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Why is it important to help Ukraine during the war against Russia?

Why is it important to provide Ukraine with military aid?

Why is it important to provide Ukraine with economic and financial support?

Is it true that a major part of the military aid provided to Ukraine is being ‘eaten’ by corruption?

Why cannot Ukraine just give up and stop Ukrainians from being killed?

Can we call Russia’s war against Ukraine a genocide against the Ukrainian people?

Who doesn’t Ukraine enter into peace negotiations?

Did Ukraine’s 2023 counteroffensive fail?

When will the war end?

Why is it necessary to defeat Russia?

Why are Ukrainians confident of their victory?

Will Russia attack any other countries?

Does military assistance to Ukraine really escalate and drag the war on? Will the war be over if weapons supply to Ukraine is stopped?

Is it true that it is impossible to defeat the Russian army?

Do sanctions affect ordinary Russians?

Why is it important to prevent Russians from participating in international sports competitions?

Why are there no “good” Russians for Ukrainians?

Why do Ukrainians oppose cultural events involving Russians?

Why does Ukraine cancel Russian culture and consider it dangerous? What is wrong for Ukrainians with conditional Pushkin or Tolstoy?

Why is this not just Putin’s but all Russia’s war against Ukraine?

Is it true that deputies, officials and their children do not go to war and only ordinary people are fighting for Ukraine?

Why is it important to provide Ukraine with military aid?

Why is it important to provide Ukraine with military aid?

There are at least three reasons to continue providing Ukraine with military assistance:

  • It is an investment in the security of Europe;
  • It is a contribution to a victory of democracy over authoritarianism in the world;
  • It will accelerate the end of the war and save the lives of many people, both civilians and soldiers.

Military aid to Ukraine is not charity, but a smart investment in the European security. If the war in Ukraine is frozen, Putin will find a new target. It can be any country of Eastern Europe – the Baltic states, Moldova, Romania, and, probably, the Czech Republic.

The fall of one frontier will inevitably lead to the collapse of the others. At the beginning of World War II, Germany seized Poland because it lacked prompt assistance from Great Britain and France. The Nazi established a foothold on the occupied territories to attack the other countries. The same scenario is absolutely possible in this war.

Military assistance to Ukraine is a contribution to the victory of democracy over authoritarianism and a warning message for China. It is known that Xi Jinping is already estimating the cost of a Taiwan invasion. Probably, when the war in Ukraine is over, it may become the next global armed conflict. However, Ukraine’s confident victory due to the world’s military aid could give China a signal and, maybe, postpone this invasion.

Despite China’s remoteness, a war against this country will entail inevitable and much higher military spending not only for the United States, Japan and South Korea, but also for European countries that would be forced to come into the conflict.

Providing Ukraine with more weapons means speeding up the end of the war and saving the lives of millions of people. The longer the war drags on, the more Ukrainian civilians will die and the more Ukrainians and Russians will be mobilized and killed in it. Also, Ukraine needs weapons to prevail over Russia and to prevent Putin from advancing his military campaign towards the West, which would mean involving citizens of other countries and consequently suffering casualties in hypothetical future wars.

Why is it important to provide Ukraine with economic and financial support?

Why is it important to provide Ukraine with economic and financial support?

Why is it important to provide Ukraine with economic and financial support?

For two years now, Ukraine has been living in the conditions of an extreme shortage of state funds and a dramatically weakened economy exclusively due to Russia’s full-scale invasion. Despite all these facts, the government must strongly support the army and a lot of people who have lost their jobs and homes with financing. In addition, the state of Ukraine’s economy is critically important for global food security.

Ukraine is a strategic food partner of many countries. According to the UN, grain from Ukraine fed more than 400 million people worldwide. Russia’s invasion interrupted these chains and now more than 70 million people all over the world are on the brink of starvation. In 2021, Ukraine ranked second in terms of world grain exports, outpaced only by the United States, and it also took second place in terms of honey exports. Therefore, the support for Ukraine’s economic chains is important for global food security.

Ukraine finances the maintenance of the Armed Forces (AFU) completely on its own, although it is a very challenging task against the background of an extreme shortage of public funds and a dramatically weakened economy. Financial support for the social sphere is needed to release funds for the army. In 2023, the war against Russia cost Ukraine $100 million per day, and most of these funds were spent on the army, former Defense Minister of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov said. Compared to peacetime, the overall financing of the AFU has doubled.

Russia destroyed the lives of almost one third of Ukraine’s population. According to the UN, some 14.6 million Ukrainians will require protection and humanitarian aid in 2024. Because of the large-scale devastation and destruction of the civilian infrastructure, many people in Ukraine are unable to satisfy their basic needs, including food, water, and medicines. The World Bank and the European Commission said in a report that the housing restoration and reconstruction needs in the first six months of the war were estimated at $69 billion. Meanwhile, the state budget of Ukraine received from the partners $38.4 billion in 2023. The EU’s contribution of $17.9 billion was the largest one. The United States allocated $10.9 billion last year. This is a substantial support, however, the cost of Ukraine’s losses due to Russia’s invasion is much higher.

A major part of financing from the European partners is provided in loans. It should be understood that Ukraine is going to pay back the money allocated by its European partners.

Is it true that a major part of the military aid provided to Ukraine is being ‘eaten’ by corruption?

Is it true that a major part of the military aid provided to Ukraine is being ‘eaten’ by corruption?

