“Who can prevent all this from happening? The people. Public figures, journalists, musicians, actors, athletes, scientists, doctors, bloggers, stand-ups, Tiktokers, and more. Ordinary people. Ordinary, simple people. Men, women, old, young, fathers, and most importantly - mothers. I know that my speech will not be aired on Russian television. But the citizens of Russia have to see it. They need to know the truth.”
Since their efforts to aid others in times of crisis often goes unnoticed, let's all take a moment to thank Ireland for taking in the Ukrainian refugees that Britain is turning away. They are demanding no visas, no pre-existing family or title in their country, nothing more than a fucking ID. Those who have faced the most tragedy are truly the most heroic. 🇮🇪🍀💚🤍🧡
This would be a good time to remember that when Donald Trump was impeached for the first time, it was for withholding $400 million in military aid for Ukraine -- which was already fighting Russian aggression -- to force Ukrainian President Zelenskyy to investigate false claims about Trump’s political opponents.
That military assistance that President Trump held back from Ukraine for 84 days included “sniper rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, night vision goggles, medical aid and other equipment the Ukrainian military needed to fight a grinding war against Russian-backed separatists”.
I’m sure nobody has forgotten that, but every time I see a new story about Trump praising Vladimir Putin, as he has done THIS week, I think it’s important to recall that he also extorted Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is literally fighting for his life while leading Ukraine against Russia.
Sorry to sound ignorant, but I genuinely don’t understand what Putin could stand to gain from invading Ukraine. Can you shed any light on the subject?
He doesn't. That's the super frustrating part of this mess. Everyone with an ounce of knowledge about European-Russian international relations is scratching their heads going "what is this, and why now? He gains nothing."
A lot of people will blame this on NATO expansion concerns, but the truth is that NATO expansion has been a "concern" for years and nothing like this has ever happened (even the Invasion of Crimea in 2014 wasn't near the level of what's happening right now). Putin's not afraid of NATO; NATO's largely proved to be 'all bark and no bite' in response to repeated acts of Russian aggression since 2008. He's gotten bolder and bolder and tried to assassinate an ex-FSB agent-turned British spy on UK soil less than 5 years ago, for god's sake. Also, Ukraine's not even in NATO; if he wanted to be aggressive on that front, he'd go bother the Baltic states. If people think he's scared of NATO, they're not paying attention.
There's basically two answers that I can give that might make some sense:
Ukraine has a lot of natural gas and mineral resource reserves, and he could be trying to control them. He could also be theoretically be trying to gain control of Ukraine's southern ports, since having access to those waters been an everlasting Russian NatSec and trading issue for say......the last thousand years. That doesn't really make much sense considering the circumstances, though, especially since Russia already controls Crimea.
He's an ex-KGB officer whose pride was mortally devastated by the fall of the USSR and has been longing to recreate what was lost for thirty years. He wants to reinstate the Russian Empire (or at least the USSR as he remembers it), and he's tired of waiting for these silly little democracies on his western border to give up their "teenage rebellion phase" and come home to Mother Russia. It would explain Russia's ongoing attempts to undermine democracy worldwide (including in the US in 2016) and their cyberwarfare against the US and UK too, since a Divided West is a Weak West and a Weak West is a Beatable West. It's Russian imperialism at its finest, led by a man emboldened by his hurt ego, the West's appeasement tactics re: Crimea, repeated lack of consequences for Russia's aggressiveness on the world stage, and four years of Trump sucking up to him.
That's.....unfortunately all I've got. #2 makes total sense and is absolutely what's happening, but the way he's going about it and his actions over the past few weeks are really baffling me, because it's a completely irrational and politically stupid way to actually achieve his intended purpose of re-consolidating the former Soviet Bloc (and make no mistake because that is his purpose, which anyone who's ever listened to one of his annual speeches at the Kremlin would know).
So the only answer I really have for you is "he's finally gotten impatient waiting to re-draw the map of Europe by force and thinks he can escape permanent consequences by doing so now," even if it still doesn't truly explain what the fuck he thinks he's doing by invading Ukraine now with the strategy he appears to be using.
At this point I might as well want to express my genuine admiration towards Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy. He may have had the reputation of an actor and comedian by the time he got elected, and I remember many jokes circulating about Ukraine having a jokester as president.
Turns out you can’t simply judge him by his past career. His determination to remain behind in Kyiv and defend the city and his country alongside his people is nothing short of absolutely remarkable. He turned down multiple offers to be evacuated to somewhere safe, even knowing that Putin basically declared him the number one enemy of the Russian state. Against all predictions that Kyiv may have fallen within 24 hours of the invasion, the city is still holding, more than 48 hours later. In fact, I have yet to hear of any major Ukrainian city to fall to the Russians.
Zelenskiy is what makes a true leader. He may have made mistakes as we all do, but damn sure he knows the time to get serious and step up to what he stands for. He refuses to bail when things get tough and even risks his life by directly confronting the bear. He is a man of his people.
He makes the EU and NATO, perhaps with the exception of Canada, USA, Poland and the Baltics, look like pieces of butter. Including this insufferable monkey theatre that is the German government.
“You came to our land. Why did you come here with weapons? Take these seeds so sunflowers (the national flower of Ukraine) grow here when you die. Put these seeds in your pockets. You will die here with them.”
I’ll have to disengage from online stuff on Ukraine for a while because although I have no intention of isolating myself from the life-changing events that are occurring in my literal backyard and are going to affect Europe for years to come, the rate at which I’ve been consuming the news cycle is starting to affect my head and that’s just not benefiting anything or anyone.
But before I do fuck off, a few words on what I’ve been noticing today. Namely that after the initial shock of seeing the terrorist gas station just going fucking mental and actually invading a sovereign country with no justification whatsoever, people (overwhelmingly uninformed Americans, as is tradition) have gone back to both-sidesing the war and sharing their dumbass radical centrist takes on how maybe Putin not good, but NATO is at fault. How NATO provoked the little fascist oligarchy into two days of nonstop war crimes. How if the evil West had just told Ukraine to fuck off, we don’t want you around, everything would have been peachy keen.
And there’s only one thing I can say to that—if you don’t support a people’s right to decide on its fate, on who it chooses to associate with; if you think that countries are by default beholden to whoever wields the biggest stick and have no right to rock the boat because might makes right, then I don’t give a fuck about how many thoughts and prayers you post—you don’t support Ukraine. You’re not an anti-imperialist and you sure as fuck aren’t a leftist. You’re a useful lapdog for the propaganda of a dying empire stuck in the 19th century notion of great powers that are somehow entitled to a sphere of influence, regardless of whatever said sphere of influence has to say about it or whether it even wants to be one. You’re showing a willingness to throw a free people expressing a desire to live in democracy to an expansionist dictatorship that’s a humans rights nightmare, simply “because that’s how the world works, nothing to do about it”. By regurgitating the Kremlin line on NATO provocation and “expansion” (i.e. Russia’s former colonies doing everything in their power to get the fuck out of Russia’s homicidal reach), you’re actively promoting colonialism and imperialism and you’re as useful to the victims of these horror shows as a soiled toilet paper.
Your “suck it up, buttercup” helps no one whatsoever. Quite frankly, it’s a part of the reason why we got here.
I implore you, read a fucking book on Eastern European history. Go into therapy with your U.S. centrism and “every conflict is like the Iraq War” because I swear, nobody in this part of the world is impressed with your main character syndrome. Grow out of the idiotic thinking that just because US BAD, an authoritarian regime automatically good.