Zelenskyy Bans Opposition Parties in Ukraine in Blow to Free Speech

Many of us strongly support the fight of Ukraine against the Russian invasion and have commended Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for the heroic leadership that he has shown in the face of this unprovoked and savage attack. Yet, that support should not shield the country or Zelenskyy from criticism whether it involves filming POWs or cracking down on free speech. The latter concern has arisen after Zelenskyy banned Ukraine’s main opposition party and ten other parties. It is hard to criticize the actions of a nation facing annihilation at the hands of a tyrant. However, Putin is carrying out precisely this type of anti-free speech, counter-democratic crackdown in Russia. Ukraine has the moral high ground in this struggle and should not surrender that ground through its own acts of political censorship and suppression.

According to news reports, the decree bans For Life, Left Opposition, Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, Socialist Party of Ukraine, Socialists, Union of Left Forces, Party of Shariy, Opposition Bloc, Ours, State, and Volodymyr Saldo Bloc.  All are suspended for at least “the period of the martial law.” This includes the the second most popular political party in Ukraine after Zelensky’s own Servant of the People party in the last election.

Zelenskyy is quoted as saying that “the activities of those politicians aimed at division or collusion will not succeed, but will receive a harsh response.”

Free speech is often attacked for spreading “division or collusion” with one’s enemies. It can take a huge amount of faith in free speech to overcome such impulses, particularly in wartime. However, this is a right that is essential to the guarantee of other rights from free association to the free press. It is the right that defines a nation.

Ukraine has had a turbulent history with democracy. The presidential election of 2004 pushed the country close to civil war. Putin-backed Viktor Yanokovych claimed victory in an extremely close election with claims of voter fraud on both sides. There was an alleged poisoning of his opponent (Yushchenko) by security forces and widespread irregularities. With the “Orange Revolution” protests, a new election was demanded and Yushchenko prevailed.

The country has struggled with free speech guarantees. Political opponents like Viktor Medvedchuk were put under house arrest by Zelenskyy (he later escaped). Zelenskyy also previously banned opposing television channels.

I recognize that it must be infuriating to watch parties expressly or tacitly support an invading power. Yet, that is precisely what should distinguish Ukraine from Russia at this historic moment. Putin supporters will, of course, miss that distinction. They will use their freedoms to seek to deny the freedoms of their fellow citizens. However, they should not be the measure of Ukraine. Free speech and other rights should be the measure.

Ukraine is not the first country to strike out at dissenters in wartime. This country has had its own checkered history in arresting those who opposed our wars. We were wrong then and Zelenskyy is wrong now.

 

54 thoughts on “Zelenskyy Bans Opposition Parties in Ukraine in Blow to Free Speech”

    1. He is really a Zelewski and he is related to
      Zelewski Bach one of the worst Nazi SS
      There ever was. He also turned against others and lied Ukraine is a haven for SS.
      I should know I am half Zelewski. I have never
      Been out of America. But many relatives of
      Mine were evil.

  1. “. . . Zelenskyy banned Ukraine’s main opposition party and ten other parties.”

    Here are two parties he did *not* ban: Svoboda and Right Sector. Both are neo-Nazi parties with a documented history of anti-semitism and butchery.

    He has criminalized opposition media and speech, and terrorized opposition journalists (and did so *before* the Russian invasion).

    Then there are the calls to castrate Russian POWs:

    Gennadiy Druzenko . . . said he instructed his medical staff to “castrate captured Russian soldiers” because they are “cockroaches, not people,”

    Zelensky has always been an authoritarian, now becoming a dictator. Yes, Putin’s a monster. Zelensky is merely a smaller monster. This is a war of monster versus monster.

    Zelensky is not an ally. And his government does not deserve Western support.