No, it’s not. Fortunately, there are no signs of corruption affecting the Western military assistance.
This has been voiced by Ukrainian state institutions and backed by the U.S. ones. In particular, U.S. National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby told a January 3, 2024 press briefing in Washington the White House saw no indication that Ukraine had misused the military aid provided by the United States.

The war did not eliminate corruption in Ukraine. We still can see reports about proceedings into embezzlement of food supplies and the “floating” numbers of the drones procured by local administrations. The fight goes on and those guilty will be punished. The reported revelation of corruption schemes and detention of suspects prove the aspiration of Ukraine (both the society and government) to overcome corruption and take decisive steps in this direction.

At the same time, there were no scandals connected with embezzlement of the military equipment supplied to us.

When the war broke out, the United States created a multi-level control system for its assistance to Ukraine. In particular, the EUCOM Control Center of Ukraine (ECCU) is in charge of the monitoring. In addition, Ukraine launched three levels of accounting through the NATO LOGFAS program. This means that Ukraine keeps records of weapons and military equipment, just like the United States.

A separate informational campaign was launched to clarify the procedure of reporting suspected misconduct. Acting Head of USAID’s Office of Inspector General Nicole L. Angarella said that the number of reports of possible misconduct affecting resources has jumped by 555%. This means that USAID’s informational campaign on the procedure of reporting possible cases of corruption has worked out and people understood the reporting mechanism. All reports were accepted and checked. However, no significant violations or signs of corruption were detected in each of the cases.
On January 18, 2023, a document entitled “Joint Strategic Oversight Plan for Ukraine” was posted on the website of USAID’s Office of Inspector General. In August 2023, an additional monitoring team was created to oversee the assistance to Ukraine. These structures also did not record any official violations.

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget A. Brink also studied the issue of targeted use of the Western weapons and equipment supplied to Ukraine. She came to the conclusion that “not one piece of [military] equipment has been diverted in a way that it hasn’t been intended to be used”.

Why cannot Ukraine just give up and stop Ukrainians from being killed?

Why cannot Ukraine just give up and stop Ukrainians from being killed?

If Ukraine gives up, there will be many more deaths. The ultimate goal of Putin and Russia is the physical extermination of all Ukrainians.

The atrocities committed by the Russian army in Bucha, Irpin, and Izyum proved this. The Russian troops demonstrated their real behavior and attitude towards Ukrainians while enjoying their total impunity.

Putin himself reaffirms this while talking about the “denazification” of Ukraine, which is genocidal rhetoric, according to historian Timothy Snyder. Other Russian leaders also directly and radically talk about the extermination of Ukrainians. A member of the State Duma of the Russian Federation from the ruling party United Russia, Oleg Matveychev, stated: “The very notion of Ukraine must not exist in the future, and the notion of a Ukrainian must not exist in the future.”

Russian ex-president Dmitry Medvedev compared Ukrainians to cockroaches, insects, and pigs. Such rhetoric with the use of euphemisms is aimed at dehumanizing a group in order to justify and facilitate the perception of killing its representatives.

Medvedev also said that the very fact of the existence of Ukraine will be a constant reason for Russia to resume hostilities.

Killing of Ukrainians by Russians is a historical crime with a duration of more than 300 years. Back in 1654, the Tsardom of Muscovy tried to extend its influence on Ukraine. Several Russo-Ukrainian wars broke out in those days and it all ended up with the liquidation of the Hetmanate (the Ukrainian Cossack state), russification and elimination of that time statehood.

In the 1930s, Stalin feared the idea of Ukraine’s independence as it challenged the Soviet Bolsheviks’ power. A man-made famine, also known as the Holodomor, was organized then. According to the official investigation, 3.9 million Ukrainians were killed during the 1932-1933 Holodomor famine. Thirty-two countries and the European Parliament recognized the Holodomor in Ukraine as genocide of the Soviet government against the Ukrainian people.

Unlike Stalin, who wanted to weaken Ukrainian peasants and get rid of Ukrainian intelligentsia, Putin today is trying to completely destroy the statehood and carriers of the Ukrainian national identity.

For Ukraine, stopping the fight against Putin and Russia means following Georgia’s and Chechnya’s scenario. Back then in the 90s, an armed conflict was frozen in Georgia and a truce was reached between Russian and Chechnya. However, a new aggression broke out in both regions after a pause. Kadyrov’s regime was established in Chechnya. In Georgia, new territories were occupied, ethnic cleansing was carried out, and pressure on Tbilisi became tougher.

Can we call Russia’s war against Ukraine a genocide against the Ukrainian people?

Can we call Russia’s war against Ukraine a genocide against the Ukrainian people?

Taking into account the facts, Russia’s actions against the Ukrainian people have the genocidal nature and can be considered a genocide. However, the official confirmation of this fact by the International Tribunal requires some time.

Genocide is massive destruction of people on the grounds of race, nationality or religion.
The massive destruction of Ukrainians by the occupation troops is an internationally confirmed fact. The shooting of civilian Ukrainians in Bucha (also known as the Bucha massacre) was recognized by the EU, NATO and the UN as an international crime and condemned by the leaders of dozens of countries around the world.

Russian leaders also make genocidal statements. Putin’s deputy at the Security Council of Russia, Medvedev, has stated numerous times in his social media posts that Russia will always be at war with Ukraine until the latter exists as a separate country. Should we take this seriously? Yes. He is a high-ranking government official, the second person after Putin at the Security Council and the Military-Industrial Commission, who, in addition, has a significant influence on his audience through his personal information channels. Therefore, regardless of the character’s reputation, these statements are made by a public official.

