In the great game between nations and empires, I am of course in favour of the Western cultural sphere. The one based on the Western and Central European countries, and which partly opposes the Eastern European culture, including Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.
The West has created a strong and extraordinarily successful civilisation; I need hardly mention all the inventors, poets, explorers and statesmen who have made us great, but it is really enough to note our egalitarian and humane spirit, which often aspires to the abstract concept of freedom.
Other regions and cultures, although they may be successful in their respective fields, do not have this feeling at all or in part. In the grand scheme of things, I prefer the West to the East.
And it is from this perspective that I criticise the Ukrainian conflict. What’s the point of sending large parts of our armoury to this unnecessary war? So that we have no weapons ourselves on the day they are needed?
Why encourage and fuel the 2014 Maidan unrest, which was a regular coup d’état, removing an elected president and replacing him with a more Western-friendly one? Hardly democratic or in accordance with international law.
Why encourage divisions between those who speak the Ukrainian dialect/language versus those who prefer to speak Russian? The country was suddenly divided into two, the western Ukrainian and the eastern Russian half. On top of that, everyone was required to speak Ukrainian in official contexts. It’s a bit like demanding that everyone in Switzerland should speak French. And then completely ignore breakaway republics like Luhansk and Donetsk, labelling them as terrorists, and leaving their civilian population under artillery fire for almost a decade. No, the war did not start in 2022.
Why expand NATO so close to Russia’s borders? This has been mentioned many times before, so it needs no introduction, but the US would hardly tolerate Chinese nuclear weapons on Mexican soil, or even an alliance with China. Great powers have an almost pathological attitude towards stability and order in their neighbouring areas, and that includes Russia. Moreover, Russia has not sought to extend its military sphere into Europe in the same way.
Why boycott Russia from the general banking system? Now, they are creating their own system together with China and other countries, which will be a competitor to the current Western system. And they will trade in currencies other than the dollar, which means the dollar will lose its unique position as the world’s reserve currency. Why squander this huge advantage?
Why exclude Russia from trade and exchanges? Now the Russians are trading with other countries instead, developing new markets and trade routes. While many of their assets were frozen in the West, does anyone ask how many Western assets and investments remained in the East?
Why let one of our allies, it is not clear who, blow up the gas pipeline across the Baltic Sea that supplies the industrialised country of Germany with much of its gas and energy? Not only do NATO allies appear to be vassals of the United States instead of friends, but they are deliberately destroying the economies of allied countries, which is particularly malicious.
Why encourage Ukraine to fight a war it cannot possibly win? Hundreds of thousands of young men have already died, to what end? Russia’s military, weapons reserves and military industry are far superior to Ukraine’s.
Why bully all Russian citizens? Many expatriate Russians who were previously sceptical about Putin are now convinced of his excellence as the West betrays and treats Russians as second-class citizens.
With all this said, should we really treat Russia as an equal? Russia is not a true democracy. Therefore, we can treat them differently, surround them, exclude them, make war on them, etc. But note that many countries on earth are not pure democracies, we see dictatorships, kingdoms and mixed systems. How should we act in such a world? Perhaps using threats and violence against anyone who does not measure up is not the right way? And how democratic are we ourselves? There is a lot of talk about the democratic deficit in the EU and strange ballot boxes in the US, but we like to minimise our own problems while pointing the finger at others.
So, West before East in the big picture. Of course, but nothing the Western powers have done in the Ukrainian war has helped to promote our culture. Instead, the war has strengthened the East, and they have made new allies, creating a counter-culture against the West.
And anyone who points out these obvious things is called a Russian troll, a Putin bot, a traitor, etc. Pluralism and a sense of debate disappeared overnight. It is certainly no coincidence that Western civilisation is in decline. But I sincerely hope that we can rise again.