The realities of the Russian invasion of Ukraine have been absolutely visceral and brutal. From the bombing of occupied maternity hospitals in Mariupol to the possible genocide in Bucha, the toll of humanity mounts.
However, it is important for us as western citizens to understand three keys. The Ukrainian people voted overwhelmingly in 1991 to chase self-determination and self-governance. These virtues are enshrined in the UN charter, the very same document that protects our small-island state’s sovereignty and ensures our ability to chase freedom. As a result, the facetious touts of Ukraine being rightfully Russian territory highlight a hypocrisy from citizens of small developing states like ours.
This conflict in itself is on a scale that hasn’t been seen since the collapse of the Yugoslav Republic and comes at a titanic human cost. Within the aforementioned UN charter, the core value is to protect this world from the scourge of war. This is to say that the entities of the First World must stop playing their shrewd politics and take a definitive stand against such a state by state endeavour.
Finally, this conflict effectively challenges the role of western powers in the international arena. Russia and its allies have shown little ability to abide by the concepts of democracy, liberty, free trade and pluralism and thus their welcoming as hegemonic powers by western “unorthodoxies” must be recalculated.
Ultimately, we must consider the rights of the Ukrainian people as ours and appreciate their will to defend them.