The “denazification” announced by Putin himself can also be regarded as an undisguised policy of destruction.

However, time is needed for the status of genocide to be recognized. It can be confirmed only by the International Tribunal whose investigations may take decades. The latest act of genocide officially recognized in the world is the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre. It was only in 2007 that the International Tribunal defined it as an act of genocide against the Bosnian Muslims.

This text is based on materials from the Center for Strategic Communication and Information Security.

Who doesn’t Ukraine enter into peace negotiations?

Who doesn’t Ukraine enter into peace negotiations?

The reason why Ukraine does not enter into peace negotiations with Russia is simple: currently, there are no conditions for ensuring peace in Ukraine, Russia is, in fact, not interested in this, and in reality, when talking about peace, it wants Ukraine to capitulate.

From 2014 to 2022, Ukraine and Russia had almost 200 rounds of talks in various formats. Over this time, the sides agreed on 20 ceasefires and all of them were immediately breached by Russia. Where did this lead? On February 24, 2022, Russia started its full-scale invasion, which means that this country does not fulfill its promises.

Even after that Ukraine applied efforts to achieve peace and initiated three rounds of negotiations on the border with Belarus and on the Poland-Belarus border. Commenting on this, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the following: “I do not really believe in the outcome of this meeting, but let them try. So that no citizen of Ukraine would have any doubt that I, as a president, did not try to stop the war, when there was even a small, but still a chance.” The fourth attempt to hold peace talks planned in Istanbul was ruined by Russia’s war crimes in Bucha and Irpin.

If Russia really wants peace and respects the sovereignty of Ukraine, it must withdraw its troops from our territory. However, Russia does not do so. Moreover, on September 30, 2022, after holding the sham referenda, Russian dictator Putin announced the annexation of four regions of Ukraine, none of which Russia managed to occupy in full. In response to this, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy issued a decree enacting the decision of the National Security and Defense Council that negotiations with Russian President Putin are impossible. Nothing changed since then, and Putin directly calls the occupied territories “conquests.” No matter how actively Russia pretends that it wants peace talks, in fact, it proposes Ukraine to surrender.

Ukraine wants peace on its land more than any country in the world. But it wants a just peace with at least restored territorial integrity. Only after that, negotiations would make sense. All that Russia describes as talks is, in fact, Ukraine’s capitulation and an opportunity for the Russian forces to strengthen their capabilities and use the occupied territories as a bridgehead for their new assaults. Any attempt to appease an aggressor results in new aggression which may affect either Ukraine or any other country.

Did Ukraine’s 2023 counteroffensive fail?

Did Ukraine’s 2023 counteroffensive fail?

Ukraine conducted a counteroffensive which brought important results. However, they appeared to be smaller than it had been announced as long as the forecasts were based on greater assistance with weapons than it was in reality.

In fact, the narratives about a failed counteroffensive contain the signs of Russian propaganda. It is worth paying attention to a different question – what was the result of the Ukrainian counteroffensive?

The 2023 counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) resulted in the liberation of 260 square kilometers of land which equals the area of Germany’s Frankfurt am Main.

In addition, the Ukrainian army pushed Russia’s Black Sea Navy out of the Black Sea waters. Without having its own navy, Ukraine has managed to disable Russia’s 24 warships and one submarine, which is 33% of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. This is a significant accomplishment which becomes even more important if the fact of Ukraine having no own navy, unlike Russia, is taken into account. This victory allowed building a route for grain export, strengthening the economy of Ukraine and ensuring global food security. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg highlighted this fact at a November 29, 2023 press conference hosted by the Alliance’s Headquarters.

The counteroffensive fell short of expectations, but not because of the AFU’s actions. Unfortunately, Ukraine’s partners did not provide it with a sufficient number of weapons for the announced scale of operations. In particular, the Ukrainian army lacked fighter jets and long-range missiles. That is why the AFU were unable to destroy the rear logistics of the Russian army. The former Commanding General of US Army Europe, Ben Hodges, noted that the military aid provided by the United States was enough only “to keep Ukraine in the fight”, adding that the United States itself would never send American soldiers to do such an attack with the same amount of military supplies.
Also, the AFU received less ammunition than it had been promised. The EU delivered only 480,000 munitions of the promised million. Meanwhile, Putin received more than a million artillery rounds from North Korea. In addition, before the counteroffensive kick-off, Ukraine received less than 15% of the demining equipment it had requested from the EU, which made it impossible for the Ukrainian army to advance through the vast minefields prepared by the enemy.

So, the counteroffensive was conducted and it brought important achievements, although it did not meet the global community’s expectations. The main reason for this is the slow and insufficient supply of weapons from the partners.

When will the war end?

When will the war end?

It is impossible to foretell the end of any war. But we understand that this war can only end with the victory of Ukraine, since any other scenario means the continuation of the war. Today, we can name at least two preconditions for speeding up Ukraine’s victory: Ukraine’s superiority in the sky will accelerate its counteroffensive operations and more sanctions against Russia will make the aggressor state’s military complex weaker.
The war will end as soon as Ukraine prevails. Any other course of events means the continuation of the war. Putin and Russia’s senior leadership have reaffirmed their imperial ambitions many times. The history of modern Russia proves its commitment to the “permanent war” strategy: since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has been involved into 15 armed conflicts, most of which were unleashed by Putin himself. Therefore, any agreements with Russia will lead only to a temporary break for it to have rest and build up the resources for future wars in Europe.

