Frost is coming from the East...
The New York Times reported that the videos circulating on the Internet regarding the shooting of the Russian prisoners are genuine. It is therefore evident that this crime was committed by the Ukrainian side. At least that is how it is being carefully interpreted by the US media. A distrust is beginning to emerge towards Ukrainian President Zelensky, who has been putting on (not only) acting performances of late. It was clear from the beginning that crimes are being committed in the war. It is more than obvious that they are being carried out by both sides of the conflict.
Not so long ago, even a report by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights organisation Amnesty International made it clear that the Ukrainians were making shields of civilians and putting them at risk of death. This report has been vilified, especially by Czech right-wing politicians, even though it is highly objective and the organisation stands by it. Everyone understands that it is the civilians who bear the brunt of the war. War is an ox, as the classic would say. But to understand the current situation, it is necessary to know the history of the conflict. The conflict did not begin in 2014 or 2022, but immediately after the establishment of Ukraine in 1991.
From the very beginning, the Russian ethnic minority in eastern Ukraine has been a bone of contention. Until recently, it was the largest ethnic minority in the whole of Europe. It can be argued that if Ukraine had treated this minority in an orderly manner with clear rights, there would not have been a conflict. The second problem was the ill-considered expansion of NATO towards Russia's borders. As Pope Francis noted in May 2022, "perhaps NATO's barking at Russia's door led to the current war".
As the war approaches its one-year anniversary, the conflict threatens to freeze. Indeed, the energy war is proof of this. Europe is having a hard time preparing for winter, and some Czech cities are holding fundraisers for the Ukrainian army. Most recently in Unicov where people could bring old warm clothes. In a roundabout way, we have returned to the Protectorate period, when collections of this type were also organised. Only for the Nazi German army, which was freezing somewhere in the East. Here comes the new Winterhilfe!
Together with political scientist John Mearsheimer, we can argue that the West is directly responsible for the crisis in Ukraine. Not only by NATO expanding to Russia's doorstep and certainly causing panic in Russia. The West is responsible for one more thing: by promoting the neoliberal delusion of the invisible hand of the market. This led to a wild transformation not only in Russia but also in Ukraine after the collapse of the USSR. In real terms, it gave rise to large oligarchs, to high corruption. Ukraine is still the most corrupt country in Europe. It was 122nd out of 180 countries in the CPI (perception of corruption) in 2021.