  2. Yes, free speech is basic to a free society, but it disappears in wartime, as do the free market (countries at war adopt “command economies”), the free flow of capital and labor, and other aspects of life during peacetime; that has been apparent for more than a century. Propaganda trumps reporting, as Lasswell, Read, Ellul, and others have shown. The irony is that if we are to resolve the current situation, we need to understand why the Russians invaded Ukraine, and we cannot understand that without grasping that NATO’s expansion is not just to Russia’s doorstep, but much broader, and that Ukraine was pushing to join NATO in November. It it is also useful to understanding the 2014 coup d’etat.
    In October 2012, Yanukovych’s Party of Regions won185 seats in the Ukrainian Rada (Council), Yulia Timoshensko’s party 101, Vitali Klitschko’s party 40, and the ultra-right Svoboda 37. Timosheko rejected the outcome, but the OSCE and the EU accepted it until Yanukovych rejected a proposed EU deal and accepted a Russian one instead in November 2013. “Protestors” immediately flooded Maidan square, led by Yuri Lutsenko, a member of Timoshenko’s party, Vitali Klitschko (current mayor of Kiev), and Svoboda. Two people were killed on January 22, as protestors threw Molotov cocktails at the police and occupied Kiev’s City Hall and Ministry of Justice. After those jailed for violence were amnestied due to pressure from the EU and the US, twenty people were killed on February 18, both protestors and police. Violence reached an apex on February 20 violence, supported by EU sanctions against Yanukovych’s government, Victoria Nuland, John McCain, and our ambassador. After Yanukovych fled, Oleksandr Tuchynov, a leader of Timoshenko’s party, declared himself “acting President,” and the Rada expelled members of the Party of Regions, declared its leader Yanukovych guilty of mass murder, and replaced its governors in the east and south. Crimea’s parliament reacted by asking to ‘rejoin’ Russia, and Donetsk and Luhansk, both with large Russian populations, by rebelling. In the October 2014 elections, Timoshenko’s party took only 9.7 percent of the vote, the “Opposition” (the remnants of the Party of Regions) 9.5 percent, and the Samopomich (Self-Help) ‘western’ party 5.0 percent, for a total of 24.2 percent. Petro Poroshenko’s bloc won 21.6 percent and Arsenij Yatsenyuk’s Popular Front 21.5, a total of 43.1 percent. Victoria Nuland had hand-picked Yatsenyuk to lead Ukraine; Poroshenko was an “oligarch.” Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk were not allowed to vote. That is why Moscow considers the current Ukrainian regime illegitimate. The Russians view NATO as dangerous due to its expansive definition of R2P and its actions since 2007 as showing that its mission to protect trade routes and energy sources make its reach global.
    You do not have to agree with Moscow, but you should attempt to understand your ‘enemy’ and not accept one-sided propaganda as Gospel. Then again, it’s wartime, so what use is free speech? A link to an Al Jazeera program (note Sakwa is the only non-partisan, and the one repeatedly interrupted and cut short), and Chomsky on NATO.
    https://www.aljazeera.com/program/inside-story/2022/2/19/whos-telling-the-truth-on-the-ukraine-conflict
    https://truthout.org/articles/chomsky-outdated-us-cold-war-policy-worsens-ongoing-russia-ukraine-conflict/

    1. “Yes, free speech is basic to a free society, but it disappears in wartime”

      Old Guy, I agree with your analysis but believe that Putin’s actions are based on a multiplicity of factors, not just what you mention. I have always been against Ukraine entering NATO for the obvious reason and a few others. I don’t think one must comment on “it disappears in wartime”, as that is a given, both practically and historically.

      Putin would like Russia’s boundaries to expand to where they were in earlier years. He didn’t attempt that under Trump, where the US was strong. He did under Biden twice because Biden projects weakness, corruption and ignorance. Biden’s policies are even helping to fund Putin’s slaughter of the Ukrainian people. His policies also diminish the most potent weapon we have, our economy.

  3. Fascists always, always restrict opposition voices. Initially with laws, eventually (always) with violence. Zelensky is a fascist, and everyone who supports him, is by extension.

    1. Eiyyyyow, kaboom. Eiyyyyoww kaboom. Kaboom, kaboom, kaboom. Mr. President, we should ban Russian party hacks. Huh, wha? KABOOM!!! Yeh, whatever—oh shit…

    2. At least he only banned their political activity during a time of war. He didn’t arrest them and send them to internment camps like Franklin Roosevelt did to innocent Japanese-American citizens. So take your fascist accusations and shove them where the sun don’t shine!

  4. During times of war and where a country is being besieged and fighting for its very survival, I can see FOR THAT TIME the niceties of domestic due process being suspended.
    It goes against my grain to say so, but when the stakes are existential, coordination of govt has to be top down as the whole country is essentially at war, and the exigencies are more immediate with little time for slack.
    If and when the existential threat is no longer there, then of course things go back to constitutional norms.

    1. gary @ 1:52

      “the niceties of domestic due process being suspended.” Of course, they’re mere “niceties”, nothing fundamental, nothing to fight a revolution over. What frivolous fops our forefathers were when they revolted over “niceties”.

