Destaque Internacional - Year VI - No. 156 - Buenos Aires / Madrid - December 4, 2004 - Javier González (coord) (from original in Spanish).-

The Arm Wrestling in Ukraine: What Is Behind It?

The standoff between pro-Russians and pro-Westerners in Ukraine is a question of survival for the cause of freedom for Ukraine and the bordering countries: in neighboring Russia the Putin government is acquiring a dictatorial profile, which evokes the ghosts of Communism, and does not hide its intention of reconstructing the former empire.

Popular Outcry

The fraud in the recent Ukrainian presidential elections favoring the government candidate, the pro-Russian Victor Yanukovich, led the followers of the pro-western opposition candidate, Victor Yuschenko, to make massive appearances in the streets of the capital, Kiev, and other important cities of Ukraine, to make peaceful but vehement protests. Seeing the popular clamor, the administrative, legislative and judicial authorities are debating formulas to get out of the resulting impasse and hold clean elections as soon as possible.

A Matter of Survival

This Ukranian electoral crisis is the latest chapter in the widespread political arm wrestling that has been going on between the pro-Russian currents, which pave the way for the neo-imperialism of president Vladimir Putin, and the pro-western ones, which have taken up this dispute as a matter of survival for the cause of freedom and democracy in their strategic country. Neighboring countries like Poland, Byelorussia, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia are facing a similar dilemma.

Putin Has a Dictatorial Profile

This Ukrainian arm wrestling coincides with the particularly delicate moment in neighboring Russia's political life, where Putin's government, along with acquiring an ever more dictatorial profile evoking the ghosts of Communism, makes no secret of its intention of going on with the reconstruction of the former Russian Empire at the cost of the independence of its neighbors.

That is why freedom-loving Ukrainians, as well as important sectors of Russian public opinion and of the peoples of Eastern Europe who suffered in their own flesh the Moscow-led Communist persecutions, foresee with apprehension the lamentable consequences that the imposition of a fraudulently elected pro-Russian regime, in Ukraine, can have for the whole region.

Ukraine: Symbol of Resistance

Ukraine became a symbol of resistance to Communism through the heroism of its people during the twentieth century, the figure of Cardinal Slipyj standing out among them. The Communist dictator Joseph Stalin invaded Ukraine in 1932, laying waste to the country and bringing on a generalized famine. It is calculated that seven million Ukrainians were massacred by the Russians with blood, fire and hunger. In spite of it all, they never managed to bend the will of that people, held in physical captivity.

Western Countries: A Moral Debt

The nations of the West have an enormous moral debt to Ukraine, for many of their governments ignored the Soviet aggression against the Ukrainians during the last century. One way to pay that moral debt would be to take a firm diplomatic stand in the face of the imperialist pretensions of President Putin in Ukraine and the other countries of the former Soviet empire.


Neither should one underestimate the recent declarations of pro-Russian Ukrainian leaders, in the sense of their obtaining "autonomy" for the provinces bordering on Russia, in the event of an unfavorable electoral result for their candidate, which could lead to their making a dismemberment or "Balcanization" of Ukraine. The policy of dividing in order to weaken is no novelty for Russia, which in the past has applied it repeatedly in Poland and other countries of the East, with the lamentable connivance of the western powers.

Ukrainian Opposition: Meekness and Cunning

It is upon the shoulders of the Ukrainian opposition, as the legitimate heir of its heroic past, that the great responsibility for the defense of the Ukraine falls in this historic hour: it must always act within the limits of legality, with the meekness of the dove and the cunning of the serpent, as the Gospel recommends.

The eyes of the world are on Ukraine. The Ukrainian arm wrestling is decisive not only for that nation, with its glorious past of resistance and martyrdom, but also for the nearby nations, for Europe and the cause of freedom all over the world.

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