Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 11.10.2017
Yesterday in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the President of Czechia, Milos Zeman, made outrageous remarks about Crimea. He said that while the occupation of Ukraine’s southern peninsula was illegal it was a “fait accompli.” Instead of resisting Russia’s invasion and occupation of Crimea and part of Donbas, Zeman suggested paying Ukraine instead. “In my opinion, there should be some compensation for Ukraine… money, oil or gas,” he said. Overwhelmingly, the words of Zeman were condemned. But he was invited to speak at PACE by a faction of delegates who want to see Russia return to the assembly and to see a lifting of sanctions on Russia, without any prior condition of Russia stopping its attacks on or occupation of Ukraine.
Zeman is another in a long list of Western leaders who are betraying Ukraine. By betraying Ukraine, these Western leaders are betraying the West itself, and its highest civilizational values. Ukraine is Europe and Ukraine is the West. This is true by history, by culture, and by the spirit of Ukrainians for over a millennia. Persistent foreign occupation by Muscovy has masked but never destroyed Ukraine’s central place in Western civilization. When Russia invaded Ukraine on 20 February 2014, Ukraine became the vanguard of the West, defending Western civilizational values. By invading Europe, Russia put itself “beyond the Pale” – outside the West and at war with it. Far from being a regional conflict, Putin’s War is a civilizational battle of Eurasian Muscovy against Europe and the West.
Western leaders and the West’s institutions betrayed Ukraine from the start of Putin’s War. In return for Ukraine giving up all of its nuclear weapons, the signers of the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances – Russia, the US, and the UK – promised to guarantee Ukraine’s sovereignty and to uphold its territorial integrity. Russia invaded and broke the Budapest Memorandum; the US and the UK did nothing to stop Putin’s armies, and failed to keep their Budapest Memorandum promises. By betraying Ukraine over the Budapest Memorandum, the US and the UK betray the West’s values of regulating international relations by keeping promises and adhering to agreements.
The members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) betrayed Ukraine and betrayed the West when they failed to adhere to the principles of the Helsinki Final Act. Russia broke almost every provision of the Helsinki Final Act when it invaded Ukraine. Yet the OSCE ignored its founding document and failed to expel Russia. Furthermore, the OSCE failed to declare that Putin’s War is an international conflict and that Russia is a party to the conflict. Despite being contradicted by its own Parliamentary Assembly, the OSCE proceeds as if the invasion of Europe by Russia is an internal conflict in Ukraine. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine allows Russians to act act as monitors and bans Ukrainians from doing so. This is an obscenity. It is inexplicable why the OSCE betrays one of its members, Ukraine, and betrays its own founding principles in so outrageous a fashion.
The United Nations Security Council betrays Ukraine and betrays the founding principles of the UN Charter when it allows Russia to exercise a veto. The UN should be a forum for peace, but by wrongly allowing Russia to sit as a permanent member of the Security Council, with veto power, the UN has become a tool for furthering aggression. The League of Nations, for all its faults, kicked the Soviet Union out after it invaded Finland in 1939. The UN forces defender Ukraine, which is currently a non-permanent member of the Security Council, to sit at the same table with invader Russia.
NATO betrays Ukraine by not making good on its 2008 promise to admit Ukraine as a member. Having Ukraine in NATO is essential for the defence of the broader North Atlantic region from Russian aggression. Betraying Ukraine by dragging their feet on membership, existing NATO members weaken their collective security.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) betrays Ukraine when it fails to declare that Putin’s War is an international conflict. The ICRC takes away from Ukrainian prisoners of war the full protection of international law. They are hostages, not P.O.W.s, therefore. Ukrainian volunteers do far more to alleviate the plight of Ukrainian hostages than the ICRC does. The ICRC also fails to inspect the almost 70 truck convoys which Russia has sent across the Russia-Ukraine border into the war zone in Donbas, thus allowing Russia to send weapons, ammunition, fuel and matériel to its troops under the guise of “humanitarian” assistance.
A wise leader who champions Western civilization would arm Ukraine to the teeth, fight alongside Ukrainian troops, and liberate Crimea and Donbas. But there is not one Western leader who will stand up for the West by standing up for Ukraine. A state of war exists, but no leader will say that. Russia is invading Europe by invading the largest country that lies wholly within it – Ukraine – but no leader will say that. In the face of Russian aggression, our very survival depends on defeating that aggression – but no leader will say that.
Three days after Nazi Germany invaded Poland the Western allies declared war because a state of war did exist. Three and a half years after Russia invaded Ukraine the Western allies have not declared war despite the fact that a state of war does exist. This is madness. The West is betraying Ukraine. By betraying Ukraine, Western leaders – like the execrable Zeman – betray Western civilization. Putin is a very bad man, but history has seen much worse. Western democracies have very rarely had such a crop of effete leaders as we have, all at the same time. It is our good fortune that people of principle exist to defend Western civilization, like the Ukrainians. It is our grave misfortune that no leader defends Western civilization with the same courage and dignity as the vanguard of the West: the Ukrainian people.