That’s exactly what has happened in Ukraine. One of the main reasons for the full-scale invasion of Ukraine was the freezing of Russia’s armed aggression, which had started with the occupation of Crimea and part of Donetsk and Luhansk regions back in 2014 and, in fact, has been lasting for ten years. So, only Ukraine’s confident victory over Russia will become a key to ending the war and preventing a global war.

Ukraine’s air superiority will help to accelerate its counteroffensive operations. In an interview with The Economist, former Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhny spoke about the importance of air supremacy. The general explained that air superiority is necessary for conducting large-scale operations on the ground. And a speedy transfer of F-16 aircraft by partner countries could make it a reality. Today, Russia significantly prevails over Ukraine in terms of aviation.

More sanctions against Russia will make the aggressor state’s military complex weaker. Putin is determined to wage a long-lasting war against Ukraine. He has literally said this at the Eastern Economic Forum hosted by Vladivostok in September 2023. And the only thing that could stop him is the lack of financing, since human losses are not a problem for Russia. Over the first one and a half years, the Russian army lost at least 150,000 dead, but the war still goes on. Although such numbers are considered as critical by any other army in the world.

Why is it necessary to defeat Russia?

Why is it necessary to defeat Russia?

This is important for Ukraine, Europe, the world and all of humanity. Victory over Russia will stop the killing of Ukrainians, become a key to global security and a symbol of victory of democracy over authoritarianism. It will also prevent new wars that could be unleashed by Russia and other autocracies.

Victory over Russia is important for the security of Europe and peace in the region. Imagine that Russia wins. In that case, Putin, just like any criminal, would feel the power. The next steps of his expansion campaign might be taken towards the Baltic states, Poland, Romania, Moldova, and the Czech Republic. This is Russia’s real plan which has been voiced in numerous statements by Russian propagandists and senior officials.

A number of military analysts have been talking about a hybrid war, which is already being waged by Russia against the EU and NATO. Poland’s leading defense news hub Defence 24 reported that today Putin has enough forces for a direct attack on Poland. Any advancement of the Russian army towards the EU will inevitably result in a swing in public opinion and destabilize the European countries. Putin’s dictatorship will definitely make use of this weakness.

If Russia wins, it will continue to exterminate Ukrainians. Those who are able to escape will become refugees whose enormous wave will engulf primarily the European countries. After hostilities, Russia always terrorizes the civilian population on the occupied territories and destroys the rebels. The Russian army has clearly demonstrated its attitude towards people on the occupied territories through the Bucha Massacre, the torture chamber in Yahidne (Chernihiv region), and the shooting of people in Izium (Kharkiv region). In Kharkiv region alone (25% of which was occupied until September 2022) 25 torture chambers were found. Hundreds of people went through them. The Russian occupation forces create such chambers in every captured area.

Russia’s defeat is important for the victory of democracy over authoritarianism. If Russia wins the war, this will give an impetus to the other dictators. China will launch the active phase of Taiwan invasion.
The world is a much more dangerous place than it might seem. A single dictatorship in the shape of Russia has unleashed a huge continental war in Europe which is being waged 1,000 kilometers away from the EU border. Today, there exist about 50 dictatorships among 193 countries. Having looked at the Democracy Index map, you will see that dictators occupy the dominant territory, especially in the Eurasian and African regions. Despite their technological backwardness, these regions possess significant natural and human resources. It is hard to imagine what united dictatorships are capable of.

Victory over Russia is important for global nuclear safety. With the growth of Russia’s armed aggression, the probability of using nuclear weapons by it has increased. From the very beginning of the full-scale invasion, Putin stated that Russia’s strategic nuclear forces have been put in the state of full combat readiness. He repeated this on February 29, 2024 in his address to the Federal Assembly. In addition, the threats to use nuclear weapons not only against Ukraine but also against the Western countries and the United States have been regularly voiced by ex-president of Russia Medvedev as well as other Russian officials and propagandists.
If Russia wins this war, the countries might enter a new nuclear arms race. They will feel that military alliances are no longer able to protect them and they need more nuclear weapons for self-defense.
That is why victory over Russia is important for establishing global peace and preventing the nuclear arms proliferation in the world.

Why are Ukrainians confident of their victory?

Why are Ukrainians confident of their victory?

It is because Ukrainians have proved their ability to win when they prevailed in the so-called “first war”. It is because Ukrainians feel the support of Europe and the entire democratic world. And also, it is because good always triumphs over evil.

The first war is considered to be a blitzkrieg announced by Russia during which it planned to capture Ukraine in three days. This never happened, even after two years of the full-scale invasion. The Russian forces were also pushed back from a significant part of the territories they had occupied in 2022.

Ukrainians believe they can prevail because they feel the support of Europe and the entire democratic world. This support is manifested not only in investment and the supply of critical defensive and offensive weapons, but also in strategic statements. Chair of the NATO Military Committee Rob Bauer said NATO would stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes. In May 2023, NATO’s Nordic member states (Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) announced their financial, humanitarian and military assistance to Ukraine “for as long as it takes Ukraine to prevail.”

