21 September 2022
Putin and Shoigu, it seems, have outdone themselves in their lying.
Literally every phrase of Putin’s speech should be understood in reverse. The crimes, intentions and threats he attributes to Ukraine, to the ‘Kiev regime,’ and to the West are being committed by his regime and by no other. And it is Ukraine that, with the support of the whole world, is carrying out a mission of liberation, defending freedom, human rights and international law.
As for Shoigu’s nonsensical claim that, allegedly, Ukrainian losses are ten times higher than Russia’s, which according to him amount to less than 6,000, it contradicts both common sense and the facts.
Their constant lies grow ever more fantastical, and in other circumstances would only be funny.
But, alas, these people, who you could otherwise think of as just spiteful old men who have lost their minds, rule Russia and threaten the whole world. They are multiplying their crimes and raising the stakes more and more in a horrific and bloody gamble, a gamble started because of Putin’s desire to become a ‘legendary ruler of land and sea’, but that has turned into a struggle to save his dictatorship. Today, they have put at stake the lives of at least 300,000 Russians who do not want to fight in order for Putin to aggrandize his personal power, and that means also the lives of thousands more Ukrainians who are successfully resisting Russian aggression.
Each new step along the path of escalation brings the end of Putin’s regime closer. For those who pretend to be ‘legendary rulers of land and sea’ there is no other outcome. But each such step increases the price Ukraine, Russia and the world will have to pay.
I am certain that neither Ukraine nor the world will give in to Putin’s blackmail. I hope the world will increase its support for Ukraine, providing arms, money and all other means to increase pressure on the Putin regime.
Hundreds of thousands of Russians, whom Putin intends to drive into a criminal war that is against Russian interests, find themselves in a tragic situation. I hope they will succeed in avoiding the call-up in any way possible, sabotage the war, throw down their weapons or, in the last resort, turn them against the dictatorship.
And all of us outside Russia must once again ask ourselves what we can do to support Ukraine and to support those Russian citizens who oppose the war and have become victims and hostages of the Putin regime.
Translated by Simon Cosgrove