Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Plucky little Ukraine is rotten to the core


THE 2021 film Operation Mincemeat begins with the narrator saying: ‘In war, truth is protected by a bodyguard of lies’. The same is true of the war in Ukraine. While we know the truth about the gangster state that is Russia and its malevolent dictator who has ordered the murder of more than a dozen people on British soil, supervises state terror and torture at home and initiated an illegal and bloody war, we are not being told the whole truth about Ukraine. It is not the freedom-loving democracy its propagandists claim.

In a 2021 index of world corruption, where the UK scores 79, Ukraine scores 32, just above Russia on 29. The Guardian has described Ukraine as ‘the most corrupt nation in Europe’. Writing in The American Conservative in April 2022, Ted Galen Carpenter states that ‘at best, Ukraine is a corrupt, quasi‐democratic entity with troubling repressive policies’.

A BBC investigation in June 2022 on the plight of 100,000 disabled children imprisoned in 700 institutions in Ukraine exposed abuse on a monumental scale where children ‘are not treated as human beings, they are only kept alive’. Gerard Quinn, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, said this was a problem which long predated the war.

President Zelensky has shut down 11 opposition parties and nationalised broadcasting, placing all TV channels under a single state organisation giving him total control over news and opinion. Meanwhile world leaders fawn on him.

According to the German Council on Foreign Relations, from 2012 to 2016, $41million was directed from Privat Bank, owned by the oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, ‘through a series of intermediary companies into the accounts of Zelensky and Co’.

When Ukraine’s nationalist government took power in 2014 it banned Russian as an official language in the eastern provinces, whose close ties with historical Russia are well documented. When the eastern provinces opted for self-rule the Kiev government bombed and shelled them for seven years. According to the UN’s Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights reporting in February 2019, the total number of conflict-related casualties between Ukraine and the eastern provinces was 40,000-43,000 from April 14, 2014, to January 31, 2019, including 12,800-13,000 killed.

A peace settlement along the boundary of the eastern provinces, ceding them to Russia, would end this war rather than prolonging it for years. The billions given to Ukraine for munitions would be better spent on rebuilding it into a modern democracy, raising living standards far above what Putin’s gangster state can ever offer.

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William Loneskie
William Loneskie
William Loneskie is a retired geography teacher. He lives in the Scottish Borders.

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