Let me, first of all, thank all of you for your solidarity and your support. I would like to speak about the negative importance of illusions. And let me give you three eventual illusions, which are very clear for me.

First of all, some people in the West overestimate the strength of Russia and underestimate the strength of Ukraine. I’m afraid many politicians believe Ukraine will have to surrender. But, in this case, too many politicians will propose that the neutral status of Ukraine will be the best golden mean to put an end to the so-called Ukrainian crisis. But this is precisely what Putin officially demanded in the beginning. So, in this case, Putin will win. So, be aware of that.

Another illusion is that Putin will stop at the Polish border. Yesterday, one friend, one German friend of mine told me that there is a presupposition among many Germans that Putin will stop at Polish borders. He indeed might stop the movement of Russian troops. However, he won’t stop demanding that NATO returns to its position before 1989. He actually did that a few weeks ago.

And then we’ll be Europeans dreaming that Putin’s appetite will be satisfied when Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania will be back to the restored USSR. So, there is no end. Evil has to be stopped, because evil doesn’t stop itself.

The third illusion, there is an illusion, that a catastrophe will happen when the West helps Ukraine with all its means. Some people suggest that the Third World War will be close in this case. But the reality is opposite, the catastrophe would happen when Putin’s regimes manage to include Ukraine back to its empire. So again, this is illusion that Putin will be satisfied.

So let me finish with citation, the famous citation of Benjamin Franklin. And I love this citation: ‘Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.’ So let me change one word here: ‘Those who are ready to give up essential values to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.’

So we are people of faith, and we know the importance of values. I cannot imagine Jesus saying: ‘Look, Synedrion is very strong. We have to respect its interest, its fear of influence, and so on.’ It was Judas who insisted on that. But Jesus didn’t sacrifice values even at his own expense as a sacrifice.

So, please tell people in the West: ‘Don’t be like Judas!’


Source: Myroslav Marynovych’s speech in Discussion about the current situation in Ukraine. The discussion took place within the Annual International Conference Series within a broad theme titled Integral Human Development in the Digital Age.

About the author: Myroslav Marynovych is a vice-rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, social activist, co-founder of Amnesty International Ukraine, and a founding member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group. Former Soviet prisoner of conscience from Ukraine