When in doubt, blame the victim. Dean Stewart’s Opinion in the April 7 Independent suggests Ukraine doesn’t deserve to be an independent country because it was part of Russia for so long. By that logic the U.S. should still be part of Britain. Is repressive dictatorship a better alternative for the former Soviet and eastern bloc countries?

Stewart puts the onus of Russia’s “special military operation” on NATO’s potential encroachment onto Russia’s border. Is he suggesting independent countries do not have the right to choose what kind of government they want and with whom they want to ally themselves? With current weapons, NATO doesn’t need to be closer to Russia than it currently is to attack if it wanted to. The west may want to contain Russia — and no wonder considering its recent history — but there is no evidence that NATO has any motivation to attack or invade.

Stewart opines that the U.S. was prepared to go to war over Cuba. Prepared, yes, but that does not mean it would have. It didn’t happen so we don’t really know. In any case, what happened 60 years ago does not excuse what Russia is doing today.

Even if we accept all of Stewart’s claims, that in no way forgives Russia’s appalling brutality in carrying out this invasion. Putin chose this path; he is responsible for its consequences.


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