The persons who contribute to this Initiative are a rather heterogenic bunch. Some are Ukrainian citizens; some have a Ukrainian lineage or are individuals who simply have come to love the country`s culture and people. Taken as a group, our protagonists genetically combine Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, German, Jewish, Austrian, Hungarian, Italian and French heritage. And as much as we do not belong to one and the same region of the country, we do not adhere to one and the same political orientation or religious denomination. This being said, even though we do our best to be impartial, we are nonetheless led by our belief that Ukraine deserves a better deal in Europe and the world. We believe that an important reason why Ukraine is still treated like a little-loved step-sister by Europe`s other children is that there is an ongoing, admirably efficient propaganda campaign of very creative lies and slander by Moscow`s government against Ukraine. The impressive investment of effort and resources by the Putin government to disinform the world about Ukraine is being waged in and against the member states of the European Union, but also the USA. For obvious reasons, it is “The West” that is the target audience of this disinformation war, the purpose being to weaken the resolve of the EU and USA in maintaining sanctions against the Russian Federation by portraying Ukraine as a somehow proto-fascist dictatorship and its citizens as either Nazis or simply agents of the CIA. The latter is an argument that is used preferentially when targeting EU-decision makers, building on the dormant mistrust between the EU and the US and the assumption that a failure of Brussels would be appreciated by Washington.
Yet this does not mean that we harbour “anti-Russian” sentiments. There is no “good” and there is no “evil” nation. “The Russians” are not “The Enemies” of “The Ukrainians”. Just as there are no “friends” in geopolitical maneuvering there are no “enemies”, at least where nations or ethnic groups are concerned. Which is also why the Neanderthal-principle of “My enemy´s enemy is my friend” is also something that needs to be looked at skeptically. In history the genuine self-interests of a nation very often collided with those of another country. That is a fact. A fact that we may well come to consider archaic, because waging “war” doesn`t seem to be a good way of increasing power or wealth anymore. Whether this is due to globalization will have to be analyzed by future generations of historians. But there are governments that are controlled by individuals whose are only interested in their personal power. Not with what is best for their country or good for anyone. We have come to believe that such is the case in the Russian Federation.
Wars can be fought with tanks and guns and armed troops… in the postmodern world, where intelligence is to be found published on the internet by whistle blowers of all kinds, the weapons have become seemingly non-violent. The aggressive use of social media, the circulation of blatant lies or half-truths through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube has transformed the whole nature of conflicts between nations. The development since the early 80ies, when the tale of the USA having artificially created HIV to depopulate the poor states of Latin America and Africa was spread by Russian agents, has been stupendous.
This war is a covert war. What powers its weapons is deceit and the systematic undermining of reality, using “alternative facts” and tarnishing objective information as “fake news”. Instead of aircraft-carriers you will find Russia Today or “NGOs” that will have beautiful words like “Peace” or “Dialogue” in their titles and big budgets for inviting important people in the capitals of Europe.
Our Initiative is there to even the field. In a small way. But you have to start somewhere.