      1. I said nothing about them being “mere” niceties, but in the context of immediate annihilation, yes they are a luxury that is not apropos.
        They are essential for a proper working civil society, but during a besieged military environment, there is not a civil society in place.
        I am reminded by that scene in the movie Zulu, where the Zulu warriors are descending upon a British fort, and a soldier is trying to get more ammunition from the armory, and the clerk is demanding he fill out his request in triplicate form, while the fort is being wiped out.
        The danger of course is that if and when the conflict is resolved, those wartime measures continue into peacetime jurisprudence.

        1. gary @ 11:07

          Niceties, mere niceties, a distinction without a difference. To you “niceties” are but a scene from a movie, nothing real to get upset about.

          Too bad you fail to understand the issue. Here’s the way Prof Turley put it in his post above, simply and unequivocally:

          “This country has had its own checkered history in arresting those who opposed our wars. We were wrong then and Zelenskyy is wrong now.”

    2. Maybe that’s why they create constitutional crisis by attacking ethnic slavic people and send them into Russia as refugees.
      And using the situation to take absolute control of the Country because people like you support it.

    3. Interesting Perspective. But I am not sure that is the reason he has done this. He has a lot of baggage in that Billion dollar hope chest of his. Did not come from being a stand up comedian or man. Time will tell and those left will tell it.

  5. I thought Zelinsky was the 2nd coming of Winston Churchill. What am I missing?

    These are the same people who want to fight WW3 for a country in which we have no strategic interest.

    If you have been following the global mainstream media or listening to the utterances of the powerful in Washington, you will be convinced that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is the sole hope for mankind.

    Zelensky recently received standing ovations for his rousing speeches delivered via satellite to the British Parliament in London, the E.U. parliament in Brussels, and Congress in Washington. European politicians were so overwhelmed that they nominated him for a Nobel prize.

    The likes of David Frum are claiming, “Ukraine may be the first example in human history of a country that under the pressure of war is becoming more tolerant and more liberal.”

    Most of Washington, across party lines and the media organizations, has a consensus on Ukraine. These people want to send millions of dollars worth of weaponry to Ukraine. Some even want boots on the ground in Ukraine.

    The recent bipartisan 1.5-trillion-dollar spending bill dedicated $14 billion in emergency funding for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and $3.5 billion for sending new military equipment and $3 billion for deploying U.S. troops to Ukraine.

    They reiterate that the U.S. is duty-bound to defend Ukraine because Ukraine is a democracy, while Russia is a totalitarian state.

    So what has been Zelensky’s and the Ukrainian regime’s record on democratic values?

    Whenever a democratic nation is at war owing to an attack, the leader attempts to unite the country. This includes citizens and equally important opposition leaders, and the media. The media and the opposition are free to say what they please, but the leader urges them all to unite for the country.

    Over the weekend, Zelensky invoked his emergency powers under martial law to suppress several opposition political parties and implement a “unified information policy.”

    In a national address, Zelensky announced a temporary ban on “any activity” by 11 political parties.

    This ban applies to Ukraine’s largest opposition party, “The Opposition Platform — For Life,” which has 44 seats in Ukraine’s national parliament — i.e., the Ukrainian people elected them to parliament.

    According to Ukrainian news outlet LB, the leader of the For Life party, Yuriy Boyko, had demanded that Russia “stop the aggression against Ukraine,” but the party has been accused of being pro-Kremlin.

    Much before the Russian intervention, in May 2021, Viktor Medvedchuk, another the leader of For Life party, was accused of treason against Ukraine. Russian president Vladimir Putin is godfather to Medvedchuk’s daughter.

    Ukraine’s National Bureau of Investigation has accused the former president, Petro Poroshenko, of corruption, treason, supporting “terrorist organizations” and being pro-Kremlin.

    Critics have said that anti-corruption laws were used to restrict the activities and punish anti-Zelensky oligarchs.

    One has to remember that Ukraine was once part of the Soviet Union; there are myriad Ukrainians who still have relatives in and other ties with Russia. Yet this was used to suppress political opposition.

    The media weren’t spared, either.

    Zelensky’s news information policy involves “combining all national TV channels, the program content of which consists mainly of information and/or information-analytical programs, [into] a single information platform of strategic communication” to be called “United News.”

