Home > Uncategorized > WEA Commentaries – volume 12, issue 1

WEA Commentaries – volume 12, issue 1

  1. Ikonoclast
    April 25, 2022 at 5:56 am

    “What Caused Russia to Invade Ukraine?” reads like an apologia and even justification for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It is lamentable and misguided if it is that.

    Modern Ukraine became fully independent in 1991. Surprisingly;
    “Ukraine was one of the founding members of the United Nations when it joined in 1945 as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic; along with the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Ukraine signed the United Nations Charter when it was part of the Soviet Union. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the newly independent Ukraine retained its seat.” – Wikipedia.

    Russia both fostered and accepted Ukraine as a fully independent nation, not a Soviet Republic, from 1991, at least, and certainly formally from 1994, at the latest. Any claim that Ukraine did anything wrong in international law or in relation to treaties is clearly revisionist. Certainly it did nothing wrong as a sovereign state to justify a highly destructive collective punishment invasion. References to past iterations of polyglot and ethnic history provide no justification for the partition of modern Ukraine which was ratified under international law and UN auspices as a modern nation, even by Russia.

    • Meta Capitalism
      April 30, 2022 at 1:05 am

      The historical evidence supports Ikon’s claims. David Lane’s “What Caused Russia to Invade Ukraine?” is little more than the intellectually parroting of Russian propaganda.

  2. Edward Ross
    April 25, 2022 at 12:32 pm

    Hi i am a bit puzzled on why your reply is not appearing with the others below actual post of What caused Russia to invade Ukraine did write a reply under the actual post but mucked up the password so will try here again. but in principle i agree with you that there is no justification for a melomaniac to murder millions of people.
    and this where in the name of humanity the conversation has to begin Ted

  3. Meta Capitalism
    May 2, 2022 at 1:03 am

    The Eastern areas, which in 2014 formed the breakaway Lugansk and Donetsk Republics, and Crimea, voted overwhelmingly (over 70 per cent) for Yanukovych. (David Lane’s utterly ahistorical parroting of Russian propaganda)

    The real story of Russia’s relationship to Ukraine is told by historians like Timothy Snyder (e.g., The Road to Unfreedom) and Anne Applebaum (e.g., Red Famine). It is stunning to see WEA publish such rubbish as Lane’s without the slightest effort to consider history.

    Having invaded Ukraine, Russian leaders took the position that their neighbor was not a sovereign state. This was the language of empire. On March 4, Putin explained that Ukraine’s problem had been democratic elections that led to changes in power. Such functional elections, he suggested, were an alien American implant. He said that the situation in Ukraine was like that of Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Russia could go back in time and correct the mistakes of the past. “Logically,” said Alexander Dugin on March 8, “Ukraine as it was during twenty-three years of its history has ceased to exist.” Russian international lawyers, who during those previous twenty-three years had paid obsessive attention to the need to respect territorial boundaries and state sovereignty, argued that invasion and annexation were justified by the disappearance of the Ukrainian state—in other words, by the chaos caused by the Russian invasion. In Dugin’s mind, the war to demolish the Ukrainian state was a war against the European Union: “we must take over and destroy Europe.” (Snyder, Timothy. The Road to Unfreedom (p. 141). Crown. Kindle Edition.)

    On March 16, some of the Ukrainian citizens of Crimea took part in an electoral farce that the Russian occupiers called a referendum. Prior to the vote, all public propaganda pushed in the same direction. Posters proclaimed that the choice was between Russia and Nazism. Voters had no access to international or Ukrainian media. On the ballots were two options, both of which affirmed the annexation of Crimea by Russia. The first option was to vote for the annexation of Crimea by Russia. The second was to restore the autonomy of the Crimean authorities, who had just been installed by Russia and requested annexation by Russia. According to internal information of the Russian presidential administration, the turnout was about 30% and the vote split between the two options. According to the official results, participation was about 90%, with almost all voters choosing the variant that led most directly to annexation. In Sevastopol, official turnout was 123%. Qualified observers were absent, although Moscow did invite a few European politicians of the extreme Right to endorse the official results. The Front National sent Aymeric Chauprade to Crimea, and Marine Le Pen personally endorsed the results. Within the Russian presidential administration, people were reminded to “thank the French.” (Snyder, Timothy. The Road to Unfreedom (pp. 141-142). Crown. Kindle Edition.)

    In a grand ceremony in Moscow, Putin accepted what he called the “wishes” of the Crimean people and extended the boundaries of the Russian Federation. This violated basic consensual principles of international law, the United Nations Charter, every treaty signed between independent Ukraine and independent Russia, as well as a number of assurances that Russia had offered Ukraine about the protection of its frontiers. One of these was the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, in which the Russian Federation (along with the United Kingdom and the United States) had guaranteed Ukrainian borders when Ukraine agreed to give up all nuclear weapons. In what was perhaps the greatest act of nuclear disarmament in history, Ukraine handed over some 1,300 intercontinental ballistic missiles. By invading a country that had engaged in complete nuclear disarmament, Russia offered the world the lesson that nuclear arms should be pursued. (Snyder, Timothy. The Road to Unfreedom (p. 142). Crown. Kindle Edition.)

    In March and April, Russian media conveyed the propaganda themes that had been discussed by the presidential administration and the Izborsk Club in February. There was a burst of enthusiasm for the “federalization” of Ukraine, on the logic that the “voluntary” separation of Crimea required Kyiv to give its other regions similar freedom of action. The Russian foreign ministry was careful to specify that “federalization” meant a specific Russian proposal to dismember the Ukrainian state, not any general principle that might apply to Russia. On March 17, the Russian foreign ministry declared that in view of “the deep crisis of the Ukrainian state,” Russia had the right to define Ukraine as a “multinational people” and propose “a new federal constitution” for the country. The word “federalization” appeared in major Russian television media 1,412 times in April. Even in a mood of national euphoria, however, Russian leaders soon saw the risk of “federalization.” The name of the Russian state was the “Russian Federation” and it was divided into units; but these had limited legal meaning and were ruled by appointees of the president. Within three months, the word “federalization” all but disappeared from the Russian public sphere. (Snyder, Timothy. The Road to Unfreedom (pp. 142-143). Crown. Kindle Edition.)

    Vladimir Putin presented the annexation of Crimea as a mystical personal transformation, an exultant passage into eternity. Crimea had to be part of Russia, explained Putin, because the leader of ancient Rus, Volodymyr/Valdemar, whom Putin called Vladimir, had been baptized there a thousand years before. That act by his namesake was recalled by Putin as the powerful gesture of a timeless superhero who “predetermined the overall basis of the culture, civilization, and human values that unite the peoples of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus” (concepts that did not exist at the time). If the events of our time are “predetermined” by a millennial myth, then no knowledge of the past is necessary and no human choices matter. Vladimir is Volodymyr and Russia is Rus and politics is the eternal pleasure of the wealthy few—and there is nothing more to be said or done. (Snyder, Timothy. The Road to Unfreedom (p. 143). Crown. Kindle Edition.)

    (Snyder, Timothy. The Road to Unfreedom. Kindle Edition ed. New York: Crown; 2018; pp. 141-142. )

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