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Kem and Svetlana Phillips: Stop repeating the Kremlin’s nonsense about Ukraine

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This commentary is by Kem and Svetlana Phillips, who live in Cavendish. Kem is a retired statistician. Svetlana is a naturalized citizen from Ukraine, trained as a legal interpreter.

There are a number of false notions about what is going on with Putin’s treacherous war on Ukraine and we want to address several of them.

We sometimes hear that there is a Nazi element in the Ukrainian government. Although there are right-wing Ukrainians, these alleged “elements” in the government generally remain unnamed, allowing the ignorant to imagine whatever they please. Too often it might refer to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy himself. Russia has suggested that Zelenskyy, despite being Jewish, is a Nazi, a notion so bizarre that Russia’s foreign minister — the war criminal, liar, thief and coward Sergey Lavrov — recently tried to justify it by suggesting that Hitler himself had Jewish roots

Earlier this year, Putin unsuccessfully sent his vicious paramilitary Wagner Group, probably named after the proto-Nazi and antisemite Richard Wagner (see Wikipedia), to assassinate President Zelenskyy, who was then to be replaced by Viktor Yanukovych (who was the fourth president of Ukraine from 2010 until he was removed from office in the Maidan Revolution in 2014).  

We also hear deranged histories of the events in Ukraine leading up to the war. For example, that there was a “civil war” in Ukraine, sparked perhaps by a coup against then-President Yanukovych. Of course, there was the Revolution of Dignity, the Ukrainian people’s successful overthrow of Putin-backed Yanukovych.  

Yanukovych murdered over 100 Ukrainians in Kyiv’s Maidan, but in the end fled to Russia under the protection of his godfather Putin. The Ukrainians were demanding Yanukovych’s resignation because of his corruption, his reneging on closer ties to Europe, and his attempts to destroy the Ukrainian army, since revived, preferring his sugar-daddy Putin to the welfare of Ukraine.

Yanukovych had already started packing the loot in his palace, now the Museum of Corruption, which “Yanukovych used to retreat to the site with his mistress, carefully hiding its existence from his wife, who only learned about it when it was finally shown on television.” It had “a gym, sauna, boxing ring, and bowling alley, while the main dwelling has chandeliers and expensive Lalique French furniture.” 

Putin wanted to reinstall Yanukovych against the will of nearly all Ukrainians.

Another false notion is that Russia’s unprovoked invasion of a sovereign country is America’s “proxy war on Russia,” which is almost too preposterous to address. Maybe this idea comes from Geopolitca.ru, or as they put it themselves, Geoполитика.ru. Their motto is ‘“Carthago delenda est” (“Carthage must be destroyed”), in which liberal democracies are perceived as the “Eternal Carthage” and Russia as “the Eternal Rome.” 

And another notion, that this war was orchestrated by the Rand Corporation and Ambassador Nuland, is just silly. Nearly everyone expected the war to be over quickly, with Zelenskyy dead and Russia in control of the entire country. Is that something the U.S. would have been happy with? Fortunately, the Ukrainian army and people, with the help of Europe and the US, prevented that. None of this has any effect on the Putin/Lavrov/Russian lie that somehow, as the mendacious Lavrov recently said to the BBC, “We didn’t invade Ukraine.” 

We hope that with increased aid Ukraine can expel the invaders before Putin and Russia commit many more war crimes. We also hope that ignorant people will stop repeating the Kremlin’s nonsense that comes mainly from the Russian Channel One.

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