Why and How Alternative Views on Future of Ukraine Should Emerge

Ukraine Peace
Stop the War Coalition and CND march through London for peace in Ukraine. Photo credit: Stop the War Coalition

The dominant view regarding what is desirable for a country, now and in future, is normally that of the internationally recognized government of the country. The present government of Ukraine not only has widespread international recognition, its President Zelenskyy is also widely promoted as a brave war hero by many rich and powerful countries, helped by the fact that he had been an actor in the past and tries his best to act and appear like a hero fighting a great battle not just on the behalf of his own country but in addition also on behalf of many rich and powerful countries as well.

Therefore, it is not surprising that it is the voice of Zelenskyy and his narrow-based regime which is almost always heard as the voice and opinion of the people of Ukraine at world level. This voice conveys the predominant message that the biggest need of Ukraine is to go on fighting its present war for as long as it takes to ‘liberate’ all its lost territory and for this the biggest duty of the rest of the world is to go on sending endless supply of more and more destructive weapons to it, if possible also enlist Ukraine as a member of NATO, regardless of how much destruction this path causes in Ukraine and how much higher danger this poses to world peace.

However, the ground reality is that of the people of Ukraine being exposed to extremely high levels of distress in a war about which there appears to be great uncertainty regarding when and how this will end. In fact the end of the war appears to be more in the hands of countries other than Ukraine which are using Ukraine as a proxy to fight their own battles. The situation today is that Ukraine has lost nearly 20% of its territory, a very large number of its people have died in the last one and a half years while several times these number have been injured, displaced or have suffered other serious, disruptive harm. The farmland and other important resources and assets of the country are increasingly falling into the hands of foreign business interests or local oligarchs while at the same time indebtedness of the country is increasing at such a rapid pace that one wonders to what extent freedom of policy will be allowed at all due to this heavy indebtedness in future.

In such a situation, alternative views regarding the present situation and the future of the country should be voiced and heard more widely, should be debated more widely. There is a rich and brave heritage in world history of dissenting views presented in difficult times with courage and foresight contributing a lot to the welfare and better future of several countries. Such a situation, such a need exists today for Ukraine where alternative views other than those voiced by the ruling regime should be heard. However opposition and dissenting voices have been curbed and suppressed to such an extent within Ukraine that there are serious doubts whether the possibility of dissenting voices playing a very effective role from within the country exists.

However higher possibilities may exist for some of those citizens of Ukraine who have migrated to other countries, particularly (but not only) to western countries, to form groups for this purpose. These groups should not just act on their own but should instead seek collaboration with those groups of western countries which too are struggling for alternative voices and suggestions to emerge regarding Ukraine policy of western countries. On the basis of strengthening their position by entering into such collaboration, these groups of migrant citizens of Ukraine should then try to engage the world as well as their country in a more open and democratic debate regarding the present realities of Ukraine, policies more suitable for the welfare of the people of Ukraine and for a better future of Ukraine.

As these migrant citizens of Ukraine have close contacts with the people in Ukraine, understand the realities of the country and have a clear commitment to create a safe future for their country and their children, they are best qualified to present the alternative voices of Ukraine and they should be helped by those forces of peace and democracy in western countries who too have been very keen for peace to emerge in Ukraine as early as possible, thereby also averting the very serious new dangers to world peace and safety that have emerged in recent times.

Bharat Dogra is Honorary Convener, Campaign to Save Earth Now. His recent books include Planet in Peril, Earth without borders, Protecting Earth for Children and A Day in 2071.


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