Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 11.11.2018
Passchendaele, Ypres, the Somme, Verdun – trench warfare in the heart of Europe a century ago. Krymske, the Svitlodarsk Bulge, Avdiivka, Vodyane – trench warfare in the heart of Europe today. The centenary of the Armistice which ended the First World War will be commemorated with great solemnity on November 11. The ongoing war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine will be ignored.
The Russian Federation invaded Ukraine on 20 February 2014. Putin’s War has already lasted longer than the First World War and shows no sign of ending. The peace of Europe has been shattered by Muscovy aggression, and will never be restored until Putin is stopped and Crimea and Donbas are liberated. But apart from Ukrainians, Europeans are not fighting to make that happen.
Nothing has been learned from the experience of the First World War. Ukrainians are fighting in the trenches along a battlefront in eastern Ukraine to stop the invading Russian army. But unlike the French in World War I, the Ukrainians has no allies fighting along with them.
How is that a war so like the First World War can be underway in Europe, and so few people are paying attention? Russian hate propaganda against the Ukrainian people is massive and relentless. But that is an insufficient explanation. It is is only coupled with the moral collapse of Western political leadership and the abject weakness of Western news media that the war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine can be thoughtlessly put aside. Most of the West chooses the path of cowardice, pretending to believe the lies coming out of the Kremlin as a way to cover for moral failure.
Ukrainians do not have the luxury of pretending there is no war. They are in a fight for national salvation. A “Ukrop” (frontline Ukrainian soldier) is doing exactly what a “Poilu” (frontline French soldier) was doing a century ago: fighting the invader of his homeland.
The fallen of the First World War will be remembered. Casualties of Putin’s war are being ignored. On November 10, a sabotage-reconnaissance group of the Russian army attacked from Russian-occupied Debaltseve, Ukraine at the Svitlodarsk Bulge. Ukrainian combat teams of the Joint Forces Operation countered the assault, and prevented the invaders from getting through a gap between observation posts. Unfortunately, two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and two others were wounded in the battle.
The Russian Federation has been shelling, shooting, rocketing, assaulting, killing and maiming Ukrainians for over four and a half years. No ally fights in the trenches alongside Ukraine, the defender of Europe. A century after the Great War ended, nothing has been learned from the “war to end all wars.” For as long as Ukrainians fight and die in the trenches of Donbas without help, the fallen of World War I will have died in vain.