Dear ‘Wokus Pokus’ Saffer Putin Supporter
Yes, I mean you. One of the many pseudo lefties in South Africa who claim “Russia is surrounded by Nato” despite the country sharing a border with Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China. The average, misguided socialist wannabee stuck with what Nigel Gibson writing on newsite ‘Africa Is A Country’ calls “crude anti-imperialist positions that are silent about the actual invasion of an independent country.”
Always returning to the Marxist ‘bully pulpit’ to support a country which is no longer the USSR, for the sake of ‘solidarity’ with a cause that was dead and buried when the Soviet Union broke up in 1991.
One of many pathetic small minds who always seem to claim allegiance to a big man — today it is the dictator and homophobe, Vladimir Putin, despite his track record of poisoning his opposition and locking up girl bands like Pussy Riot, who criticise him — tomorrow who will it be?
As Mokubung Nkomo writes in ‘Russia has become a far-right, Orwellian oligarchy — any historical solidarity is with a state that no longer exists’ : “Unlike the socialist USSR, Russia has become an unapologetic, mainly mixed economy, with an oversized oligarchic disposition. There is a huge substantive difference in the philosophies and political economies between the old USSR and the Russian Federation.”
Like England’s Henry VII, the Kremlin seizes the property of its critics, says veteran political analyst Keith Gottschalk. This week, the country arrested several anti-war protesters for holding up blank pieces of paper.
Perhaps you would care to study some Russian history?
The country was one of the parties to the 1884 Berlin Conference which redrew the map of Africa. Czarist Russia was represented by Count Pyotr Alekseyevich Kapnist, a diplomat acting on behalf of the Czar, who consented to the result which gave the British, French, Germans, Italians and Portuguese, African colonies, so that the Russian Empire could cling to its own European territories which included the Baltic, Poland, Finland and Eurasia.
Russia consented because it wished to keep its benefits from an earlier period of serfdom and white slavery in the face of European abolitionists, and though landlocked for the most part, Russia was happy to see the West doing what it was doing in Africa so it could expand into territories which are now Asian Republics.
Czarist Russia also supported the Boers in the Anglo Boer war, and committed mercenaries on the side of the Afrikaners in order to prop up white supremacy whilst it was committing pogroms against Jews in the Baltic — my own family history, surely demonstrates that immigrants are not always self-serving colonials, but often those simply fleeing tyranny?
Though the subsequent history of the Russian Revolution and the formation of the USSR is a lot different, a riveting piece of world history, it really is of no consequence to the current events playing out today, since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, leaving only its successor, the so-called Russian Federation?
While you’re frenetically busy spreading Pro-Putin propaganda for a dictator who routinely silences dissent and are tediously, claiming this to be a noble fight ‘between socialism and capitalism’, try to quit Leftsplaining the conflict?
Why should we need to bother defending Russian state television RT and the loss of a solitary news feed from the Kremlin, if this means ignoring independent voices and media within Russia itself?
Consider the fate of Rain TV network, forced to close because of a Putin decree making it a criminal offense to criticise the Russian military, a law making it illegal to refer to the military operation as an ‘invasion’ or even a ‘war’.
Are you neglecting Russia’s many wars and invasions? The invasion of Afghanistan 1979? The invasion of Hungary 1956? The wars in Chechnya 1994 and 1999? ‘It’s exactly the same playbook as we’ve seen before in Grozny, in Chechnya and in Homs and Aleppo in Syria’.
Consider the resulting disorder and disruption experienced by millions of refugees across Europe in the worst humanitarian crisis since 1945? The targeting of civilians in a campaign that resembles an earlier Russian effort to prop up the Syrian butcher Assad, a man who gassed his own people?
While you foolishly ‘rabble-rouse’ on the alleged racism experienced by Africans at the border with Poland only to end up being played by Putin, consider the losses experienced by African students forced to flee Ukranian universities? Before the war, in 2019 the country was listed in the top 20 for those seeking refuge including migrants from Africa It is now the World’s number one source of refugees.
And while you needlessly deploy the rhetoric of ‘whataboutism’ in a vain and selfish effort to string together each and every war and conflict around the globe in your hip, ersatz and cheap, anti-Western invective, pause to consider the uncomfortable ‘what-abouts’ — like what-about Saddam Hussein and his gassing of Iranians? Or what-about Osama bin Laden and his bankrolling of 911 hijackers? Or what-about Muammar Gaddafi, and his penchant for throwing his opposition in prison?
Did you also miss the fact that Gaddafi sent his jets to bomb his own people, forcing Sarkozy to react when pilots who refused to do so, started seeking asylum in France? Maybe it was because you were too busy watching Russia Today and ignoring France 24 and the BBC?
Criticise the West and its many wars, oppose all war if you will, but let’s get some facts straight:
The Russian Federation is not a socialist utopia, but rather models itself on the earlier Imperialist Russia, along with its oligarchs, aristocrats and billionaires. A recent stadium address by Putin has all the fanfare of an evangelical meeting of white Christian nationalists.
Ukraine broke from the USSR in 1991 and willingly gave up its nuclear warheads in exchange for guarantees of territorial integrity from Russia and the West, the so-called Budapest Memorandum: “On December 5, 1994 the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Britain and the United States signed a memorandum to provide Ukraine with security assurances in connection with its accession to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state. The four parties signed the memorandum, containing a preamble and six paragraphs.”
Putin invaded Crimea, a Ukranian territory in 2014 following the events surrounding “Euromaidan” a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Ukraine, which ‘began on the night of 21 November 2013 with public protests in Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kyiv’ and resulted in a popular overthrow of Pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych, who then fled to Russia.
The Crimean Invasion was the beginning of the conflict in which Putin still seeks to install a government more to his liking in what is known as ‘regime change’. It is significant that Russia has done this on more than one occasion — Crimea was a vassal-state under the Czar, a Khanate under the Tatars, and a colony under the Ottomans.
Putin’s ambassador to South Africa claims Russia is merely defending the rights of Ukrainian separatists, but this has in reality, turned into an all-out war of occupation and conquest, as seen by missile salvos over Kyiv.
Since 2014, Putin has labelled any Anti-Russian opposition within Ukraine, the work of ‘Neo-Nazis’. By Putin’s own definition, instead of fleeing Russian Cossacks, my own family are Nazis since my Great Grandmother once criticised the Czar.
Putin’s pathetic claims of denazification have been shown to be totally false, the current Ukrainian President Zelensky is not only Jewish and his family Holocaust survivors, but Russia proceeded to bomb a Holocaust memorial last week and has shown no restraint in targeting civilians, including women and children, claiming that the Ukranian Defence Force are using them as ‘human shields’.
Instead of greeting the invasion with open arms, and the Russians as liberators, the Ukranians have shown fierce resistance to the aggressor.