Wow. Just. Wow.
I know that the internet discussions are years being infested by pro-Russian trolls who are doing their best to disrupt any discourse, but I did not expect this. I have probably missed something, but I was taken completely by surprise when a long-time commenter on FtB went full fascist apologia. And these comments were the straw that broke the camel’s back for me and I have to respond:
So first (paragraph) thing first – why should anyone believe anything that Russia’s top brass are saying at this point? One does not need to go too far back to demonstrate that they are absolutely unashamedly lying about anything with a straight face. These are their statements as they recently evolved:
- There are no significant troops gathering on the Ukrainian border with Russia for an invasion, saying otherwise is just western propaganda.
- Ok, there are troops, but they are there only for exercises, they are not combat-ready, saying otherwise is just western propaganda.
- We are pulling the troops back inland, we are not preparing for a full-scale invasion, saying otherwise is just western propaganda.
- OK, we did not pull the troops back inland, but it is not a war or invasion, it is just a peacekeeping mission.
- OK, our non-invading troops have met some resistance, but there are no casualties whatsoever.
- OK, there are some casualties, but only a few hundred, nothing serious.
And I could go on much further with the blatant lies. There are even videos where Russian diplomats lie even when confronted with actual evidence of their lies.
These things are not a matter of opinion, these are facts on public record over just a few recent weeks. I mean, how fucking broken must your moral compass and your reasoning capabilities be to believe anything that Putin and his stooges say at this point? Sure, they might say the truth occasionally, just like a broken clock shows the right time twice a day.
I am sure that the Ukrainian side also lies for propaganda and after the war ends, if there still are historians, it will take them a lot of work to untangle where the actual truth lies. But right now any Russian in a position of power in the current regime is so trustworthy that when they wish you a “Good Morning” you should assume it’s night until proven otherwise with independent evidence.
The second paragraph flies in the face of actual pictorial and video evidence of residential areas being deliberately shelled and bombed. Further, I have a friend who worked with unguided earth-to-earth rocket launchers similar to the BM-30 Смерч that Russians are using in Kyiv. No matter what the current Russian propaganda says, those are not precision weapons for a precision striking of military targets, especially not in urban warfare. Those are scorched-earth weapons designed to stomp an area into nothing but craters and rubble. Using them on a military airport or convoy or some barracks in the countryside could be legitimate military use (as far as the word legitimate can be applied). Using them in a crowded city is a deliberate war crime intended to kill and terrorize civilians.
Sure, Russians say otherwise, but if anyone is inclined to believe them, I refer back to the first point.
Now for the last paragraph which actually got my blood boiling.
I do not like using rape in analogies because I have seen it used by dudebros to trivialize issues they deem unimportant and to trivialize rape at the same time, but in this particular case, I think the analogy is apt – saying this is analogous to blaming a rape victim for injuries because they did not submit to the rapist without a fight.
So let me stress this point – Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are not dying because Zelenskyy will not or cannot surrender, they are dying because Putin invaded Ukraine and is too power-hungry, too arrogant, and too proud to stop. In any conflict, it is the assailant who bears all the moral responsibility for damages incurred on the assaulted, never the other way around.
Further, this stinks of “ifonlysm“. The current conflict shows a striking resemblance to what has happened just before WW2, so we can actually look at what might have happened ifonly Ukraine gave Luhansk and Donetsk to Russia willingly and ifonly Zelensky went into exile and left Putin to install back his puppet Yanukovich. So let us do it.
The Sudeten Germans did face some discrimination in Czechoslovakia, there is absolutely no doubt about it. It could be argued that it was less than the discrimination Czechs and Slovaks faced in the former Austria-Hungary, but it was still discrimination and the Sudeten Germans did not like it. Solving such societal issues takes time and patience, with the occasional strike or civil disobedience thrown into the mix to wake politicians from their stupor and complacency, but they can be solved peacefully as long as you do not believe in quick fixes, which do not exist.
Hitler’s Germany did however offer a quick fix. With his guidance, instead of working to reach mutual agreements on a way to equality, the SdP fomented animosity between Germans and Czechs and always escalated demands to a level they knew cannot be reasonably met. At first, SdP lied about their connection with the Nazis. Then they lied about their intent to secede Sudeten from Czechoslovakia. Then they lied about receiving military support from Germany and forming paramilitary Sudetendeutsches Freikorps. Then they lied about said paramilitary performing terrorist actions within Czechoslovakia, intentionally provoking a forceful response from the Czechoslovakian government.
And then international powers that be decided to give them what they said they wanted and without consulting the Czechoslovakian government, they gave Sudeten to Germany. Not many people actually know that this was immediately followed by the Sudetendeutsches Freikorps actually escalating, not stopping, the violence. Most people probably do know that this did not stop Hitler from eventually annexing all of Czechoslovakia, directly governing Bohemia, and installing a puppet fascist regime in Slovakia, killing and enslaving scores of thousands of innocent civilians even when they did not even try and put up a fight.
This is because when a tyrant says they want this or that or they will have to resort to violence, they are always lying. Their stated goals are only seeking plausible deniability, a fig-leaf casus belli in order to expand their power. Violence is the goal because being able to inflict it without consequences demonstrates the tyrants’ power. And once they think they can get away with it, they stop bothering even with that pretense.
So no, ifonly Zelenskyy or Ukraine did or did not do this or that would probably have very little impact on what Putin would do. Ukrainian people were not given a choice between forceful invasion and peaceful lives, they were given a choice between forceful invasion and submitting to being second-class citizens licking Putin’s boot while it is crushing their necks nevertheless. Blaming them for putting up a fight is blaming the victim, pure and simple.