MOSCOW (Realist English). I am Russian, born in Chisinau (Moldova), received higher education and worked as a professor in the Moscow State University. I have been doing business in various countries of the former Soviet Union (including Ukraine). Then got into politics and for 19 years I have been working in the Parliament of Russia – the State Duma and the Senate.
I am addressing you because I cannot remain silent in the current situation. In a situation when the opinion of one party is not just ignored, but actually “canceled”, as it is used to call now. Such an approach to what is happening now in Ukraine can lead us to a global catastrophe, and the world – to extinction.
I’d like to ask you to regard everything that is written below as the personal opinion of a person who was born and grew up in the Soviet Union and who spent a lot of time not only in the countries that emerged after its collapse, but also in Western Europe, where people close to me still reside, as well as in Ukraine.
No one doubts that military conflict is the worst thing that civilized humanity and a large state can do. But, it still has happened so that we had to start this campaign. It’s very hard to admit, but it’s true. I will try to explain why this could not be avoided.
We didn’t start this. A special operation is a natural reaction to something that has been prepared for years. Our neighbours have been reaching to what is happening now, for a long time and with small steps. All these appeals to “Send Muscovites to the Gallows “, erecting monuments to the fascist collaborator Bandera and streets being renamed after SS Hauptsturmfuhrer Shukhevych instead of the Avenue of the liberator of Kiev, Soviet General Vatutin, as well as destroyed monuments of the Soviet era, have become part of the state policy of modern Ukraine.
In the understanding of an ordinary Russian, for whom Ukraine has always been the nearest and dearest neighbour, Kiev’s policy in recent years has caused first surprise, then shock, then disgust. “Well, what are they doing, they are unhealthy, they need to be healed” – somehow this is how it looked and looks in the eyes of my compatriots.
With the approval of your politicians, there was an outrage against our (and your) common history, against our (and your) fathers and mothers who experienced the horror of Nazism. All this resulted in an aversion to modern official Ukrainianism (unlike the people and its culture) and an almost absolute public consensus in support of a Special military operation in Russia – about 80%.
We are surprised by your global blindness and deafness to what has been happening in Ukraine for the last 8 years and is happening now. To what is happening in the world. We do not see even attempts to consider this in the European Union.
But we see a frenzied anti-Russian campaign literally everywhere.
In recent days, all this policy has turned into the so-called practice of “cancellation”. Our athletes and artists are “canceled”. Disabled people at the Paralympics. In the West they prohibit Russian literature, music, ballet, etc. Is it really possible? To take and simultaneously erase a huge part of world culture? Is it really normal for you to humiliate disabled people, women and children who speak Russian on your streets? But this is all happening. This what is being spotted by us and taken into account. Case by case.
We see how, in an attempt to demolish Russia by the hands of Ukrainian nationalists, what your politicians have destroyed, without noticing, the very foundations of your world that you are rightfully proud of — the presumption of innocence, the right to one’s point of view, the inviolability of private property…
But let’s return to Ukraine. I will dare to ask you a few rhetorical questions. Did you know that in the period from the beginning of the year until February 24, Kiev concentrated a military group of over 100 thousand soldiers on the perimeter of Donbass? Heavy artillery, S-300, Tochka-U missile systems, tanks, aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles were also stationed here.
Did you know that the United States have invested more than $1.5 trillion in arming the Ukrainian army since 2014? If we add to this the expenses of Great Britain, Germany, Poland and the Baltic states, the amount will be more than $ 2 trillion. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has repeatedly proudly thanked NATO members for the fact that military assistance to Kiev amounts to at least 300 million dollars a year.
What do you think it was done for?
Russia recognized the Luhansk and Donetsk Republics merely to save people in these territories from extinction under continuous Ukrainian bombing and shelling. For me personally and anyone here in Russia, it is absolutely clear that if Ukraine had attacked first, Donbass would have been flooded with blood of civilians. And then we would meet them in the territories of the Voronezh and Rostov regions of Russia. It was precisely this scenario that Nazi militants from various battalions, such as Azov, Aidar, and Donbass, were aimed at. This is all clearly reflected in the documents that were captured by the Russian military in the headquarters abandoned by these units. Have you heard about it?
A strict ban on another point of view, the objectivity of the coverage is the best proof of the weakness of the position. A strong person is ready to face and discuss the most difficult problems openly.
Ukraine is not David in the fight against Goliath, but a country with the 3rd largest population in Europe and the 3rd largest army. An army whose Statute in the broadest sense of the word, is imbued with nationalist ideology. For us who stopped Hitler, stopping them is a matter of principle. And we don’t care about any sanctions when it comes to the danger to our country.
An ordinary Russian person is reminded of Western sanctions by his/her smartphone, which they can’t use, as usual, to make payments in supermarkets because of sectoral sanctions against Sberbank. This is not a problem for us at all. It’s just an hourly and minute-by-minute reminder of what the collective West is and how they treat you, the Russian. At the same time, the hypocritical statements of your politicians that they are not enemies of ordinary Russians are already causing cold and sarcastic laughter here in Russia.
I will ask you one question: would you change yourself, ignore the memory of your ancestors, the history of your country for the sake of being able to pay with a smartphone? And why do you think we can do it? This is about how ordinary people in Russia feel.
Now let’s talk about the elites of our countries. Politicians involved in shaping the interface between East and West. I will try to explain to you how the politicians, you have chosen to lead your countries, although voted and elected for the scope to serve the sovereignty of their countries and their people’s interests, they actually act such as being appointed by US. They seriously believe that by creating non-obvious everyday inconveniences for us, they can force us, a great nation, to give up in a struggle where the history and the present day of our country are at stake. Funny.
At the same time, we, their colleagues, are well aware that the military collision has been declared against us, we understand what is at stake and we are ready to make any sacrifices in this war to win.
You know, I am personally and jokingly grateful to European politicians — they solved the problem of a split in our society, now we – the government and the ordinary people, rich and poor — we are together, and we will support any decisions of the President. I emphasize, any.
Remember the history. None of the great wars of Europe against Russia (yes, yes, Europe) ended in victory. Both Napoleon and Hitler finished their victorious processions in your countries here.
Think about it. Think about where you are being led by the politicians you have chosen (although that is absolutely clear that they are chosen not by you, but the United States, who are running them anyway).
Russia will not lose, because we are ready to sacrifice everything to win.
And what are you ready to do in order to defeat Russia?
Alexander Babakov is Deputy Chairman of the State Duma (Parliament) of Russia, Special to Realist English