    Zelensky cited the measure as essential to fight Russian disinformation and “tell the truth about the war.”

    This muzzling of the press isn’t a recent ploy. Last year, Zelensky was accused of using draconian measures to restrain the press.

    In February 2021, the National Security and Defense Council at Zelensky’s initiative banned three TV channels — NewsOne, Channel 112, and ZIK, owned by Ukrainian lawmaker Taras Kozak — for being pro-Kremlin.

    Kozak was also charged with treason for Kremlin ties.

    Last year, the Kyiv Independent reported that Zelensky demanded that news outlets have pro-Ukraine (read: pro-Zelensky) coverage. There were also attempts to cancel the screening of a documentary film critical of the Ukraine government.

    Beyond media muzzling

    When war broke, Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60 were banned from leaving after Zelensky enforced martial law. There was also conscription of reservists of the same age group.

    In a democratic nation, the leader may urge his citizens to take up arms, but force can never ever be applied.

    To understand this better, consider a hypothetical scenario in the U.S.

    What if the Biden administration or its allies accused a critical media figure such as Tucker Carson or a political rival such as President Donald Trump of treason? What if Democrat-supported government agencies began investigating President Trump by accusing him of financial impropriety or colluding with a foreign power without any valid evidence? Imagine that Democrat allies begin cheering for the arrest of both Trump and Carlson.

    Well, you don’t have to imagine that…

    But imagine if Biden actually went one step farther and arrested Republicans and shut down Fox News.

    Zelensky seems to be doing exactly what liberals have always intended to do. Perhaps that is why they are fond of him.

    Zelensky recently berated the Israeli Knesset for enabling a second Holocaust (“Final Solution”) by not providing the Ukrainians with advanced weaponry. Israeli officials and Israel’s national Holocaust Memorial condemned Zelensky’s statements as a trivialization and distortion of the historical facts of the Holocaust.

    Zelensky also blasted Swiss banks and Nestlé for business with Russia.

    Perhaps the war has driven him to desperation, but Zelensky is increasingly sounding like a tyrant, the very force he claims to be standing up to.

    What about the Ukraine regime’s human rights record?

    Indian students and African and Asian individuals have described the racist behavior meted out to them by Ukrainian authorities as they attempted to escape.

    The Azov battalion, a unit of the Ukrainian army that uses the Nazi Wolfsangel symbol as its emblem, has been accused of having neo-Nazi links. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights accused members of the Azov battalion of war crimes in the early stages of the conflict in Ukraine.

    Following Russia’s invasion, there have been reports of the Ukrainian government using citizens as human shields.

    War-torn Ukraine is now a hotbed for mercenaries, defense contractors, and prison inmates who were released by the Ukrainian authorities to fight Russian forces.

    What happens when these individuals get their hands on advanced weaponry sent by the U.S.?

    What are the odds that they may seize this weaponry and resell it to terrorists or criminal elements?

    What cannot be denied is the plight of millions of Ukrainian people, who are suffering because of this war. Words cannot describe their pain of being displaced, abandoned, orphaned, and wounded.

    But there has to be a distinction between the people and their governments.

    Given Ukraine’s record on corruption, global powers must ensure that aid and support reach the Ukrainian people and are not siphoned off by Ukrainian officials.

    The media are attempting to make the case for war, painting Zelensky and the Ukrainian regime as spotless white and Putin and Russia as pure black.

    The truth, as always, is the grays.

    antonio

    1. Sounds like your a very Pro Putin troll. You left out all of the fine details in what stated and added a number of lies. SLAVA UKRAINI.

    2. very well written, antonio.

      “But there has to be a distinction between the people and their governments.” ALWAYS and EVERYWHERE.

      “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Mahatma Gandhi keep these words in mind when the inevitable ad hominem attacks are launched. time will prove your words correct.

  6. One of these days its going to dawn on you that Zelensky is an actor who believed his own role. The man is ruthless and a habitual liar. Americans with good sense should be neutral when it comes to this conflict, a conflict dating back to the Middle Ages.

  7. Wait. This entire scenario sounds vaguely familiar.

    “Crazy Abe” Lincoln illicitly, illegally and unconstitutionally denied the fully constitutional right to secession, commenced an unconstitutional war against a sovereign nation, suspended habeas corpus, smashed printing presses, threw his political opponents in prison, confiscated private property, failed to compassionately repatriate illegal aliens, and ravaged and razed farms, cities and entire states in his butcherly “March to the Sea,” which he assigned to his barbarian hatchet man, General William Tecumseh Sherman.
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

    – John Ray, 1670

  8. Perhaps it is part of the “peace” negotiations. Zelensky is just demonstrating to Putin how much they have in common to grease the skids for an agreement.