Ukrainians are also confident of their victory as good always triumphs over evil. It sounds trite, but still, it is an extremely important expression and the foundation of humanity’s survival. Historically, our civilization exists because it fights. And we are fighting because we believe in our victory.
Ukrainians are fighting for their survival as long as the aggressor does not even conceal its willingness to exterminate Ukrainians. Thus, Ukrainians have no other option but to fight and win.

Will Russia attack any other countries?

Will Russia attack any other countries?

Russia is an aggressive imperialist state which attacked and will attack other countries for as long as it is physically and militarily capable. The war in Ukraine is only a deterrent to a certain extent.

In the 21st century alone, Russia entered into five armed conflicts: Georgia in 2008, the North Caucasus in 2009, Donbas in 2014, Crimea in 2014, and Syria in 2015. Today, Russia continues to wage an active war in Ukraine and has a contingent deployed in the South African Republic (ZAR).

Russia is an imperialist state which still measures its global influence in the land area. As Putin said addressing schoolchildren in 2016, “Russia’s borders do not end anywhere.” Russia has declared numerous times its plans to conquer Poland, Romania, Moldova, the Czech Republic, and the Baltic states.

The war in Ukraine is a deterrent for Russia to some extent, but even this fact does not guarantee that Russia would not attack any other country while it is at war with Ukraine. Today, Russia is already waging a hybrid war without hostilities against the EU and NATO. It opts for the typical signs of a hybrid war – propaganda and influence operations to affect public opinion in European countries. The North Atlantic Alliance objectively sees the probability of a war with Russia. On January 22, 2024, NATO launched the most large-scale exercise Steadfast Defender 2024 in Europe, involving around 90,000 military personnel from all NATO member states, including Sweden, which was a member candidate at that time and has joined the Alliance on April 4, 2024. Chair of the NATO Military Committee Rob Bauer said Western society should realize that “peace is not a given.” That is exactly why the NATO forces are preparing to defend their territories against Russia.

The only security guarantee for Europe could be Russia’s crushing defeat in Ukraine and its economy in a terminal condition. In case of defeat, Russia will suspend its expansion for some time.

If it wins, Russia will definitely continue the expansion. Its criminal leadership will take this as weakness and failure to respond to aggression, which will encourage Putin to escalate his demands. In that case, Russia will win time to restore its economy and army, as well as capture all economic resources of Ukraine. Probably, Russia will go into strengthening its positions in the Arctic and build even closer cooperation with China. Russia’s experience of waging war against an adversary supplied with the Western and American military equipment would be extremely precious for China in its battle for Taiwan.

Only Ukraine’s victory on the battlefield can guarantee the security of Europe.

Does military assistance to Ukraine really escalate and drag the war on? Will the war be over if weapons supply to Ukraine is stopped?

Does military assistance to Ukraine really escalate and drag the war on? Will the war be over if weapons supply to Ukraine is stopped?

No, it won’t. The military assistance to Ukraine leads to ending the war. And the more such support we get, the sooner the war will end. This will save the lives of many Ukrainians, as well as Russians, prevent Moscow, which has been openly threatening other countries, from increasing its appetite, and become an important turning point for democracy to stop authoritarianism by discouraging the authoritarian leaders from unleashing new wars.

If Ukraine is deprived of military aid, Russia may prevail. But Russia’s victory will not mark the end of the war. Russia is an imperialistic state whose leaders think in terms of territories. Having got Ukraine, Putin will continue his expansion to the West, first through Poland and then through the Baltic states. Some Russian propagandists have mentioned the seizure of Central European countries. For example, Solovyov in one of his shows demanded to burn Berlin down and in another one he talked about the importance of “a repeated parade of the Russian troops in Berlin.” Russian ex-president Dmitry Medvedev called Poland “a dangerous enemy” and threatened it with the loss of statehood. All these phrases sounded after the start of the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

In fact, it is Russia who continues to wage this war. Since it is Russia who invaded Ukraine, it is the one who can stop the war and withdraw its troops. However, Russia does not do this. Russia has one goal – to seize Ukraine. At a pro-war conference in Tula on July 2, 2024, Putin even stated that the reason for this war is “the sentiments in Russian society.” According to the dictator, he “felt that the society wanted Crimea and Donbas back, and he did that.” Another way to stop this war is Russia’s military defeat which requires more military assistance for Ukraine.

Is it true that it is impossible to defeat the Russian army?

Is it true that it is impossible to defeat the Russian army?

The Russian army is not as formidable as its image created by the Russian propaganda.

Yes, it poses a serious threat, but it can be defeated. This fact has been confirmed by the historical examples of victories over it. Despite its strengths, the Russian army also has significant weak points.

The Russian army had already been defeated. Ukrainians hampered Russia from conducting a blitzkrieg, which can be considered as a victory in the first war, and in fact Ukraine has liberated a half of its territories occupied by Russia starting after February 24, 2022 – 53%, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). Without having their own navy, Ukrainian forces have destroyed 33%, or one third, of the Russian Black Sea Navy warships. And before that, Chechens de facto defeated the Russian army in the First Chechen War in 1994-1996.

The greatest power of the Russian army is in its substantial resources. However, this factor is compensated by a retrograde trend and micromanagement.

Russia has a mobilization resource of around 3 million people. Therefore, despite its indifference to the lives of the military personnel and significant losses, it is still able to continue the hostilities. But this is not enough to be an undefeated army.

The Russian military leadership sticks to the warfare principles that were used by the Red Army and the training of its soldiers does not take into account the experience of modern wars. This is a reason for a decrease in the army’s effectiveness.

