Printed on Wed Jul 06 2022 1:24:32 AM

100 days of the Russia-Ukraine war

International Desk

As the 100th day of the Russia-Ukraine war approaches, many things have become crystal clear.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s concept of “the Russian World”, or the Kremlin’s right to “protect” ethnic Russians and Russian-speakers wherever they are has failed abysmally in Ukraine.

Putin’s claims that Russians and Ukrainians are “one people” are now rejected by nearly all Ukrainians – almost a decade after 85 percent of them said they “felt good” about Russia, and 16 percent wanted both nations to merge, according to a 2013 poll by the Kyiv International Sociology Institute.

Ukrainians are adamant that Putin’s plan to “de-Nazify” Kyiv and replace President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with a pro-Kremlin puppet will never come true.

Some on both sides came to a simple yet overwhelming conclusion that the war is mostly about their beliefs that could easily be seen as “religious”.

Russia invaded Ukraine because of the latter’s “conversion” to the concept of free elections and freedom to break away from Moscow’s political orbit and seek membership in the European Union and NATO.

And the Kremlin wants Russians to believe – unquestionably and blindly – in the “Nazi” policies of Zelenskyy and his government, even though he hails from a Russian-speaking Jewish family and some of his advisers and officials are of Armenian, Georgian, Afghan and Korean origin.

The Azov battalion has become, according to Kremlin propaganda, a group of “Nazi” bogeymen.

Some Azov fighters do believe in white supremacy, ultra-nationalism and intolerance towards LGBTQ rights and feminists.

But even though they – along with other Ukrainian far-right groups – staged huge rallies and attacked critics and police officers with impunity, their real influence on Ukrainian politics has been limited.
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