Handicapping Ukraine And Russia-West Differences – OpEd


As of now, it’s a relatively safe bet to believe that the Donbass region will be severed from Ukraine, with the remaining Ukrainian state having a neutral status. This diminished Ukraine might’ve (at least in the short term) a greater per capita anti-Russian dynamic, which could prove problematical for that state.

Russia has been losing the propaganda war. Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be looking long term. At one time, the current Head of the Chechen Republic (official title) Ramzan Kadyrov, had opposed the Russian government. Now, he’s on very good terms with the Kremlin.

In time, a greater number of Ukrainians might begin questioning Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as someone who (under the influence of some nationalists) further instigated and prolonged a conflict, whose end result could’ve occurred on better terms for Ukraine, without the deaths, displacement and destruction, resulting from Russia’s military action.

In turn, Putin could be increasingly viewed as someone who for years had tried to reasonably see a peaceful implementation of the 2015 UN approved Minsk Protocol and need for a new European security arrangement.

Likewise, contrary to the Kiev regime and Western mass media propaganda, Russia has so far waged a limited military operation, causing far less civilian deaths, when compared to the US military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Among the issues, are armed combatants using civilians and civilian areas as cover.

For those selectively seeing Putin as a monster, consider Madeleine Albright’s infamous comment on the large-scale Iraqi deaths caused by US military action and how she has been given kudos by the likes of Wesley Clark.

“Whataboutism” can be ethically utilized to offset the hypocritically arrogant, ignorant and bigoted moral supremacy that some have. One or more wrongs don’t make a right, with hypocrisy not being a virtue.

A number of Kiev regime claims about Russia’s military action have been later proven false. It’s therefore prudent to not automatically believe everything that government says before a fully substantiated overview.

In an interesting April 1 RT CrossTalk discussion, University of Rhode Island Professor Nicolai Petro foresees a more nationalistic Ukraine. Petro adds that this nationalism might’ve a noticeable anti-Western sentiment as well. Kiev regime propaganda has repeatedly suggested that the West hasn’t done enough to help their side. Over the years, some pro-Stepan Bandera Ukrainians have a xenophobic element, which is negative towards Jews, Poles and Russians. 

If Petro’s projection takes shape, there could be a continued tense political division in a hypothetically diminished Ukraine, formally divorced from Crimea and Donbass. Pro-Russian sentiment within Kiev regime-controlled Ukraine hasn’t been comp​letely eliminated. 

The abrasive Ukrainian nationalism idolizing Bandera is an anathema to many Ukrainians. The Banderite element in the Ukrainian Rada has been attempting to officially ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, that’s loosely affiliated to the Moscow Patriarchate.

The Moscow Patriarchate affiliated Orthodox Church has for centuries been by far the most popular church in Crimea, Donbass and numerous other areas of the former Ukrainian SSR. It’s quite arrogant for the Kiev regime to lay claim on lands, where the latter oppose the censoring trends favored by the former. There’re no Kiev regime calls to cancel culture Bandera.   

In Western mass media, no context is ever given when the black and red Banderite flag is shown. BTW, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church with loose Moscow Patriarchate ties, has spoken against the Russian military action, as have numerous clerics of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.

On the flip side, the ongoing military conflict is seeing casualties among Ukrainian neo-Nazis. In a somewhat roundabout way, Zelensky appears to have acknowledged the negative attributes of these extremists, during an April 1 Fox News segment – an exchange that the network has omitted from its archive. The failed neo-Nazi advocacy could eventually lead to a significant drop in its influence.

At the outbreak of the Russian military action, I proposed a settlement having Crimea fully recognized as Russian, along with a recognition of Donbass as a very autonomous part of Ukraine and an end to the anti-Russian sanctions. I’m now not as sure that Russia would accept this proposal.

The implemented sanctions against Russia have created a boomerang effect, which could become more evident. Over the long haul, it’s not so easy to isolate a country as powerfully determined Russia. Much of the world hasn’t gone along with the West’s anti-Russian sanctions.

Given time, the sanctions against Russian athletes and artists could end on the realization that this action is farcical in its hypocritically implemented bigotry. Using the same premise, it wouldn’t be so difficult to justify the banning of athletes and artists from other countries, when their respective nation (in the not-too-distant past) engaged in military action that killed and displaced many.

With a consistent standard in mind, Ukrainian athletes and artists could be banned for the Kiev regime carnage in Donbass over the past eight years. The Kiev regime can be credibly held accountable for about 10,000 deaths (overwhelmingly civilian) and displacing up to one million to Russia. Donbass is on the other end of the former Ukrainian SSR, farther away from the EU. Hence, the Donbass victims of Kiev regime terror don’t get much, if any Western mass media compassion and coverage.

US President Joe Biden will probably and deservingly be a one term president. His likely Republican successor might be in a better position to improve US-Russian relations – somewhat on par to what happened with US-Soviet relations after Ronald Reagan’s victory over Jimmy Carter. 

In the meantime, it’s imperative for responsible voices within the US and elsewhere to not throw in the towel. Western mass media censorship can only go so far.

Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media critic.

Michael Averko

Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media critic. He has appeared as a guest commentator on the BBC, RT and WABC talk radio, in addition to having been a panelist at the World Russia Forum, Russia Forum New York and US-Russia.org Experts' Panel. Besides Averko's Eurasia Review column - Academia.edu, Counterpunch, Foreign Policy Journal, Global Research, History News Network, InoSMI.Ru, Johnson's Russia List, Journal of Turkish Weekly, Kyiv Post, Oriental Review, Penza News, Pravda.Ru, Pravoslavie.Ru, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Russia Insider, Sputnik News, Strategic Culture Foundation, The Duran, The Huffington Post, Valdai Discussion Club, Yonkers Tribune and WikiLeaks, are among the numerous venues where his articles have either appeared or been referenced. The American Institute in Ukraine and the Lord Byron Foundation for Balkan Studies, have referenced some of Averko's articles, along with academic white papers prepared for NATO Watch, Ohio State University, Problems of Post-Communism and the Royal College of Defence Studies. He has been referenced in the Council on Foreign Relations, Defense One and The New York Times. Averko is source referenced in Richard Sakwa's book "Frontline Ukraine". His Eurasia Review article on Pavlo Skoropadsky, provides the first full online English language transcript of Skoropadsky's edict calling for an "All-Russian Federation", inclusive of Russia and Ukraine. Among other issues, that article explains the relationships among the major combatants in the Russian Civil War. He can be reached via [email protected]

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