I have up until now remained resolutely silent about the potential for conflict in Eastern Europe, hoping against hope that common-sense would prevail, but given recent events I feel compelled to comment. And let me explain why a British keyboard warrior like myself has the right and the knowledge to make informed assessments on a tragedy unfolding on the other side of Europe.
Well, to start with I have a Masters degree focusing on Slavic studies and I have lived in Kiev in the recent past. I was celebrating a significant birthday at a restaurant on Khreshchatyk in the centre of the city when Yanukovych’s Berkut special forces began firing on protestors in the streets around Maidan. I speak ‘rusty’ Russian, having lived in St Petersburg and have a smattering of Ukrainian too. I have visited Lviv in the west of Ukraine several times and had drinks with pro-Bandera militia in the cafes there. I have also fraternized with pro-Eurasian Dugin acolytes on balconies overlooking the Moika in the former Leningrad.
On top of that, I have spent considerable periods of time in Simferopol and Sevastopol in Crimea and visited Donetsk prior to the outbreak of violence that led to the Russian annexation.
One particular memory, amongst very many, that seems most pertinent today, is of an evening I spent in a basement bar of one the capital city’s leading hotels. Listening to an elderly university professor supplementing his wages by playing piano, I came across several well built Americans with short haircuts drinking vodka before going into the adjacent casino. Hearing my accent they began a conversation and explained that they were working for the American Postal Service. A highly doubtful ruse that was meant to tease rather than deceive me. After all “You guys are our best allies,” they insisted.
It was an image that stayed with me. Being only too aware of the almost paranoid concerns that the Russians have of their ‘near abroad’ being inundated with NATO operatives and the potential for military hardware to be installed on their very borders. A threat not dissimilar to that which the US faced when Khrushchev placed missiles in Castro’s Cuba and led to the crisis of October 1962.
So, let me make my position clear, war between two majority white countries should be avoided at all costs, especially when the greater threat to our civilization (diverse as it is) comes from China, Islam and the burgeoning birth rates of the African continent. Compounding the situation is the fact that Ukraine is rich in the highly fertile chernozem ‘black earth’. Acre after acre of which is already being bought up by oligarchs of the usual religious persuasion. Something I was made aware of when I was forced to share a taxi to Boryspil airport with a portly gentleman desperate to make his early morning flight back to Tel Aviv.
So, when I see tanks and armoured personnel carriers crossing borders, camouflaged fighters marching across muddy fields and attack helicopters hovering over the beautiful 10th century Orthodox churches of the Kievan Rus my heart fills with sadness because this was all utterly avoidable and plays right into the hands of our racial adversaries. Ukraine has the right to be independent and Putin’s Russia has the right to be worried about NATO’s encirclement but I think it will be the Imams of the caliphate and Xi Jinping who will have the last laugh just like David Ben-Gurion did when Europe last entered into such futile internecine warfare in the middle of the 20th century.