    So much for our propaganda that we must stand up for Democracy in the Ukraine. Funny, we heard none of that nonsense in 2014 when Asst Dec. State Nuland was bragging about spending $5 Billion to overthrow the elected government of the Ukraine.

    The Russians held tests of preparedness for nuclear attack over the weekend and Putin reportedly sent his family out of Moscow. A half hour ago the Wash Post reported that the Russians were close to severing relations with the US.

    Have we had enough fun yet?

  9. “Many of us strongly support the fight of Ukraine against the Russian invasion and have commended Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for the heroic leadership that he has shown in the face of this unprovoked and savage attack. Yet, that support should not shield the country or Zelenskyy from criticism whether it involves filming POWs or cracking down on free speech. ”
    **************************
    Angel-borne Ukraine propaganda broken by the facts. Truth is that here are no angels in that conflict. Both are equally repugant no matter how many ragged refugee children our corporate-shilling press trots out on the nightly news.

    And the support for the own-citizen-shelling Urkraine government is based on what exactly? Our need to reduce our arms stockpiles? If we go to war on this flimsy moral ground pretext, this generation of leaders will bear the same guilt the 60s generation of leaders did for Vietnam’s pointless dead — if theyre around to bear it, that is. I don’t love Putin in the least but as a slightly different spin on that Sting song goes, I do hope the war-loving Dims love their children, too.

    1. I wonder if Prof Turley & others have glanced around at the others supporting the mass m*rdering Ukrainian Govt? Here is a partial list of their Comrades in Arms:

      Admitted Nazi Collaborator George Sores, Grandson of a German head Nazi family Klaus Schwab of WEF /UN

      Obama, Clintons, Harris, Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell,McCarthy,

      Pedos Joe & Hunter Biden,

      Victory Nuland, John Bolton, Sullivan etc..

      And here is just part of the Ukrainian Nazi Govt’s policy:

      ******

      World News
      Ukrainian Ambulance Corps Head Says He ‘Gave Strict Orders to Castrate All Wounded Russians’ Because They’re ‘Cockroaches, Not People’
      Chris Menahan | Information Liberation
      March 21st 2022, 5:26 am

      https://www.infowars.com/posts/ukrainian-ambulance-corps-head-says-he-gave-strict-orders-to-castrate-all-wounded-russians-because-theyre-cockroaches-not-people/

      ***********

  10. When does free speech become a 5th column? A hard thing to answer, especially when you are in a fight for survival. Yes, Ukraine has had it’s ups and downs since leaving the Soviet Union but I would give Zelensky a pass. We had the Alien and Sedition acts of 1798, suspension of Habeas Corpus by Lincoln, The imprisonment of Japanese Americans by FDR, The McCarthy army hearings and the House un-American Activities Committee among others. Again it’s that moral thing and how nation states preserve themselves. We also often state that the Constitution is not a suicide pact.
    I think @JeffSilberman watches Fox and Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson more than 99% of Republicans. We also have other things to do. There are some Republicans who want nothing to do with Ukraine saying it’s not our fight but they’re wrong. We signed a memorandum in 1994 guaranteeing Ukraine’s security (Bill Clinton I believe) and now we have a Democratic president reneging on that memorandum. The vast majority of Republicans support Ukraine, just like Democrats and wish to see them prevail. My feeling, as I have written before, is that this whole thing with Ukraine could have been prevented with robust preparations in the weeks and months before, especially since we had much intelligence and significant observations of the preparation for an invasion.
    The White House forgot, or never learned, that you do not react to intentions of your opponent, you plan and prepare based on their capabilities. if we all survive this, that very question about our preparations should highlight armed services committee questioning of SecDef, Joint Chiefs, but not at this time.

    1. GEB:

      “My feeling, as I have written before, is that this whole thing with Ukraine could have been prevented with robust preparations in the weeks and months before, especially since we had much intelligence and significant observations of the preparation for an invasion.”

      We don’t care what you *feel.* You sound like you are on “The View.” Tell us what you *think.*

      Hindsight is 20/20.

      Russia’s war in Ukraine began in 2014 with the invasion of Crimea; this recent invasion was a continuation of that war.