For example, The Guardian and The Times reported that Putin is actively involved in the planning of military operations without having proper military education, which ends up with Russia’s failures on the battlefield.

Another strong point of the Russian army is the transfer of the country’s economy to the military track and militarization of the society. However, all this is compensated by the high level of corruption.

Today, Russia’s military and security spending accounts for as much as 40% of the country’s budget. Russian citizens are brought up on the culture of war and violence from an early age: this topic is present in the A-B-C books and there even exists the so-called Yunarmy which was created at the initiative of the Russian Defense Ministry for children to gain military skills in summer camps.

At the same time, the Russian army has a corrupt management which causes huge problems with the army supply. In 2019, Russia announced the replenishment of its army with 434 new tanks, which, however, appeared to be new only on paper. In fact, most of them were simply withdrawn from storage and repaired. Also, the Russian troops were sent to war with dry rations that expired seven years ago and poorly maintained military hardware.

And most importantly, the Russian army has lower morale and motivation than the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Despite the fact that modern wars have become the wars of drones, this is an important factor, because it is people who conduct hostilities.

Do sanctions affect ordinary Russians?

Do sanctions affect ordinary Russians?

All sanctions against Russia target its military complex. Not a single sanction imposed by the EU on Russia hinders the supply of agricultural goods, medical equipment or medicines to the population. Agricultural machinery is also not subject to any export bans. The only one who causes harm to the Russians is the Russian government. The sanctions force Putin to seek new sources of financing for the war, and he uses assets from the National Wealth Fund for this purpose.

Why is it important to prevent Russians from participating in international sports competitions?

Why is it important to prevent Russians from participating in international sports competitions?

Russian athletes actively support the war and most of them are officers of the Russian Armed Forces. Therefore, tolerating them not only means the organizers’ tacit consent to Russia’s armed aggression but also diminishes the ideas and principles of the Olympics.

Russia has always used sports as a weapon. It is a part of imperialist propaganda. Most Russian athletes are members of military sports associations as well as officers of the Russian Armed Forces.

Russian gymnast Nagornyy serves in the National Guard of Russia, has the rank of second lieutenant and leads the militarized children’s organization Yunarmy which is subordinated to the Russian Defense Ministry.

In 2021, Russian athletes won 45 medals at the Tokyo Olympics. The winners belonged to the army: warrant officers, lieutenants and captains, who after the Olympics received state awards from the Russian Defense Ministry.

The Russian sports club CSKA (the Central Sports Club of the Army) is a structural unit of the Russian Defense Ministry. The athletes serve in sports companies of the club and then sign contracts with the Defense Ministry of Russia. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu personally appoints the head of this sports club.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia is the founder of the Dynamo sports society and the vast majority of athletes in the society hold positions in Russia’s military forces. A Dynamo member, judoka Matvey Kanikovskiy was a Russian National Guard private as of November 2022. Another member of this sports society, Russian judoka Ramazan Abdulaev was a sergeant of the Police Regiment of the Main Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia in the Moscow region.

Russian athletes support Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Olympic athletes attended a propaganda rally-concert in Luzhniki at the beginning of the full-scale war. Skier Bolshunov, artistic gymnasts Averina twins, swimmer Rylov, gymnast Listunova and other prizewinners were present at the event wearing the jackets marked with Z, a symbol of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia disrespects the international ideas of sports events. Russia is the only country in the world which violated the Olympic Truce three times: in 2008, 2014 and 2022. Thus, Russia unleashed the wars against its neighbors three (!) times over the past 16 years under the cover of the Olympics. Participation of the aggressor state’s representatives in international competitions completely contradicts at least the common moral norms.

Russia kills Ukrainian and foreign athletes. As of the end of 2023, the war claimed the lives of 361 Ukrainian athletes and coaches. Another 18 were injured, 27 were captured, and 10 were missing. In July 2022, Polish MMA fighter Tomasz Walentek (mixed martial arts) was killed while defending Donetsk region as a volunteer fighter of the International Legion of Territorial Defense. Approximately 500 Ukrainian sports facilities were damaged by Russia’s attacks.

Participation of Russian athletes in international competitions must be stopped until the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, including the temporarily occupied parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions and Crimea, as well as bringing Russia to justice for the war crimes committed against the Ukrainian people. The world’s neutrality towards Russian representatives at the sports competitions is a tacit consent to the war and one of the reasons for its continuation as long as it affirms the Kremlin’s confidence of impunity.

Why are there no “good” Russians for Ukrainians?

Why are there no “good” Russians for Ukrainians?

There are no “good” Russians for Ukrainians because they actually did nothing to topple Putin’s regime over a quarter of the century. And today they still do not admit their guilt about the rule of dictatorship and Russia’s war against Ukraine. They also primarily expose themselves as victims of the war.

The term “good Russians” applies to the Russians who are trying to separate themselves from the rest of the residents of Russia on the grounds of their attitude towards Putin’s regime. They allegedly oppose the war, hate Putin, and some are even ready to help Ukrainians. However, it’s not so simple.

All Russians are responsible for the war in Ukraine, regardless of the degree of their support for Putin’s regime, because both their activity and inactivity resulted in the rule of this regime.

