A normal European country

I can hardly write – what is happening is so terrible.

But one small note. This is an article in the Guardian by someone who works for Chatham House – a think tank in London. I don’t know who is behind them – on the Funding page of their website there is no information. So much for transparency.

The author is dreaming that the invasion of Ukraine will flounder and as a result Putin will fall and Russia will finally become a “normal European country”.

And herein lies the rub. Do they really not see that this is their imperialism? Yes – some Russians would like Russia to be a “normal European country” – but this is a small minority. The large majority are happy with Russia being Russia. Do they not understand anything? Putin just wants Ukraine to be a “normal Slavic country”. Why is it ok for the author to dream of Russia being a “normal European country” but not ok for Putin to dream of his neighbours being a “normal Slavic country”?

The Western way is not the only way. There are other peoples, other traditions, other ‘paths to development’.

These people should be made to repeat this 1000x every morning – and then the world might be a better place.

Which is not (necessary disclaimer) to say that I am ‘for’ the Russian action in Ukraine. But a little bit of an attempt to understand the other from their point of view, and to assign them the rights you claim for yourself, would go a long way.

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer