Putin has not been able to come up with a conscious «casus belli» (a cause for the war) in order to attack Ukraine.
In the end, he abandoned his absurd attempts to talk about some «Ukrainian terrorist attacks» and on the eve of the invasion, he finally called out the real cause of the war: Ukrainian independence.
And this was a rare moment when he did not lie.
It is our freedom that stands in the way of Putin’s plans to restore Russia’s empire of slavery.
That is why the current war is a war for independence.
We continue the work that our predecessors did not complete hundreds of years ago.
This is a postponed war that did not begin immediately after the restoration of independence in 1991.
Then, the enemy was weak. After a few decades, it gained strength and tried to bring us back into its fold.
Some want to call (and call) this war a patriotic one, to emphasize its mass character. This definition is periodically heard in the Ukrainian media and is even used by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.
How appropriate is its use?
Our war is supported by the masses, it shows many examples of military and civilian heroism. But do not use the term «patriotic.»
Because that appeals to Russian history. That appeals to the war of 1812. But mostly to the German-Soviet war of 1941–1945.
This term involves us in Russia’s past. And even part of Russia’s modernity.
They are talking about an invincible Soviet/Russian army that liberated the world from Nazism.
This myth was the basis for the formation of Soviet identity, and the Soviet people’s perspective.
Its components were the ideas of mass patriotism and sacrifice in the name of the Soviet homeland, the unprecedented mobilization of all «Soviet» people in the fight against a terrible threat, and the messianic campaign westward to «liberate» Europe.
In the early 2000s, Putin-led Russia set out to restore its influence in the «post-Soviet» space. Later, they openly declared their ambitions to restore the USSR.
To do this they use:
- Energy blackmail,
- The manipulation of all Russian-speaking people,
- And even the threat of nuclear weapons,
- The so-called «common history» is also in this arsenal.
The concepts of the Great Patriotic War and the Great Victory and Soviet myths about the past war are widely propagated in cinema, television, and literature to keep the people of the former Soviet Union in the orbit of Russian influence.
The «common heroic past» is used to keep a powerful pro-Russian lobby within independent states.
Thus, the myth of the war is an important tool of Russia’s geopolitical influence.
And the myth of the Patriotic War inspires the Russian soldiers who think they are going to liberate Ukraine from the Nazis.
Nazis for them include me and you, our soldiers, our parents, women and children.
And so we should not repeat Russian propaganda brands, which can no longer be washed away like the St. George’s ribbons while they attack us with «grads» and «kinzhals».
Today, every Ukrainian who can stop the enemy by their own efforts takes part along with the military. Therefore, it should be called a People’s War.
A People’s War for independence.
This view of our struggle, which pays homage to our predecessors and emphasizes the mass heroism of our contemporaries, is another step towards our victory.