Today, on the Independence Day of Ukraine which marks its independence from Soviet rule in 1991, no public events will take place in Ukraine. The Ukrainian government has banned any public celebrations in Kyiv
. Other cities have restricted public gatherings and introduced curfews or orders to work from home. The country is holding its breath, concerned about what the Russian government has planned for the day, and how many people will get murdered in the ongoing war of aggression. The US embassy in Kyiv has published a warning
on planned strikes by the Russian military.
Six months ago, on February 24th, Russia attacked Ukraine without declaring war. Vladimir Putin announced the start of a "special operation” directed only against the military and threatened to use nuclear weapons if any country tried to thwart the invasion. Both statements turned out to be lies.
In August, the UN confirmed the deaths of more than 5,500 Ukrainian civilians
, but the real number of casualties is much higher. Around 30 countries have provided Ukraine with lethal weapons, ammunition and many more with medicine. Some states have provided training for the AFU on their territory or sent military instructors. Russia responded only at diplomatic level.
Disinformation has become the Kremlin's powerful weapon. Six days before the full-scale invasion, Foreign Minister Lavrov claimed that Russia was not going to attack
Ukraine. Two weeks after the start of the war, he reported
that "Russia has not attacked anyone". In the first days of the war, Putin stressed
that "only nationalists are fighting the Russian army". Defense Minister Shoigu repeatedly stated
that "our soldiers do not shoot at civilians". Such claims are equally absurd and inhumane. But professional propagandists masterfully distort events, substitute facts with speculation, and mix truth with lies.
In the imperial tradition of the Russian state, Putin talks in a colonial manner
about "brotherly nations", "historical lands" and the "rights of Russian-speakers". He has also used quasi-states (LNR, PMR, Abkhazia, South Ossetia) to achieve military and political goals. In 30 years, Russia has been involved in 15 armed conflicts. It has raised serious claims on Latvia, Estonia, Poland and the North Atlantic Alliance as a whole.
Despite these military facts, Russian propaganda tries to convince Europeans to "stay away" from "Western interference in Ukraine's affairs". EU citizens are being persuaded to stay away as:
- war may break out;
- prices will rise;
- there is a risk of a nuclear catastrophe;
- the economy will suffer;
- you will provoke more casualties.
Western support is a determining factor in the conflict. After three months of intense warfare, Ukraine has exhausted a significant amount of ammunition and lost a lot of equipment. It does not have the resources to hold the 1,800 km front on its own and reclaim lost territory.
Today, Ukraine is a protective barrier keeping the Russian army "in the far East". Ukraine badly needs European help, but Europe is also interested in a Ukrainian victory.