Ukraine marks its twenty-third independence anniversary amid artillery fire in the east, which has been the site of deadly conflict with pro-Russian terrorists for the last five months. The conflict resulted in the losses of hundreds of Ukrainian servicemen, thousands of civilians in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and even lives of 298 innocent passengers of Malaysian Boeing 777, which was shot down by Putin’s mercenaries. This conflict has long ceased to be domestic, or even Ukraine-Russia one: it is a global confrontation between the civilized world against international terrorism and its accomplices.
The war reminded the Ukrainian people that their independence was not given for granted: one had to fight for it. They were reminded that there were still those who refused to recognize Ukrainians’ right to live freely and independently. They were reminded that there is a country, ridden by phantom pains of lost empire, country, which refused to recognize the existence of the independent Ukrainian nation, language, culture, and state. It is hard to believe that in the XXI century there were state leaders, who deemed it possible to violate international law and take away part of the neighboring state’s territory – given that their own country was bigger, stronger and possessed nuclear weapons.
Fighting in Donbas is a war for Ukraine’s independence. This is a battle for the right to live in a free country, where the government is merely a manager, which can and should be dismissed if it doesn’t do its job properly, which is not an icon or an almighty lord. This is a war for a state which is obliged to ensure and respect human and citizen rights and freedoms as opposed to granting such rights to its subjects how it pleases. Finally, Ukrainians in the east fight for their country’s European future, which was what the Revolution of Dignity stood for, while Kremlin desperately and unsuccessfully fought to undermine it. All these values are simple and clear, as they are common to all civilized nations. They are declared “soulless” and “absolutely harmful” solely by those, who live in the land of arbitrariness and lawlessness for such values threaten to disturb the unworried sleep of autocratic dictators.
Still, Ukrainians are not fighting solely for their own freedom and independence. While Donbas region is regularly flooded by bandits, mercenaries, and recently – by the regular army and Special Forces from all over Russia, Ukraine protects Europe’s entire eastern border from the potential invasion through heavy fighting and high death toll. The terrorist leaders are not even trying to conceal the facts that the mythical ‘republics’ are merely the beginning of their bloody ‘feats of arms’ and that they consider Ukraine as well as the entire Western world their enemies. Civilized community is well aware that the aggressor must be stopped, thus Russia is rapidly slipping into international isolation.
The conflict in the Donbas is not a war for territory or resources. This is a battle for people’s souls, a desperate attempt of the corrupt Putin’s regime to impose on Ukrainians the absurd view of the world and turn them into obedient and well-controlled homo sovieticus. For Ukraine, this is a battle for European values and the right to solve internal issues in lawful and democratic manner, through dialogue and consensus, transparency and honesty instead of employing corrupt conspiracies and intrigues, which are so common in Kremlin’s hallways.
Today, the entire world admires the Ukrainian army, heroically protecting all European nations from the aggressor while liberating their native land. Russian occupants are bound to be stopped and held liable for their crimes. Ukraine, on the other hand, has already proven it was ready to valiantly fight for its freedom, independence and rightful place in the European family.