      1. “Hindsight is 20/20.”

        You have about five themes that you play repetitively, so what do you know about hindsight? Many stated that Biden would lead to war in the Mideast and elsewhere. It is not hindsight that Biden lacks. He lacks intelligent policy. Each death in Ukraine can be blamed on him.

      2. That is funny “Hindsight”? There is and was plenty of hindsight. But for people with a steel trap door that slams shuts every time someone speaks their view speaking of the view, that ignorance and door slamming has nothing to do with truths or even opinion. It is their chance to blow out someone else’s candles to make theirs shine brighter.

        You know a little bit of information is dangerous and suggest you spend more time on understanding we are being divided and every bit of what is happening is about hindsight. Sadly however, our safety as it always has been when push comes to shove is not part of the anything nor matters. This country was gone morally before you were even born. Politics a wag the dog while the Shadow Government and those controlling it, inevitably destroy anything and everything we hold dear. They now get to reap what they have sown. Has happened before many times, and if anything is left this time will happen again.

        Armageddon sounds pretty inviting now if the Bible is correct. A world that man does not govern. As man has proven he is incapable of managing a gerbil!!

    2. GEB says:

      “I think @JeffSilberman watches Fox and Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson more than 99% of Republicans. We also have other things to do.”

      You think wrong, but at least you are not *feeling*.

      I do watch Fox prime time so I can hold Turley accountable for his hypocrisies. I have other things to do as well, but I do not wish to accuse him unless I know of what I speak.

  11. I think the Ukrainian’s have there hands full just trying to survive to be Ukrainian’s with political parties at this point. If the siege continues and follows the path of all sieges there’ll be no nation of parties. They better start acting like jackals attacking the lion if they hope to survive. There’s a reason for the saying “the best defense is a strong offense”.

    We shouldn’t be critical of Zelensky at this point when we consider what Abe, Woodrow and Franklin did during war. Look now what’s happening to the Jan 6 protestors, they’re being treated like political prisoners. We have a good deal of house cleaning before we’re critical of others, don’t you think?

    1. GEB:

      “There are some Republicans who want nothing to do with Ukraine saying it’s not our fight but they’re wrong. We signed a memorandum in 1994 guaranteeing Ukraine’s security (Bill Clinton I believe) and now we have a Democratic president reneging on that memorandum.”
      ****************************
      Then Clinton and the Arkansas Mafia can fight it then despite the fact that we never guaranteed military intervention at all. If you’re interested in facts instead of your rather unlettered opinion of the accord here’s the Brooking Institute’s explanation of what was offered in the Budapest Memorandum:

      “Some have argued that, since the United States did not invade Ukraine, it abided by its Budapest Memorandum commitments. True, in a narrow sense. However, when negotiating the security assurances, U.S. officials told their Ukrainian counterparts that, were Russia to violate them, the United States would take a strong interest and respond.

      Washington did not promise unlimited support. The Budapest Memorandum contains security “assurances,” not “guarantees.” Guarantees would have implied a commitment of American military force, which NATO members have. U.S. officials made clear that was not on offer. Hence, assurances.”

      So no, we’re not in violation and the sane Republicans seeking to avoid an all out war with Russia explaining Ukraine isn’t our fight are just plain right.

      https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2019/12/05/why-care-about-ukraine-and-the-budapest-memorandum/

      1. Point noted but I still disagree. What’s an “assurance” except for nothing. Is it a harsh note or just an extra scoop of ice cream. Maybe Russia would have less fear of it’s borders if it had not invaded many and never left for centuries. We have gradually learned that inference in other internal affairs is seldom beneficial whether it be Middle East or Caribbean or even South America. This is a little bit different since Ukraine chose to leave the Russian Federation after having been conquered and acquired and then had it’s people starved to death in th3e 1930’s and then millions more deported elsewhere in the Soviet Union in the 1940’s. And now it has been invaded because it wishes to be free of it’s serial abuser. If Ukraine does not have justification to wish independence I don’t know who does. And again most republicans stand with Ukraine. It’s also not unanimous among democrats either. Also we have hardly shown any predilection to give Ukraine an open ended commitment.

  12. Ukraine is in the worst of what is described as an all out war.
    Putin needs to be killed. Anyone have a drone that can do it?

  13. “It is hard to criticize the actions of a nation facing annihilation at the hands of a tyrant. However, …”

    The comment should have ended before the word, however.

