The New York Times Is Wrong: Ukraine Is Not Taking A “Hard Line” In Their Efforts To Be Free Of Russia
[guest post by Dana]
The New York Times shamefully indulges in false equivalency while opting not to make the distinction between aggressor and victim:
Disappointed that @NYTimes has declared that “both sides have hard line positions.” There is nothing “hard line” about Ukraine wanting to be whole, free, and at peace. It is their right under international law. https://t.co/jDUnXtCk50
— Rob Person 🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@RTPerson3) December 28, 2022
Can we at least agree that a country that has been unlawfully invaded by a thuggish neighboring nation and defends itself while trying to expel said enemy is not taking a “hard line” but is righteously fighting for survival and the right to exist as an independent nation? Can we agree that the onus for ending the war rests on the invaders and not on the victims? Given that Russia doesn’t believe in Ukraine’s right to exist as an independent, self-governing nation, it is doubtful that any meaningful negotiations can even take place. Ukraine has every reason to doubt anything Russia says about ending the war. This is not taking a hard line. This is simply a logical conclusion based on listening to Putin’s own words, observing his real-life actions, and for Ukraine, experiencing some horrific consequences. Thus the need for Ukraine’s conditions for negotiations. As an unlawful invader, it is up to Russia, at the very least, to demonstrate a good-faith effort toward ending the war. And the only thing that might convince me of their sincerity would be a complete and total withdrawal from Ukraine. And I mean all of Ukraine. That might be a starting point. Short of that, why believe anything they say?
It’s absurd. The Russian position is to invade Ukraine and kill Ukrainians. The Ukrainian position is not to be invaded and not to be murdered by Russia. Russia can create peace in an instant; Ukraine must fight for it.
Meanwhile, Russia has launched a barrage of missiles at Ukraine, with officials saying that Lviv, Kyiv, and Odesa have been hardest hit:
According to preliminary data, Ukraine’s Air Force said that Russian forces had launched 69 cruise missiles and that it had downed 54 of those, along with Ukraine’s Defense Forces. The Air Force said that it had also repelled attacks from Iranian-made Shahed drones, which are designed to explode on contact with their targets.
Earlier on Thursday, Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, said in a post on Twitter that Russia had launched more than 120 missiles in the attack, without giving more details. He said the focus of the onslaught was to “destroy critical infrastructure and kill civilians en masse.”
Unsurprisingly, Putin’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov rejected President Zelensky’s conditions, which includes a condition that Russia withdraws its troops from Ukraine, restore Ukraine’s border with Russia, and establish a tribunal to prosecute “the crime of Russian aggression”:
Ukraine must fulfill Russia’s demands for the “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukrainian-controlled territories, repeating Moscow’s well-worn and false accusation of Nazism against Ukraine, which it has used in an attempt to justify its invasion.
Lavrov also called for “the elimination of threats to Russian security from there, including our new territories” – a reference to four occupied regions of Ukraine which Russia claimed to annex illegally following sham referendums – or else the Russian military would take action, according to TASS.
“There is just one thing left to do: to fulfill them before it’s too late. Otherwise the Russian army will take matters into its own hands,” Lavrov said. “With regard to the duration of the conflict, the ball is now in the court of Washington and its regime,” he added, again referring to Ukraine as a puppet of the US.