not just a few: we are talking about large quantities, both men and equipment, and the quality of the equipment continues to increase: initially old discarded stuff was sent in, now we are looking at pretty sophisticated stuff.

This is a war. Russia is waging war. It is waging a sneaky, dirty war, mainly directed in making sure Ukraine has no chance to become a prosperous and stable society and at the same time defending its criminal business interests.

The latter is an important issue: Russia is ruled by a criminal government, or a government of criminals, and their main interest is “business”. The rest is just facade. They don’t care about “the glory of Russia” more than they care whether Holland lost against Argentine or not.

What is disgusting is the attitude of the European Union, and in particular the German Chancellor and the French. The French pretend their nose is bleeding, and in the mean time sell their sophisticated Mistral ships to Russia, which one day can be used to invade Ukraine from the sea. Frau Merkel enjoys a football game with this small-sized warmonger Vladimir Putin, and although she definitely must feel uneasy (impossible when stemming from Eastern Germany and from a family not very much “DDR-Freundlich”) business considerations prevail. Acknowledging that this is a war means that a new wave of sanctions is unavoidable. And so we pretend it is not. It is not a war – Putin is “tut ne pro chom” and thus we do not have to impose sanctions.

I think this attitude goes fully against the ideals on which the European Union was based, and it would make the founders of the European Union turn around in their graves. The EU was built to avoid war, built by people who survived the Second World War and were convinced that ANYTHING was necessary to avoid a repetition. Anything also means taking action when action is needed, and responding when European values are at stake.

What really hurts is the fact that Ukrainians seem to believe much more in European values than the leaders of the European Union do. They fight for their land, they withstand the aggressor and the Soviet Union again creeping in on their lives. They are willing to shed blood in defence of freedom.

And the Western European leaders? They are willing to watch a football game with Putin and pretend that he is “tut ne pri chom”…

History will catch up on them, and will condemn their attitudes. But for the time being Ukraine stands alone. And that is a tragedy.

Robert van Voren is Professor of Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies at the Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas (Lithuania) and Ilia State University in Tbilisi (Georgia).

 Source: Robert van Voren’s FB


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  • sandy miller

    Prof. Van Voren. I too walk the floor and spend every hour possible trying to figure out how to help Ukraine. We raise funds, we send letters to our government and very little has happened to help Ukraine militarily. That’s the truth they need help against Russia who is invading as we speak. You are right Europe will eventually pay for building this monster. In America I am asking all Americans to stop buying German cars and French products. Germany and France have shown their ugly faces again. They call themselves civilized? They’re lying , greedy dogs.

  • Fred Meyer

    Ukrainians fight for “their” land? Really? I rather see they are fighting for a region (Donbass) populated by people who want more independence and maintain close ties with Russia. It’s rather logical Russia is counterattacking. Ukraine is a divided country. And please don’t blame the EU (France/Germany). first, Russia has been sanctioned and that’s not nothing. (Saoudi Arabia has never been sanctioned for ISIS in Iraq although many ISIS fighters are Saoudis->same scenario as in Ukraine). second, when Ukraine started bombing big European cities like Donetsk the country lost part of its credibility in Brussels.

    • Mat

      Polls show only 20% supported the separatists and at most 30% would separate. A supermajority wants to stay united with Ukraine, so to say they are “divided” or fighting for a region is just silly and misinformed.

      • Fred Meyer

        to want more independence is not the same as separating.

    • deeline

      Do we still respect borders or what? Like Mat said, only 20% want to be separated. And it is Ukraine’s internal affair, that does not allow military action from 3rd party.

      • Dave Ralph

        Produce the polling data proving that only 20% want to be separated, show me the methodology of the poll – and i’ll show you information produced for Western propaganda purposes. Sure, Russia’s polls lie, but the West’s polls lie as well. The bottom line is that 93% of Donbass voters supported Yanukovich in the last presidential election.

        • Mat

          and what % voted Party of Regions (Dobkin) in this election? Your 93% figure was pulled our your ass.

          Polling #s can be viewed here

          There are more polls, summarized here

          I’m sure you’ll have an excuse for each and every one, though, to feed your fantasy.

        • deeline

          (1) Forget the 20%. Do we respect international borders or not?
          (2) 93% of Donbass voters supported Yanukovich – and now majority of them elected Poroshenko – do we respect this?

          • Fred Meyer

            Of course we respect the elections, but in the Donbass (and in the entire south-eastern Ukraine) Poroshenko didn’t get he majority (50%) of the votes. He got the highest %, but, unless in the West, not the majority. And most of the Donbass didn’t even vote. You cannot neglect the division.