  14. Ukraine is in a fight for its very existence as a Nation. It is a very young Country (Thirty-One Years old).

    The one thing that has been most important is its unity….and in wartime that is paramount to survival.

    Look back to WWII for a perfect example of what a Democrat President did to the Japanese Americans…..and in later years how we treated Communists right here in our own Country,

    We might even look at how Black Americans were treated in both WWI and WWII…..so we are not without justified criticism right here at home.

    I will grant President Zelensky a pass on this….and upon defeating the Russians and ensuring his Nation survives despite all of the damage and loss of life…..we can hold his feet to the fire over free speech issues.

    We did not get it right in over two centuries as a Republic….so why should we demand Zelensky get it right in just a couple of years?

    1. Ralph:

      “I will grant President Zelensky a pass on this….and upon defeating the Russians and ensuring his Nation survives despite all of the damage and loss of life…..we can hold his feet to the fire over free speech issues.”
      *********************************
      So we left the “we’re gonna get fighting to save a democracy” argument to move to the “we’re gonna get fighting to save Zelensky” argument. Good to know. When do we get to the “we’re gonna get fighting to stop the Domino Theory from happening in Asia,” or the “we’re gonna get fighting to stop yellow cake uranium being tuned into WMDs” or, my personal favorite, the “we’re gonna get fighting so we can destroy Ukraine just to save it.”

    2. The Yellow Propaganda News we all grew up on. Journalism that relies on sensationalism and lurid exaggeration to attract readers. It then makes sense why journalists like Carlson are attacked viciously. And anyone like myself bringing it up and I will and have. These News channels are word for word scripted and they better mind. The brown nose’s biting at the bit to get Soro’s minded people’s attention, and they just maybe be the next AOC. It is all BS. Yet we have from Trump, to COVID, to Ukraine bought it. This is a TEST it is only a TEST!

      We are ducks. None of what is going on in the Ukraine is good on either side of the border. We have gone to far and now it is as many have predicted the United States turn to see right here at home atrocities that we have pretty much been kept away from and/or could care less about. It does not matter anymore who started this or that. We sold our souls, our very lives over to others like China. As with other Empires this one self destructing also. Man cannot govern man that is probably the only truth that matters.

      Get you house in order. Enjoy what you can as it does not look good. Sadly if we were to all of sudden be told the truth about COVID, this war, the Biden’s and our Government and all in it, we would still deny it and kill one another over it.

      Fear is a funny thing. It will keep man in everlasting ignorance.

  15. As in Russia, there is no democratic tradition in Ukraine, so this is to be expected. The Western expansion eastwards worked in countries like Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary that have a democratic tradition from before WWII but cannot easily be successful in other countries. It is quite naive to assume that Western democracy will be embraced by countries without a democratic tradition and, therefore, in my opinion, further eastward expansion of NATO and the EU will prove fruitless and, instead of strengthening, will actually undermine these institutions.

  16. Turley says:

    “Many of us support the fight of Ukraine against the Russian invasion and have commended Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for the heroic leadership that he has shown in the face of this unprovoked and savage attack.”

    Turley has yet to convince *most* of his followers to support the fight of Ukraine against Putin. Apparently, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham hold more sway over his Trumpist contributors. It will be interesting to watch how his readers will react to his claim that this attack was “unprovoked.” The general sentiment among the Trumpists is that Zelenskyy and especially Biden brought this war upon themselves….

    1. Hmm, the Atlantic Council funded by the KOCHS have been battering Zelensky since his election with this kind of story. Not really surprised to see it discussed here. Republicans want a reason to explain their Luke warm support for the Ukrainian people by using Russian BS to go after Ukraine. It’s sad to see the Professor continue to be an apologist for Putin ….the old saw Putin may be sort of awful but Zelensky is just as bad.

      Just a reminder Putin isn’t dropping bombs on Ukraine to save free speech!

      1. Unlike a lot of businesses that have ceased operating in Russia, the Kochs are also continuing to do business there.

        1. Nothing new there the socialists in the USA have been doing that to us for decades. They do not give a fig for Citizens. free speech, banning the same or whatever else their anti Constitutional minds can dream up. Nor then lying about it.

      2. Justice Holmes,

        I don’t believe that Turley is doing the Koch’s bidding. He is foursquare behind Zelenskyy. He just opposes the justification that desperate times call for desperate measures.

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