Ukraine – A Comment

Normally, I don’t do political posts or throw my opinion on you, my dear readers. I prefer documentation rather then comments as the article of choice.

But as it is – the situation in the Ukraine makes me so uneasy, so anxious that I had to write down my thoughts. For clarification why: I am half Russian and my family lives in the border area of Eastern Ukraine and Russia. Most of them live on the Russian side in the oblast Belgorod, one uncle and aunt on the Ukrainian side in Charkiv.

But I am neither pro-Russian nor pro-Ukrainian. The situation is so f…ing complicated and it is so hard to get real, valuable information.

News from Russia or from Ukraine cannot be taken into consideration, they now are simply propaganda. But the news coverage here in Germany is also not satisfying, because it is mostly one-sided pro-Ukrainian.

How did I come to this conclusion? Because some facts – important facts – are completely ignored. Maybe they were shown, but they did not got the attention they should have. Examples? A part of the interim government of the Ukraine is held by nationalists. The party „Svoboda“, which means „Freedom“ (this name was inspired by Jörg Haider‘s FPÖ from Austria) is ranked as right wing – everybody knows its members are nationalists, fascists, and anti-semits. Until 2004 they even used a modified Wolfsangel rune, under the Nazis used by the SS, as their logo. Their head, Oleh Tyahnybok, is conviced that Ukraine was controlled by a Russian-Jewish Mafia and the party idolises Roman Shukhevych, the head of the Wehrmacht legion „Nachtigall“ that supported the Nazi-regime during WW II.

Their program lets a chill running down my spine: Marking the „ethnical affiliation“ in the passport, „anti-Ukrainian activities“ as an element of crime, all enterprises shall be socialised, only products made in the Ukraine shall be sold and „sexual perversion“ shall be prohibited.

This party has also has proven connections to German nationalists and their party NPD.

And now this party rules the Ukraine as a part of the interim government. The result is for example the attack from the 18th March on the head of the public broadcast station Natsionalna Telekompanija Ukraїny, Oleksandr Panteleymonov, by Ihor Miroshnychenko, Deputy Head of the Parliament’s Committee on Freedom of Speech and Information and Member of the Parliament. He came with some comrades, threatened and accused Oleksandr Panteleymonov of broadcasting „Russian propaganda“ (he decided to broadcast the ceremony of Crimea ascension to the Russian Federation in the Kremlin) started to beat him and forced him to sign his withdrawal. Everything was filmed.

Next underrated fact: As soon as the interim government had taken over, they wanted to dispose Russian as an official language, a rude act of discrimination against the mostly Russian inhabitants of the eastern Ukraine. This was not executed in the end, but nonetheless it shows the great influence of Svoboda.

Even Yulia Tymoshenko is not the golden angel she wants us to believe. She gained her present-day position by undertaking dubious gas deals with Gazprom which made her one of the wealthiest persons in Ukraine. And this also means one of the most powerful. Her political power sprang from an alliance with the also very dubious oligarch and prime minister Pavlo Lazarenko.

On the other hand the role of Vitaly Klitschko, of great interest here in Germany because of his career as a boxer, is very much overrated. He has no political power in the Ukraine, only one member of his party found his way into the interim government and during the last days you heard nothing from Klitschko at all. People do not know him and do not have the desire to be represented by him.

But yesterday’s events finally convinced me to write all this down.

Yesterday the rhetoric escalated. The use of dramatic words took such a considerably upturn as well as threatening actionism that some think war is now unpreventable and only a matter of time.

Ukraine started as announced in Geneva with their “anti terror operation” in the east of Ukraine to push back the separatists. Russia’s forgeign minister Lavrov speaks hereupon from a war of the Ukraine government against their own people and that those responsible for this “bloody crime” have to pay.1

Yatsenyuk responds by accusing Russia to cause WW III, and not much later Russia starts a manoeuvre at the ukraine border, bringing forces near up to one kilometre to the border so that Ukraine threatens to “crush every attacker” crossing the line. Putin answers with a statement to increase the production of precision-weapons and air raid defences.

I am not even speaking of the pamphlet-campaign.

And all this took only a couple of hours to develop.

It was actually like watching a bad horror movie. You know exactly what will happen next, you shout at your TV „Don’t open this door!“ but you are damned to sit and watch in terror. Of course the door will be opened. And the worst is – everyone else must feel the same way like me. Even those responsible for those actions! And all I can ask myself is „How is this possible?“ Why let those people escalate this situation so thoroughly and under everybodies eyes? It was as if they were actually seeking a war; warmongering live.

And the US are doing nothing whatsoever to deescalate the situation. The so called „photo evidence“ presented by the New York Times, which had worked together with the US and Ukrainian government in this case, allegedly showing russian soldiers first in Georgia and now in Ukraine, is not reliable.2

It reminds me strongly of the „photo evidences“ of George W. Bush about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq… But also, this goes by nearly unnotice.

US foreign minister Kerry warned Russia about their „full-throated effort to actively sabotage the democratic process gross external intimidation“3 in Ukraine. (Remember the attack on the Ukraine journalist by a member of said government?) And as if this was not threatening enough he announces „We are ready to act.“ For Obama, Moscow and Kiev are far far away…

My aunt in Charkiv, asked about her opinion on all those events, made a perfect summary of the situation: „Put everybody in a sack and beat them up with a club. It always strikes the right one.“


Katja Puppe

Follow Katja on Twitter: @Isaldaria


[1] http://de.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idDEKBN0DB0H320140425

2 http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27104904

3 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/10786832/John-Kerry-warns-Russia-and-Vladimir-Putin-against-expensive-mistake-in-Ukraine.html (25th April 2014)


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