Myroslav Marynovych visiting France at the invitation of the Œuvre d’Orient, the former Soviet dissident, nicknamed “the Vaclav Havel of Ukraine”, who served seven years in the gulag and three years of house arrest, calls on Westerners to not sacrifice their values of truth and freedom, in the Middle East as in Ukraine, for a false illusory peace which would only encourage violence.
The Germans were defeated and occupied, before recovering. But how can we move towards Russian healing when Russia, a nuclear power, will never be under supervision?
I continue to want to believe, to use biblical terms, that we will find twenty or thirty Righteous Ones within the Russian nation, who will be able to develop the concept of a new Russia. Aid to Ukraine, so that Russia loses this war, is a sine qua non condition. Because defeat, when it occurs, shakes the conscience of nations. But we must recognize that there is a dominant fear among you that in the event of Russia’s defeat its nuclear arsenal could end up in the wrong hands. As a result, the West is trying to prevent a total military defeat of Moscow! In doing so, he supports the Russian imperial spirit. I would like the West to also develop a plan B and consider what would happen in the event of the implosion of the Russian Federation. De facto, Chechnya already lives outside the scope of Moscow’s laws. Sharia law reigns there… Tatarstan has also gone quite far on the road to sovereignty. I recently participated in a Zoom conference with representatives of the Buryat and Kalmyk peoples and was surprised that they too were thinking about independence. They have no clear conception of a future state but they are very angry because it is in these ethnically non-Russian regions that Moscow draws the most troops for the front…
Is Putin, who is banking on Western hesitations, being served by the blaze of the Middle East, which is diverting attention from Ukraine?
It’s true. And I am convinced that at the start of this crisis there was a Russian intrigue, aimed at creating new centers of disorder and anxiety everywhere, so that the community international forget Ukraine. For me, Russia was at least aware of what was going on. You should know that the Hamas website is hosted on a site whose address ends in “.ru”. Even if Russia did not give Hamas a direct order to act, it may very well have negotiated at least with Iran, which controls it. What appears clearly is the construction of a circle of evil which surrounds the West. The West must stop imagining that it is safe. The key factor for the future is the solidarity of Western countries with those who are attacked.
We witnessed crimes in Bucha and occupied Ukraine reminiscent of those of the NKVD. Then there was the explosion of barbarity perpetrated by Hamas on October 7. How to respond to barbaric hatred?
The West always wants to choose appeasement, whether in Ukraine or with regard to the October 7 attack. But the countries of the circle of evil represent a civilization entirely different from ours. They interpret our policy of appeasement as weakness! The leaders of these countries, led by Putin, have set themselves the goal of destroying the West “rotten” and replace the Western order with their rules. Putin says it openly. Not only do the West’s attempts not produce the expected result, but they are a source of encouragement to continue the violence. The multiplication of crisis centers also creates a situation of enormous danger for an absolutely unprepared West.
There is also an imbalance between the rules that democracies impose on themselves, to respect the laws of war, and the total hybrid war that their enemies wage. What should be the Western compass in this battle?
The compass of our world is the Decalogue. But if we want to talk about the reality of today’s world, let’s remember what came out of World War II. Hitler also wanted to destroy the norms in force. But the world managed to defeat it by saying “never again” and built a new European order on the values of Christian Democrats like Schuman, Gasperi and the others. They put values first.
But are you not worried about the loss of influence of Christian values and the fact that a war is in full swing precisely in the West, on the definition of Western values, with minorities who advocate their deconstruction, affirm that the truth does not exist, or even glorify Islamism?
I agree, but I reject Putin’s opposition, who falsely claims that Russia is safeguarding traditional values against the “rotten West.” Today’s Ukraine can learn a lot from today’s Europe despite its problems, while providing it with certain spiritual gifts. Regarding Western values, the problem seems to me to come from the fact that they have been replaced by ideology. Consider the idea of “dialogue at any cost”, frequently put forward in ecumenical dialogue. A priori, this seems fair, but in practice we often see from the behavior of the interlocutor that the “cancellation” of the other is to the basis of this approach. This is a problem because dialogue cannot be achieved at the cost of the truth! I can also give you the example of an organization that is dear to me, Amnesty International, because it adopted me during my detention. This organization today has the principle of finding guilt in all participants in a conflict. If we reveal the guilt of one participant, we would not have the right not to reveal the guilt of others! In the case of Ukraine and Russia, the dissonance is so enormous that it is impossible to compare.
Is it an inability to distinguish between good and evil?
You are right. The impossibility of distinguishing good from evil opens the door to the ideology of the equivalence of faults, which is applied blindly, independently of the truth. Even Soviet citizens could distinguish between good and evil by listening to Radio Free Europe. Today it’s different. As my ex-Russian campmates tell me, the internet, which is completely free, allows me to appreciate the situation in Ukraine in the smallest details. But the ability of Russian society to distinguish between truth and lies no longer exists.
What made the Ukrainian “homo post-Sovieticus” different from the Russian “homo post-Sovieticus”
A long road of errors. In 1991, we were all together at the same point. In a certain sense, the Russian elites were even higher level than our elites. But little by little, the two companies followed opposite paths. The Russians were afraid that the democratic movement would end up giving rise to an explosion of the Russian Federation. And it was then that Putin appeared to embody Russia’s age-old dream of reuniting Russian lands. Ukraine has chosen to build a democratic state. The results are not ideal. But freedom of speech really exists. Thanks to our revolutions on Maidan and today the war, Ukrainian society has overcome the fear of totalitarian power that undermined it under the Soviets. And she conquered our fear of the “second army in the world”. Today, the Ukrainian David is no longer afraid of the Russian Goliath.
COMMENTS COLLECTED BY L. M.
Source: Le Figaro