Even the most liberal Russians refuse to admit their collective responsibility for the war. The liberal Russians widely use the notion of “the Putin’s war.” Thus, if Putin is the one who unleashed the war, then he is the one who must stop it and, respectively, the liberal Russians must not do anything since it is “not their war.” Russian oppositionist, writer Viktor Shenderovich expressed a conviction that the guilt cannot be collective: “Ethics and guilt are absolutely personal and the only unit of measure here is an individual.” However, the very core of this thesis lies in the fact that the notion of collective responsibility is not recognized in it – the author of the thesis replaces it with the notion of guilt, trying to remove the collective responsibility from the Russians.

Today, we cannot see any significant action taken by the liberal Russians to stop the war. That is why there are no “good” Russians among them as inactivity equals latent support.

Here is another Russian liberal’s opinion about the war: “Only a lost war can be worse than a war. Starting it was a crazy mistake, but now we have to win it, otherwise we will face the sorrow of the defeat. I don’t support Putin, damn him.”

Some 77% of the Russian population support the war against Ukraine which has been lasting for 10 years now. Around 64% of Russians do not think that their state made a mistake when it unleashed the war against Ukraine. This is data from the Levada Center’s survey conducted at the beginning of 2024. The support for an idea of peaceful talks among the Russians is shrinking and accounts for less than half of the sample, compared to 2023. Representative studies inside Russia show that the majority of the population want the war to go on.

Even when opposing the war, the “good” Russians primarily expose themselves as victims. The media most often cover the stories of not ordinary Russians but representatives of the elite who were forced to change their life. A well-known Russian actress, Chulpan Khamatova, complains about her ruined life and not understanding where she should continue to build her life and career. Some Russians are not ashamed of comparing themselves to Ukrainian refugees and are very surprised when someone calls such comparisons inappropriate. Absolutely every interviewee in the popular YouTube program VDud talks about his or her life troubles caused by the war. And it is important to highlight the Russians’ cynicism. For them, hardship is when they are unable to use payment cards or when a reduction in their income forces them to choose free pastime, for example, a stroll in a park instead of going to a restaurant. Meanwhile, Ukrainians are losing their homes and burying their loved ones killed by the Russian army. A famous Russian oppositionist, Maxim Katz, condemned the war. However, in his opinion, the Kremlin is the first to be blamed for the war, while the Russians are mostly victims of Putin’s thoughtless decision. The only Russians who are really fighting against Putin’s regime are the soldiers of the volunteer military units formed of Russian citizens – the Freedom of Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps.

Why do Ukrainians oppose cultural events involving Russians?

Why do Ukrainians oppose cultural events involving Russians?

Foreign representatives always present the cultural ideas of their native countries at international cultural events. Since Russia is based on the imperialistic, xenophobic and chauvinistic grounds, these are exactly the ideas promoted by every Russian’s participation in any cultural event. A specific intellectual or artistic act may not contain war propaganda. But the very fact of the presence of representatives of the country that is waging a war of aggression and genocide against our people is a tacit consent to this war and the cultural terror that has been committed by Russia against Ukraine for centuries.

Russian culture has imperialist roots and its representatives continue to deliver these messages to the world. The Russian Empire has been appropriating and humiliating the culture of the peoples oppressed by it for centuries – and the Ukrainian people is one of many. The culture of other peoples was always considered as “lower” and opposed to the “higher” Russian culture. The Russian Empire (just like modern Russia) always counted such outstanding figures as writer Mykola Gogol and artist Kazimierz Malewicz as Russians without recognizing their ethnic origin and identity. Ignoring these facts and cultural appropriation are unacceptable in the modern world.

Unacceptable is also Russia’s attitude towards the modern culture, for example targeted attacks and burning of Ukrainian books in the temporarily occupied territories as well as the shelling and burning of the Local History Museum which stored almost 20 pieces of art by a worldwide famous Ukrainian artist, Maria Prymachenko. In addition, museum collections have been regularly removed from Crimea, Kherson, Mariupol, and other Ukrainian regions under the pretense of bringing “the Russian cultural heritage back to its Motherland.” This enhanced the myth about “the great Russian culture” and discredits the culture of Ukraine as “poor” or “small”, although Ukraine’s culture was simply looted by Russia.

The Russian occupation forces cause physical harm to Ukrainian cultural figures. Today, some Ukrainian cultural representatives are fighting and dying at the frontline, the others die as civilians. For example, writer Hlib Babych will never be able to represent Ukraine at the international cultural events, because he was killed by Russia at the front. The genocidal nature of this war is evidenced by the death of writer Viktoria Amelina, who was killed in a missile attack on the center of Kramatorsk, and the death of poet Volodymyr Vakulenko, who was abducted and murdered by the Russian military during the occupation of Kharkiv region. This is why free access of Russian intellectuals, whose lives are not threatened, to international cultural events is unfair and unrepresentative.

Ukrainians express their strongest protest against those who support the war. In February 2022, hundreds of Russian writers signed a collective letter in support of the war. It was published in the Literaturnaya Gazeta (Literary Gazette), the official publication of the Union of Writers from the Soviet times. It is an influential newspaper which promotes imperialistic values through the culture. Pushkin, who is also known for his imperialistic and xenophobic art, is depicted on the newspaper’s logo.

Support for the war can be also concealed. This is typical of the oppositional part of the Russian society which still demonstrates its arrogant colonial attitude towards Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.

Participation of Russians in the international cultural events must be stopped until the full withdrawal of the Russian troops from the territory Ukraine and resumed only after Russia is brought to justice for its war crimes against the Ukrainian people, as well as when its imperialistic ideas are revised and rethought.

