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There are a vast number of false narratives involving Ukraine and Russia, within the context of the latter’s invasion of the former. These bogus claims are not coming exclusively from dictator Vladimir Putin’s propaganda news outlets and spokespersons. Some individuals on both the left and the right are echoing these questionable claims. Considering all that is at stake, it is paramount to set things clear and debunk the main falsehoods made by the Putin regime, by those pushing his propaganda, or some well-intentioned thinkers that are framing their arguments on inaccurate premises.
“Ukraine is under Russia’s sphere of influence”
The notion that Russia is entitled to exercise discretionary authority over Ukrainian affairs is illegitimate. Ukraine is a free and sovereign nation with a consensual system of governance. The Ukrainian people get to decide, by way of their elected officials, the policies that their country adopts. If one is to accept as valid that Russia has a rational basis for its claim of Lebensraum (“living space”), then Nazi Germany was correct in its forced absorption of parts of the Czech Republic in 1938 and other parts of Europe. (More on this topic in a forthcoming article).
The Revolution of Dignity (or Maidan Revolution) was a “coup”
The Revolution of Dignity, that popular uprising where the Ukrainian people successfully removed from power an autocratic Russian stooge, is consistent with the democratic sacrosanct principle of the Right of Revolution. Free people have a duty, as well as their right, to rebel against tyrannical authority and overthrow that government, when its actions betray the basis of their original intent to rule. In other words, if a government is elected democratically but in its execution of power abandons the parameters of its social pact and rules unjustly, they cease to be a democratic government.
The U.S. Declaration of Independence (1776), the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789), and the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) are some legal and moral instruments that embrace the Right of Revolution. A coup, on the other hand, is an illegal act that involves the forced removal of a legitimate government that has remained faithful to its limited role, temporarily granted to it, by a free citizenry. Viktor Yanukovych violated his authority when he suppressed dissent, curtailed civil liberties, passed draconian censorship laws, and aligned Ukraine with Russian interests. This was a cardinal betrayal, since the fundamental premise of his political campaign was to seek proximity with Europe, Putin’s nemesis. (More on this topic in a forthcoming article).
Ukraine has always been part of Russia
The “unity” began in 882 with the Kievan Rus’. The loose federation of people and tribes from Eastern and Northern Europe which lasted until the 1240s, when the Mongols invaded, is the basis of this Russian folkloric historiography. It is a curious fact that Kyiv (in Ukraine, not in Russia) was the capital of this federation. The truth is that after that, Ukraine was occupied by differing foreign entities throughout most of its history. Despite this, it managed to anthropologically develop its own idiosyncratic identity, culture, and language.
Soviet communism, since its beginning with the Bolshevik coup in 1917, waged an incessant war to control and dominate Ukraine. The Putin regime, a loyal heir to communist tyranny, has done everything in his power to wrestle Ukraine back to its captive colony status. The timing of the previous (2014) and the present invasion of Ukrainian territory, for the former KGB spymaster, has depended on his perceived weakness of American leadership and nothing else.
Putin invaded because of “neutrality” violations on the part of Ukraine
When the Russian dictator invaded and annexed Crimea and installed a Russian insurgency in Donetsk and Luhansk in 2014, Ukraine was technically “neutral.” When the Putin regime recently skewed his pseudo- “people’s republic” scheme of the other two regions where Russian-backed separatists waged an eight-year guerrilla war, Ukraine was neutral. “Neutrality” for Russia means Ukrainian submission and its colonial rule.
Ukraine must be demilitarized
In 1994, Ukraine had the world’s third-largest nuclear inventory. In that year, Ukraine made one of its biggest mistakes. It voluntarily gave up the entirety of its nuclear weapons. That is what the Budapest Memorandum, a U.N. facilitated document, was about. Ukraine believed in the commitment that its guarantors, the United States and United Kingdom, would honor the 1994 agreement’s solemn assurance that Ukraine’s sovereignty would be respected and defended. There should be no doubt that Ukrainians regret greatly having ceded those weapons. Putin would not have invaded.
Putin fights cultural Marxism; therefore, he is conservative, anti-globalist and anticommunist
The premise that Putin is conservative, anti-globalist, and anti-communist is false. Yes, the Russian autocrat fights the venom of gender ideology, transgenderism, radical feminism, and other plans of political action that get their rationalization from cultural Marxism’s critical theory arsenal. The fact is; however, communist China and Islamic Iran also combat vehemently all of those same neo-Marxist tenets. Cultural Marxism is a mode of subversion in Western democracies. Once political power is reached, the communist (China), post-communist (Putinism), and Islamism (Iran) crush any vestige that questions its absolutism.
Putin has actively sought to reinsert Russia in the world where the USSR left off, albeit with a 21st-century revision of its production relations and economic model. Russia’s state-sponsored oligarchs, all Putin made, are globalists by definition. This is the case of Putin himself. Autarky, a policy of national self-sufficiency, is antithetical to, both the Soviet Union and Putin’s praxis. The Russian dependency on oil exports to finance the country’s basic needs exemplifies this. Russia’s intimate, intertwining relationship with the Western Hemisphere’s socialist dictatorships is one example of its globalist worldview.
The nonsensical arguments being put out by some who should better, do a great disservice to freedom and the republican system. The Putin regime is a product of Soviet communism. It is carrying out a version of the Holodomor. Ukraine is democracy’s battlefield today.
Julio M Shiling, political scientist, writer, director of Patria de Martí and The Cuban American Voice, lecturer and media commentator. A native of Cuba, he currently lives in the United States. Twitter: @JulioMShiling // Julio es politólogo, escritor, director de Patria de Martí y The Cuban American Voice. Conferenciante y comentarista en los medios. Natural de Cuba, vive actualmente en EE UU.