›› Ukraine: A Political Comment ‹‹

by Gay Celluloid editor-in-chief: David Hall.

Dave says:

Seldom do I comment on the politics of the day; albeit from ever campaigning for gay rights in countries still devoid of the sexual freedoms and legal rights that we take for granted in the West. But at times things need to be said and the appalling situation in Ukraine, is one of them.

As Putin's bloody war in Ukraine rages on, the free world has been left to watch in horror how the lives of ordinary men, women and children, many Russian speaking, have been forever changed, caught in Putin's barbaric attack on Ukraine; a policy that is clearly now one of apocalyptic destruction, alongside mass starvation, if not a campaign of genocide itself. Seen throughout the free world on live news feeds and social media are the harrowing personal testimonies of those fleeing a war zone in absolute terror; testament to a man intent on leaving a living hell in his wake.

Yet whilst Putin, seemingly secure in the Kremlin is highly unlikely to ever face charges of war crimes in The Hague, such charges should equally be made against the generals and military commanders who deliberately fire missiles on the innocent; being only too happy to bomb hospitals, maternity wards, schools and any place of refuge from this barbaric war. As too, Sergey Lavrov; Minister for Lies, Misinformation and the Denial of War Crimes, must equally face his day in court as a willing collaborator to the atrocities that have already taken place and all too sadly, those that will continue to be committed by Russia in ever despicable acts of inhumanity.

In all of this however, Putin has badly miscalculated the resilience and sheer courage of the Ukrainian people to fight for their country and the dire consequences of his actions. In one move, he has committed financial suicide, as the West all too belatedly rush to negotiate deals with other countries to cut their dependence on Russian gas and oil supplies; namely one of its most lucrative exports. Already Germany has halted, perhaps even terminated should common sense prevail, their controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline in light of Russia's incursion into Ukraine, with Mother Merkel having foolishly put too many of her eggs in Putin's energy basket, in what is now seen as an ill-advised and downright foolhardy policy. Sadly all too many European countries have sold their energy soul to the Russian bear, making a coordinated response to the war, one that would have made the Kremlin think twice, all but near impossible, as Putin is only too well aware.

The United Kingdom, whilst not to the same degree, has equally failed to capitalize on its natural resources, given and in a country surrounded by sea and intercut with a labyrinth of rivers, politicians from all sides have repeatedly failed to maximize the use of hydroelectric power; all of which cannot help but make you wonder just who's running the country; those elected to office, or the corporate heads whose interests would not be served by limitless low cost green energy?

Such however is a debate for another day. What we are left with is the bloody reality of Putin's unforgivable actions, having resulted in Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II. Yet amongst all the bloodshed, lies the love and heartfelt compassion of others. From the thousands of people donating the essentials of life to be delivered to those in need, to those of all religious denominations who have given money in person, if not via the dec.org.uk website to the Ukraine appeal, to that of those who and in particular in countries that border Ukraine, notably Poland, have taken in thousands of refugees fleeing the inhumane violence of Putin's war.

As for the United Nations' role in all of this, namely the intergovernmental organization whose purpose is to maintain international peace and security; well and as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pointedly said is his video-link address to the UN on the 5th April: "we are dealing with a state that turns the right of veto in the UN Security Council, into a right to kill." Indeed at this point, I'm reminded of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 68/262, when on the 27th March, 2014 and in response to the Russian annexation of Crimea, the General Assembly affirmed its commitment, albeit nonbinding, to "the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders" or to put this another way: "the principle under international law that prohibits states from the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of another state." No surprise then that in light of this, many view the United Nations as an organization that has seemingly done little since its inception, but to use the word VETO. Indeed and as Zelenskyy bluntly questioned - where is the peace that the United Nations was created to guarantee?

In religion, you're meant to see the good in everyone. Yet I cannot see any good in Vladimir Putin; a cold-blooded mass murderer whose subsequent imprisonment for war crimes, should he ever face trial, would be too lenient a punishment.

That the outcome of the horrific war in Ukraine remains uncertain, is to state the obvious, even if some say that the partition of Ukraine to Russia's strategic advantage is / was Putin's objective from day one. Yet what is already clear is that Putin did not foresee Nato going out of its way to not only strengthen its forces along the Ukraine border, but to increase the militarization of Nato in Europe itself. That the free world will never be the same again, goes without saying. Nor for that matter, will the West ever trust Russia again; that is, should its leaders have been foolish to do so in the first place. For we now see Vladimir Putin in his true loathsome colours; that of a war criminal directly responsible for the massacre of thousands of innocent men, women and children; even pregnant women and babies killed, maimed and left mentally scarred for life. Such is not only to Putin's shame, but to the disgrace of Russia itself.