          • deeline

            if in my family nobody voted for the winner – does it mean that my house can declare independence? Or what?

            we have majoritarian elections system. if some region show different result than state as a whole – this changes nothing.

            otherwise we have to dive deep it “what is the minimal region size we have to put into consideration? what is the minimal population? what to do with the exceptions on this territory?”

            the president was elected according to the law.

            And now they can elect their governor, city major, city counsel if they what their region to be properly represented.

      • Fred Meyer

        Again, more independence is not the same as a separation. I agree with you its Ukraine’s internal affair, but you also know that in a world dominated by great powers this is just words, not reality. Russia behaves like other great powers. Just look at the number of regime changes the US has pushed for in Central America, how France behaves in Africa, Saoudi Arabia in Syria, etc. This is a sad reality and thinking that Russia will not act as most other great powers is simply naive.

  • Mike Kostelny

    Sometimes History does repeat itself. The attitude of appeasement to bully nations is well represented by Neville Chamberlain, who as British PM in 1938 held a scrap of paper signed by Adolf Hitler to say that now the world can relax: there is no war with Nazi Germany, but instead PEACE IN OUR TIME! Famous words that were dead-wrong! Hitler, it is true, did not wish war, as he said, only PEACE–but ‘peace according to his terms’! And so it is with V.V. Putin. He tells the world that he desires to de-escalate the armed conflict in East Ukraine, that he desires only peace, but what he desires is total submission according to his terms.So in the Summer of 1939, all the Western World preferred to watch soccer games, to travel, to vacation, to relax in the sun and to forget all of this hullabaloo about Der Fuhrer, Herr Hitler, who after all (they said to themselves) openly stated that he did not wish war, only PEACE! So, History now repeats itself today in the form of Putin, whom some even claim is himself a neo-Nazi, a fascist, a dictator in the worst sense of the world?! Is Ukraine watching and facing this bully alone–without witnesses, without moral support? Hardly?! All the civilized world (thanks to the Internet) is able to view a play-by-play of events as Putin plays all his cards too close to his chest, indicating that he is not at all so sure of himself as he would like the outside world to think. Yes, Ukraine is a big gamble for Putin the Great Pretender, just as the Crimea was a gamble (of which Russia is not sure even today that it has ‘won’ anything of lasting value?!). This biggest gamble of Putin’s career will surely be the death of not only Putin and his Russian regime of rogues and ruffians but the end of Russia as a superpower, nuclear missiles or not! Not only the bubble of the inflated Russian economy will burst into a thousand pieces but the proud inflated ego of Putin himself parading as a peacock will meet that fate of all those whom The Gods wish to destroy, the proud and the damned.

  • Dave Ralph

    Earth to Ukraine: the US and EU governments are not going to fund your war in the Donbass for much longer. You had better forget about the Donbass and start reforming your economy, because the West isn’t going to keep shelling out $30 billion every two years to pay your gas bills after you tell them that you spent all the previous aid on weapons to fight separatists in Donetsk (which you would be better off kicking out of your country anyway).

    • deeline

      Ukraine to US, EU and Russia: Give us back our nuclear weapon. Cause if you don’t want to protect our sovereignty (as you promised), we going to do it ourselves.

      • Dave Ralph

        You’re not going to do it, because the Western world is not going to allow nuclear proliferation, not in Iran, not in N Korea, and not in Ukraine. End of story.

        • deeline

          that’s pathetic, isn’t it? took away Ukrainian nukes, saying “You don’t need this, we gonna protect you if required”. And now they say “No no no, you’re on your own, it is you problem”. Even more, they’re selling weapons to Russia (“Mistrals”), they’re cheering Mr Putler (World Cup Final, Frau Merkel).

          And they will not allow nuclear proliferation? I think they do quite opposite, because message they’re sending is “Hey Iran, Hey N Korea, Nukes is the only way to protect yourself. Don’t trust our promises, because we will do nothing except deep concerns to protect you”.

      • Fred Meyer

        The nuclear weapons in Ukraine during the USSR period were operated from and property of Moscow, not of Ukraine. Just like today the US has nuclear weapons in several European countries.

        • deeline


          According to the memorandum, Russia, the U.S., and the UK confirmed, in recognition of Ukraine becoming party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and in effect abandoning its nuclear arsenal to Russia, that they would:

          Respect Ukrainian independence and sovereignty within its existing borders.

          Refrain from the threat or use of force against Ukraine.

          Refrain from using economic pressure on Ukraine in order to influence its politics.

          Seek United Nations Security Council action if nuclear weapons are used against Ukraine.

          Refrain from the use of nuclear arms against Ukraine.

          Consult with one another if questions arise regarding these commitments.[9]