Ukraine: A Correspondent Responds to Finkelstein’s Critic

July 25, 2023

In Letters To Finkelstein Uncategorized

It is refreshing always to hear your arguments, either in a speech but also in proze.


I was reading the response of Mr. Vognsen to your arguments that Russia had the moral argument to attack Ukraine. I think that while he is maybe right to go in certain details, his conclusion is nevertheless wrong.


Leaving aside the 25 million deaths USSR suffered during WWII, there are more present reasons why Russia had the moral right and as President Putin piloted the developments, the legal rights to attack Ukraine.


A detour to the onset of WWII and German attack on USSR. Yes, USSR did its utmost to create a coallition against Nazi Germany and it failed, because nobody in Europe would be seen entering into an alliance with USSR. As such, the non aggression pact between Germany and USSR. Which gave USSR half of Poland, free reign in the Baltic states and Finland, as well as free reign with respects to Romania’s Bessarabia (present day Republic of Moldova). And free reign USSR had. One might argue that the Soviets did that on the premise that Germany will attack and better fight that fight on non-Russian territory. But this is how Germany got all those allies (and here one can easily condemn the very duplicitous role Germany and Hitler played in respect to these countries) that had very legitimate grievances against USSR. And not all of them sent their Jewish population to German concentration/extermination camps.


Now about the right of Russia to defend itself:


1. Under US management, the newly established Russian Federation suffered the worst societal and economic collapse, in some ways worst than what happened during the Civil War or WWII. Life expectancy plummeted. It is the most common method of killing the US employs, which allows it to claim that it has clean hands. But it doesn’t.
2. Military encirclement of Russia and positioning of missiles close to Moscow are designed to threaten and coerce Russia. It is the strategic goal of the US to eliminate the Russian “menace”, especially its nuclear capability. In the minds of the US elites and strategists, it is only the US that should do the threats. And this strategic goal, rather than dialogue and negotiations compels the US to continuously push Russians and threaten them and diminish them by any means possible, most of them not ever mentioned in the media. And we know that the US has absolutely no compunction in attacking and invading countries that they percieve as incapable of serious oposition – the mark of a coward bully. The US military and security doctrine documents, when analysed, confirm fully this point.
3. The encroachement of US in Ukraine is the brightest red line for Russia and given the OECD commitments (Astana & Istanbul) that no military alliance should be made in Europe that diminishes another party’s security, the US has legally and morally oversteped and rescinded its legal obligations (US is a signatory of those legal commitments).
4. US has mightily encouraged the Ukrainian ultra-nationalists who want pure bloods and all the land (the black and red flag) and as such, all minorities in Ukraine, and especially the Russian one were slated for fast assimilation or elimination. The 2019 Report of Venice Convention did condemn Ukraine for its trampling of minority rights.
5. The Russian majority population of Donbas did not accept the turn of events after 2014 and the Odessa Massacre prooved they were right.
6. Several chiefs of governments have acknowledge that the Minsk accords were just stalling tactics to give Ukraine the breathing space to take back control of Donbas (and likely Crimea afterwards: a US aligned base in the Black Sea would have open the possibilty of getting away with the Montreaux Convention and enable the Freedom of Navigation according to UNCLOS), without any consideration of what might happen with the Russian majorities in these two regions.
7. US has refused any dialogue on strategic issues with Russia taking the attitude of “My Way or The Highway”.
8. Ukraine has passed legislation that compelled the government to take back control of all Ukrainian territories that it did not at that time control (March 2021) by any means necessary. This was in effect a direct legal war declaration by any other words to Russia, who incorporated Crimea in 2014 – a long dream of the population there, which acted towards that goal from 1991 onwards.
9. Ukraine has started mobilizing in 2021, after the law passed in March 2021, demanding the government takes any action necessary, including military, to regain control of lost territory, and moved troops to the east, troops that were never retreated after the US-Russia June summit in Geneva.
10. Ukraine, as the OECD reports, started in early February 2022 shelling Donetsk and Lugansk Republics, with a clear intention of attacking.
11. A Ukrainian attack on these lands populated in majority by ethnic Russians would have been devastating for the population living there and would have ultimately totally destabilized the Russian Federation socially and politically, if the Russian government would have taken no action.
12. When a bar fight is 100% to break out, better be the first to give the blow. The German attack on June 22, 1941 was a blow that almost destroied the USSR. And Russian Federation had no right to allow such thing to ever happen again, because it was clear that Ukraine, on its own, was not capable to making such decissions.
13. However, the legal aspects were fully covered. Given the military bombardment of these two republics by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, a formal request was submitted to the Russian Federation for support. RF recognized the independence of these two republics and then invoked the section 51 of the UN Charter, which allows for self defense: “Article 51: Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.”
14. It was evident that despite the fact that the Minsk Accord was an internationally agreed document voted as a UNSC decision, Ukraine and its backers were not concerned of breaking international law.
15. The legal precedent established by the US/West with Kosovo and the murky decision of the International Criminal Court created the precedent that despite the two republics not being membersof the UN, Russian Federation could invoque Article 51 of the UN Charter.
16. Thus by doing nothing, Russia would have endangered its long term security and well being of its population, bringing it closer to a situation similar to the 1990s. And would have allowed the killing of tens of thousands of ethnic Russians in Donbas and empowered Ukraine and the US to then move onto Crimea, given the prostrated Russia.
17. The argument made by those that acuse Russia of starting an illigal war ultimately can be summed up as: Russia should have waited to be punched in the face first before responding. All the while disconsidering all the “invisible” punches that Russia has been taking by that time. The normative world they live in is so far away from the real world and the real actors we have that is dumfounding. They themselves do not behave “normatively” in their lives.
18. I submit that all these arguments (which can be embellished with quite a lot of detail and could be enhanced by even more other distinct arguments) make a compelling case for affirming that Russia had the legal and the moral high ground for starting its military operation against Ukraine and against the US.
19. The Asian Continent, the African Continent, the South American Continent and part of North American Continent (Mexico) do side with Russia, either in words, or deeds, or both – that is the vast majority of the world population. The Prime Minister of Hungary has been an outspoken critic of the West on its approach to Russia. He and his Foreign Minister have also accused on several occasions the US as causing the waves of Middle Eastern and African immigrants to Europe, do to the actions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya undertaken by the successive US governments.
20. Europe leadership is under complete US vasselage. The reaction of Europe and of Germany leaders in particular to the destruction of Nord Stream 1 & 2 by the US is maybe the cherry on the top.




At this point I do not feel comfortable using my name if ever considering making public my points. I live in a country that is fanatically pro-Ukrainian and anti-Russian.