When a tyrant like Vladimir Putin attacks Ukraine, a sovereign country that is fighting to preserve its independence and its young democracy, there is only one decent position: support the attacked. Everything else is cowardice or complicity and both lead to the defeat of the values that support our framework of freedoms.
The Ukrainians know the Russians well. They have been suffering the brutal pressure of their boots for centuries. Stalin perpetrated against them a genocide known as ‘holodomor’, which involved the annihilation by starvation of millions of innocents. Putin stole Crimea and the Donetsk region from them a few years ago, but not content with it, now he shows them his claws to make it clear that they are vassals of Moscow and as such
they have to behave. No joining NATO or embracing the EU political model. They are the backyard of the great Mother Russia (formerly the Soviet Union) and their destiny is to bow to what she has. Any attempt at rebellion will be ruthlessly drowned in blood.
History repeats itself. In the 1930s, the Stalinist holocaust was silenced by Western communism, ready to justify any horror in defense of its creed. “Whoever is not a communist is a dog,” proclaimed Jean Paul Sartre, while the martyred Ukrainians indulged in cannibalism before surrendering their souls. Shortly after, the communist parties of France, Italy and Spain applauded the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact signed between Nazi Germany and the USSR in order to divide up Poland and the Baltic Republics, because the script written in the Kremlin required it. Today Pablo Iglesias, standard-bearer of the same totalitarian ideology renamed United We Can, plays the palmero of a Putin nostalgic for that imperial past, disguising himself as a pacifist who seeks to avoid a conflict. Is there more shame? The conflict is served. It has been provoked by that dictator trained in the KGB who imprisons opponents and poisons critical journalists. On their shoulders weighs all the responsibility of a very serious threat to our security; that of all of us, since if we are not able to stop the bully, he will be emboldened and will continue to demand more until we reconstruct the geopolitical map prior to the fall of the Iron Curtain.
The Russian leader tests our resolve, just as Hitler did by annexing Austria and seizing the Sudetenland Czech Republic to the cowardly complacency of the British and French in Munich. There was no NATO then. It was born after the war precisely with the purpose of avoiding another tragedy by weaving a solid alliance between the nations of the free world. Ukraine is not part of it, although it has been desperately knocking on the door for more than five years. If we don’t let her in, if we give in to Russian blackmail as in 1938 against Hitler, sooner or later she will come for us and there will be no one to defend us.