Zelensky is a hero – but bravery alone won’t defeat the Russians, quoted the New Statesman on their Mar 1, 2022 editorial.
Its very rare that I write an opinionated article but this article is not about taking sides. Its about the human emotion on what should be ethically right and wrong. Imagine yourself living in a home and having two neighbors (two bitter neighbors who are against each other). In such a hostile environment you had to choose a side and when you did, the other neighbor decides to force his way to your home and take over it.
Now back to reality.
On 1st September 1939, Germany’s dictator, Adolf Hitler, invaded the neighbouring country, Poland. That was the beginning of World War II. The most destructive war in the world, in which millions of people died. Hundreds of thousands of Jewish people were killed. In the concentration camps, entire families were wiped out.
Among these families, there was the Jewish family of Simon Ivanovich Zelensky. He was a young boy, he had lost his three brothers in the Holocaust. His father was also killed in the Holocaust. Seeing half his family die, Ivanovich Zelensky decided to fight against Hitler. He enlisted himself in the Red Army of the Soviet Union. After years of war, the Red Army joined the Allied forces, and finally defeated Hitler in 1945. A soldier of the 57th Guards Motor Rifle, Ivanovich was also a part of the victory. He survived the war.
Moving ahead, on 25th January 1978, his grandson Volodymyr Zelenksy was born. Since his childhood, he was interested in acting. At the age of 17, he builds a career for himself in comedy. He became an actor-comedian. For Ivanovich’s grandson Volodymyr, it was a different age than the one his grandfather knew. He didn’t have to live through a war but he saw the corruption all around. Fed up with the corruption in his country, he decided to get into politics. To drive out corruption from his country, he ran in the Presidential Elections in 2019, and he is the victor.
Fast forward to 2022, history takes an irrevocable turn, and war comes knocking on the Zelensky family’s door. It’s being said that the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, is the Target No. 1 for Putin and his family is Target No, 2. The Russian forces have been told that the Zelensky family is to be assassinated. If experts are to be believed, Putin aims to overthrow the Ukrainian government and to establish a puppet government in Ukraine. To establish a new government, that would act on Putin’s directions.
In the midst of the threat, many people believed that Zelensky would flee his country, in the same way that the Afghanistan President had fled his country, when the Taliban captured the country. But it wasn’t so here. Zelensky didn’t flee his country, rather, he came to the forefront, and gave this thought-provoking speech. At the initial stage of the invasion, not only did he address his countrymen, but he also spoke in Russian, trying to send a message to the Russians.
He said that he has no enmity with the Russians. Putin is trying to brainwash people, and Putin’s puppet media is trying to manipulate the Russians, into believing that the Ukrainians had attacked them. He reiterated that the Ukrainians and the Ukrainian Army, are merely taking defensive actions. They are sitting peacefully in their country and there has been no provocation by them. It is a clear cut invasion by Putin.
Leaving the technicalities and “who said what” behind, I’ve a simple question to ask. Do you folks think a war is ethically correct if you want to annex a country or territory. Well there are two sides of the story; the Ukrainian side, which states that a country has the right to choose sides and then there’s the Russian side which states that they will not allow the enemy to places weapons at their doors (which by the way is an assumption and hasn’t happened yet). This reminds of a scene in Julius Caesar, where he is assassinated by his allies on the mere assumption that if he grows into power, he will become corrupt and end up as tyrant.
While we intellectuals, delve into this mental rabbit hole, there are actual lives being lost on the ground, buildings being bombed, people being stripped of their livelihood and refugees fleeing in thousands. War only brings destruction, nothing else. Sides may win, but what’s good in ruling over a country filled with dissent.
While the Indian government has already made its stance clear on this issue and may side with Russia for geo-political reasons, there’s a good size of Indian audience that thinks otherwise.
History is witness, that whenever any nation sided with only person’s opinion, it has only brought about the ruin of an empire.
In these times, there’s a comment made by the Kenya’s envoy at the emergency meeting of the United Nations, that I not only loved but something that I resonate with.
“Kenya and almost every African country was birthed by the ending of empire. Our borders were not of our own drawing. They were drawn in the distant colonial metropoles of London, Paris and Lisbon with no regard for the ancient nations they cleaved apart. Had we chosen to pursue states on the basis of ethnic, racial or religious homogeneity, we would still be waging bloody wars these many decades later. Instead, we agreed that we would settle for the borders that we inherited. But we would still pursue continental political, economic and legal integration. Rather than form nations that looked ever backwards into history with a dangerous nostalgia, we chose to look forward to a greatness none of our many nations and peoples had ever known.” Martin Kimani (Kenya’s UN envoy)