Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ukraine Increasingly Not Just about Ukraine and Thus Western Aid Ever More Critical, Kirillova Says

Paul Goble


            Staunton, January 28 – With each passing day, it is becoming more critical that the US and the EU increase their assistance to Ukraine not only because Russian aggression there is becoming more violent and vicious but also because what happens in Ukraine is rapidly becoming a model for the future of the post-Soviet space, according to Kseniya Kirillova.


            It is not the case that the West has not helped Ukraine up to now as some naysayers would have it, although “it is completely logical and no one in the world is interested in entering into an open conflict with an unpredictable and dangerous aggressor, the Seattle -based writer says (


            Moreover, many of them are increasingly aware that “the war which Russia is carrying out is destructive for itself in the first instance and therefore it is completely logical simply to wait until the aggressor country exhausts itself as a result of its own actions” and sinks into “a deep economic and political crisis.”


            But the events of the last few days show that “the situation is changing sharply” and that should be the occasion for a review of the West’s approach up to now. On the one hand, Russia has ever fewer resources for a full-scale war and “it is becoming ever more obvious that further aggression will only accelerate its internal collapse.”


            But “on the other hand,” Kirillova argues, “the actions of the aggressor are becoming so destructive” that any delay in the realization of that outcome “could lead to very unfavorable consequences,” not only for Ukraine but also for other countries, including the Russian Federation itself.


            No one should forget, she writes, that “what is taking place at the present moment with Ukraine is in a certain sense a window for the entire rest of the world.” The situation there is “a model which threatens to become a precedent,” and it is up to the international community to decide whether that precedent will be “positive or dangerous.”


            There are a growing number of countries who are looking at what is happening in Ukraine and are asking themselves: “’If we choose the European path of development, and this aggressor attacks us threatening the use of nuclear weapons will everyone else simply watch and express their ‘deep concern?’”


            Ukrainians are grateful for the help they have received, but it does not correspond to what they need to repel Russian aggression. The United States, for example, “has still not offered Ukraine lethal arms, and the mythical ‘NATO legions’ exist only in the sick imagination of Vladimir Putin.”


            What is critically important to remember, Kirillova continues, is that “both for politicians and for ordinary citizens what is important is not only the fact of assistance but what this assistance consists of and the consequences” of its being offered and arriving. If it doesn’t arrive before Russia collapses, that will have horrific consequences “at a minimum” for Ukraine.


            In that event, other countries considering making a European choice may decide that the price for doing so is simply too high given that the West hasn’t defended Ukraine which has. And the destruction which Ukraine would suffer in the process would reduce its ability to serve as an important economic partner for the EU and the US.


            Moreover, one must not forget how the Ukrainian people would react in that event. At present, they are very positively disposed to Europe, but if they become disappointed in the subject of their dreams, it could easily happen that these attitudes could change in fundamental ways.


            “If the Ukrainian people decide that they have been betrayed, it will be very complicated to restore that faith,” Kirillova says, adding that “yes, in Ukraine up to now corruption exists, but in the current situation it is understandable that if Ukraine does not stand up against foreign aggression, it will simply not be able physically to struggle with corruption.”


            NATO will win by aiding Ukraine, she concludes, because “the victory of Ukraine is a guarantee of the preservation of the entire world order. It is the future of Europe. It is the possibility of stopping an aggressor before he goes too far, and therefore, it is absolutely wrong to throw [Ukraine] to the arbitrary winds of fate.”



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