Sadly the heinous reality of the war in Ukraine, is largely unknown by the majority (?) of the Russian people fed on the state controlled Putin news network. In believing what is morally wrong, is right, they have in effect given Putin complete freedom to act as he so wishes, with anyone of opposing views quickly and often violently removed from sight. That the backing for Putin's abhorrent actions by the Russian people would dramatically weaken, if the war was seen by them in all of its uncut blood and gore, is all but evident. As too, is the fact that will never happen, given and as Jim Morrison of The Doors famously said: "whoever controls the media, controls the mind." And that in a nutshell is what Putin and for that matter, all autocrats fear the most: not NATO, not America, but free speech and the right of a nation to legally elect its representatives in a non-fraudulent election and conversely, and by way of a simple X on a ballot paper get rid of them. In short; that of democracy itself.

That Russia remains a nuclear power, with Europe's largest conventional military, is a fact that cannot be ignored and whilst the West hopes that the ongoing negotiations for peace are tentative steps that eventually result in a settlement that will save so many lives, such all but depends on the willingness of both parties to come to some form of compromise. Yet with Putin having openly stated that Ukraine is "a country that should not exist," how much hope can there be for a ceasefire, when he's clearly making it his mission to turn those words into a sickening reality. Yet at some point, Putin will want to emerge victorious; whatever the actuality be. As too, is the certitude that the free world will demand justice for the war atrocities that continue to be carried out by Russia's relentless bombing of Ukraine, the loss and outright displacement of the Ukrainian people and the mutilated bodies of those who came face to face with Putin's soldiers of barbarity who knowingly violate the Humanitarian Law of Armed Conflicts; i.e. The Geneva Conventions.

In two years, Paris is set to host the 2024 Summer Olympics; God willing, raising the question of whether or not Russia will be allowed to compete at such a prodigious event. The very thought of Russia holding its head up high, as if the war in Ukraine had not taken place, is frankly as repulsive a thought, as the savagery of the war itself. Only the cold, hard reality is that Western leaders come and go, with their longevity in office largely dependent on domestic policy; rather than foreign. Putin knows this, being equally aware that come the bitter dawn of winter, all too many European leaders will still be heavily reliant, at least at this stage, on Russian gas and oil supplies. Yet they must know that in doing so, they are, in effect, in Putin's pocket. That the West must now re-evaluate their energy needs, is seemingly the sole means by which to diminish the rubles that finance Putin's deplorable wars of attrition and his very power base.

Until then, the free world must unite in letting Russia know the true cost of Putin's actions and how Russia's standing on the world stage is now forever soiled with the blood of Ukraine, the war dead, the mental anguish and suffering of countless children, those who have been tortured, raped or used as human shields, and the millions left to flee their homeland for their very life itself. Put simply; we owe them that. And a lot more.

›› posted: Thursday, 7th April, 2022.

As if the war in Ukraine could not get any worse; sadly it has, as news reaches the West that Putin, desperate for victory at any cost, has appointed General Alexander Dvornikov; aka the Butcher of Syria to take command of his military campaign of slaughter. Notorious for having been responsible for more than 350,000 people killed in the Syrian conflict, there is little doubt that Dvornikov will employ the same horrific methods in Ukraine, in the continuation of Putin's scorched earth policy. Or as Rich Lowry of the New York Post so succinctly said: "where the Russian military goes, war crimes are sure to follow" in their utter disregard for humanity.

As the list of Putin's documented war crimes grows ever longer, including rape as a weapon of war, the West responses with their custom variant on the line: "those responsible will be held accountable for their actions." Yet just as a break in hostilities from Russia to allow civilians to flee the war turned out by large and not surprisingly, to be an empty promise, so too as these empty words. For those committing such acts of cruelty; from those giving the orders, to those carrying out war crimes on their masters' behest, will never face prosecution. For whilst the free world can unanimously agree that Putin and his Generals of War must be brought in front of the International Criminal Court so that justice can prevail for the victims of Bucha, Mariupol and Ukraine as a country, at the same time and whilst Ukraine has filed a case against Russia at the International Court of Justice, should that court rule against Russia, the body responsible for enforcing any punishment is the United Nations Security Council, over which Russia currently holds the power of veto.

That thousands more will be maimed and killed in this war, is all but apparent. Just as it is clear that the West says one thing, whilst acting to the contrary; rightly condemning the appalling atrocities being committed on a daily basis, whilst still buying Putin's gas and oil to the value of a billion dollars a day. That this is now blood oil and gas, is not in doubt. The question is however; just how long will the West continue to buy it and by doing so, literally fund Russia's war machine?

›› update: Tuesday, 12th April, 2022.

Ukraine: A Political Comment by Gay Celluloid editor-in-chief: David Hall.

›› copyright © 2022 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com ‹‹
›› archive reference #Ukraine ‹‹