Why does Ukraine cancel Russian culture and consider it dangerous? What is wrong for Ukrainians with conditional Pushkin or Tolstoy?

Why does Ukraine cancel Russian culture and consider it dangerous? What is wrong for Ukrainians with conditional Pushkin or Tolstoy?

The culture of any country reflects the values of this country. It is impossible to separate Russian culture, which manifests imperialistic values, from Russia’s war crimes. Russia uses culture as a domination instrument in combination with the oppression of the other cultures on the occupied territories and the presence of its cultural figures in the symbolic space of Ukraine. They use this particularly to justify the aggression which is allegedly aimed at “returning the lands which culturally belong to Russia.”

Works by worldwide famous Russian writers promote the ideas of imperialism, xenophobia, chauvinism, and alleged superiority of the Russian nation and culture over the others. The Russophiles consider Pushkin as their title figure because of his animosity and hatred towards the Poles. During the Polish Uprising against the Russian Empire in 1830-1831, Pushkin, by order of the authorities, wrote two poems “To the Slanderers of Russian” and “The Anniversary of Borodino” in which he fiercely criticized Europe supporting the Poles.

Leo Tolstoy was one of the greatest adherents to the idea of sanctity of the Russian people and rottenness of the West. In particular, these ideas were embodied in his famous novel “Anna Karenina” where the positive characters are faithful to the Russian patriarchal tradition, while the sinners are influenced by the West.

Dostoevsky is known for his anti-Semitic views and relevant expressions in his works and public speeches. He did not recognize the full right of the Slavic peoples, except for the Russians, to their own culture. Such reflections are present not only in his personal notes but also in his novel “Crime and Punishment.”

Modern Russian artists also support the war. In February 2022, hundreds of Russian writers signed a collective letter in support of the war. It was published in the Literaturnaya Gazeta (Literary Gazette), the official publication of the Union of Writers from the Soviet times. Pushkin, who is also known for his imperialistic and xenophobic art, is depicted on the newspaper’s logo.

This very culture and literature brought up the criminals who are killing Ukrainians today. To be precise, those who issue relevant orders. Russian officers were brought up on the literature which glorified imperialism. Dostoevsky wrote: “Where a Russian soldier has set foot, there is Russia.” Today, we can see the consequences of the narrative implanted in children’s heads. This proves that the Russians communicate and think within the framework of their “great” culture.

The main threat of Russian culture is that it has often served the authorities and was a mouthpiece of their narratives. The same can be seen today, when famous singers and artists perform at the modern propaganda rally-concerts. The existence of the imperial culture in Ukraine is unacceptable and it must be fully eliminated.

Why is this not just Putin’s but all Russia’s war against Ukraine?

Why is this not just Putin’s but all Russia’s war against Ukraine?

This is not just Putin’s (or his regime’s) war against Ukraine, because a country’s leader cannot be separated from its people. All Russians are responsible for this war as long as they contributed to the rule of this regime through both their actions and inactivity. In addition, it is not Putin who himself committed the atrocities in Bucha, blew up the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant dam, destroyed Mariupol, and did other horrors of this war – this all was done by the other citizens of Russia.

The statistics confirm that Russians are a kind of a “collective Putin” and all of them are responsible for the war. Seventy-seven percent of the population of Russia are in favor of the war against Ukraine which has been lasting for ten years already. Around 64% of Russians do not think that their country made a mistake when it unleashed the war against Ukraine. Thus, the majority of the population of Russia want the war to go on and that is exactly the reason why they are responsible for it.

Is it true that deputies, officials and their children do not go to war and only ordinary people are fighting for Ukraine?

Is it true that deputies, officials and their children do not go to war and only ordinary people are fighting for Ukraine?

Firstly, it is not true that deputies, politicians and officials do not go to war. In the incumbent Verkhovna Rada, there are people who served in the Defense Forces of Ukraine at different times, for example, Roman Kostenko, Roman Lozynsky, Sviatoslav Yurash, Serhiy Rudyk, Yana Zinkevych, Liudmyla Buimister, Yehor Chernev, and others. Some deputies have relatives who are at war, for example, the common-law husband of Member of Parliament (MP) Inna Sovsun has been at the front for the third year. Many deputies of local councils also joined the Defense Forces. In addition, a lot of MPs of previous convocations and former government officials are at the front.

Secondly, of course, not all deputies and officials went to the front, but they didn’t have to – state institutions must work, especially during the war. After all, the issues of the rear, social security, health care, education, economy, housing and utility have not gone anywhere, and someone has to address them.

Thirdly, mobilization in Ukraine is conducted in line with the current legislation. To improve this process, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the law on mobilization. There is a reservation procedure for people of certain occupations which is also regulated by the legal framework. Of course, not everything goes perfectly and there are cases of quite unfair approaches. However, the main point here is that these are just cases, and not a general trend. Therefore, one should refrain from generalizing when discussing this topic.

The narrative “when deputies go to war, then I will too” is no different from “all politicians lie”, “we have blatant corruption everywhere”, “you don’t have to pay taxes, because everything will be stolen”, and others. These are no constructive generalizations that only work for the enemy and undermine our statehood. The manipulation of the mobilization of deputies is aimed at disrupting the mobilization process in Ukraine, which is one of Russia’s key goals. The enemy needs to undermine Ukraine from the inside, deconstruct the state mechanisms and processes, force Ukrainians to despair and abandon their further resistance.

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