The problem with neutrality on the Russo-Ukrainian War

By Alex Pavlyk | | 4 min read

The problem with neutrality on the Russo-Ukrainian War

We cannot deny the fact that there were wars in which there was no good side, and which we would like to end peacefully. But when it comes to protecting freedom, justice, and the lives of innocent people, do we have the moral right to stand aside without condemning the actions of the aggressors and without supporting the heroes who lay down their lives for a good cause? Unfortunately, there are still people, who hesitate to show support for Ukraine and prefer to stay neutral, since “they’re not into politics”. But today we’re going to find out whether the Russo-Ukrainian War is that much about politics.

The problem is that some western media interpret the war as an ordinary political conflict or territorial dispute. But you better turn off your TV and come to Ukraine. After maybe a month of being here and interacting with the locals, you’ll understand that this war is not for political ambitions as much as it is for the existence of Ukraine as a nation.

We need to acknowledge the fact that russian federation illegally invaded a sovereign and independent country, targeted civilian infrastructure and residential buildings, forcibly displaced children, tortured and raped innocent civilians. Ukraine, like any other sober-minded country, has the right to defend itself. Still, some individuals consider it an “escalation of the conflict” and offer peace negotiations and territorial concessions as a solution.

But let’s recall the history. 1938. The Munich Agreement was the last step in the policy of “appeasement”, which the leaders of France and Great Britain professed in relation to the expansionist Hitler. All efforts of Britain and France to “appease” Hitler by allowing the Wehrmacht to occupy Sudetenland turned out to be useless and did not stop the Third Reich from invading Poland in 1939, thus causing the fiercest military conflict in the history of humankind. Though we have the right to condemn the actions of the Allied governments like the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, do we have the right to judge the veterans of WW2 who gave their lives to protect their families and provide a better future for us? Absolutely not. Just like we can’t judge the brave Ukrainian people who refuse to live under putin’s dictatorship and keep fighting for their independence.

The 8 years of allowing russia to occupy part of Donbas and Crimea according to the Minsk agreement only allowed putin to buy some time for strengthening and preparing his troops for a full-scale war against Ukraine. And the negotiations initiated by the Ukrainian government in the first phase of the invasion did not give any positive results, as russia refused to cease fire and withdraw its troops.

That’s why Ukraine refuses to make territorial concessions, because it won’t prevent putin from wanting more Ukrainian territories and attempting to invade them. Also, it would endanger the authority of basic principles of the UN Charter, such as security, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and would give a simple signal to the dictators of russia, China, North Korea and Iran that the West doesn’t care about international law. In this way, it will become clear that everything is decided by force, and the world will have to prepare for a larger-scale war.

And most importantly, Ukrainians cannot allow themselves to abandon their compatriots in the occupied territories, who, despite being inhumanly tortured by russian soldiers, still continue to dream of seeing a clear sky again and a peaceful city over which the blue-yellow flag flies. And these are the very people the Ukrainian Armed Forces are fighting for.

Conclusion: The goal of this article was not to make you sympathize Ukrainian government. Yes, we’re not a perfect country. But you have to understand, that when answering the question “Do you support Ukraine?” you say “I’m neutral”, the Ukrainian people will understand this as “I don’t care about the atrocities russians did in Bucha, Hostomel or Irpin. I don’t care about the Ukrainian children deported to russia. I don’t care about Ukrainian soldiers who sacrifice their lives to provide a better future for their children”. That’s why I encourage you to see things as they are and stand with Ukraine.


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