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Delito de Opinião

A carta que não se pode deixar de ler

Sérgio de Almeida Correia, 24.05.22


Refiro-me à carta aberta que foi escrita por um grupo de académicos ucranianos e que foi ontem divulgada no blogue da Univerdade de Berkeley em resposta aos dislates que têm vindo a ser propagados por Noam Chomsky, cada vez mais uma espécie de académico ao serviço da desinformação e da propaganda russa, aliás numa linha muito parecida com a de alguns generais lusos investidos em "comentadores" das televisões nacionais e de um professor de Coimbra que enveredou há alguns anos pelo mesmo registo. 

Sem prejuízo de quem queira poder aceder à integralidade da carta, ficam aqui os pontos pertinentes ali referidos que destroem por completo a argumentação putinesca e russófila:

1) First, Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 has violated the Budapest memorandum (in which it promised to respect and protect Ukrainian borders, including Crimea), the Treaty on Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation (which it signed with Ukraine in 1997 with the same promises), and, according to the order of the UN International Court of Justice, it violated the international law.

2) Second, “Crimeans” is not an ethnicity or a cohesive group of people – but Crimean Tatars are. These are the indigenous people of Crimea, who were deported by Stalin in 1944 (and were able to come back home only after the USSR fell apart), and were forced to flee again in 2014 when Russia occupied Crimea. Of those who stayed, dozens have been persecuted, jailed on false charges and missing, probably dead.

3) Third, if by ‘liking’ you refer to the outcome of the Crimean “referendum” on March 16, 2014, please note that this “referendum” was held at gunpoint and declared invalid by the General Assembly of the United Nations. At the same time, the majority of voters in Crimea supported Ukraine’s independence in 1991.

4) Have you considered the possibility that Ukrainians would like to detach from the Russian sphere of influence due to a history of genocide, cultural oppression, and constant denial of the right to self-determination?

5) Eastern European states joined, and Ukraine and Georgia aspired to join NATO, in order to defend themselves from Russian imperialism. They were right in their aspirations, given that Russia did attack Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014. Moreover, current requests by Finland and Sweden to join NATO came in direct response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, consistent with NATO expansion being a consequence of Russian imperialism, and not vice versa.

6) Not bringing Putin up on war crime charges at the International Criminal Court in the Hague just because some past leader did not receive similar treatment would be the wrong conclusion to draw from any historical analogy. In contrast, we argue that prosecuting Putin for the war crimes that are being deliberately committed in Ukraine would set an international precedent for the world leaders attempting to do the same in the future.

7) Please note that, in his [Putin] TV address from February 24, 2022, marking the beginning of the war, the verbatim goal declared by Putin for this “military operation” is to “denazify” Ukraine. This concept builds on his long pseudo-historical article from July 2021, denying Ukraine’s existence and claiming that Ukrainians were not a nation. As elaborated in the ‘denazification manual’ published by the Russian official press agency RIA Novosti, a “Nazi” is simply a human being who self-identifies as Ukrainian, the establishment of a Ukrainian state thirty years ago was the “Nazification of Ukraine,” and any attempt to build such a state has to be a “Nazi” act. According to this genocide handbook, denazification implies a military defeat, purging, and population-level “re-education”. ‘Demilitarization’ and ‘neutralization’ imply the same goal – without weapons Ukraine will not be able to defend itself, and Russia will reach its long-term goal of destroying Ukraine.

8) We find it preposterous how you repeatedly assign the blame for not reaching this settlement to Ukraine (for not offering Putin some “escape hatch”) or the U.S. (for supposedly insisting on the military rather than diplomatic solution) instead of the actual aggressor, who has repeatedly and intentionally bombed civilians, maternity wards, hospitals, and humanitarian corridors during those very “negotiations”. Given the escalatory rhetoric (cited above) of the Russian state media, Russia’s goal is erasure and subjugation of Ukraine, not a “diplomatic solution.”

9) Russian war crimes in Bucha and many other Ukrainian cities and villages have shown that living under Russian occupation is a tangible “hell on earth” happening right now, requiring immediate action. Arguably, any concessions to Russia will not reduce the probability of a nuclear war but lead to escalation. If Ukraine falls, Russia may attack other countries (Moldova, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Finland or Sweden) and can also use its nuclear blackmail to push the rest of Europe into submission. And Russia is not the only nuclear power in the world. Other countries, such as China, India, Pakistan, and North Korea are watching. Just imagine what will happen if they learn that nuclear powers can get whatever they want using nuclear blackmail.

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