Dialogue between a patriot and an appeaser

Appeaser: These symbols look really strange …

Patriot: You should educate yourself about the symbols of Azov before so easily falling for Russian propaganda. They have nothing to do with Nazism. The leaders of Azov themselves explained that it stands for “national idea”. And that’s not hard to see. The black sun isn’t as used anymore, but even so, that symbol existed way before Hitler even did. If you want real Nazism and fascism take a good look at how dictator Putin runs his country and how he supports the far right parties in Europe. These battalions in Ukraine may be extreme but no more than Poland, and, I mean, if you compare these with Katsapstan (NB katsap is a derogatory word for Russian used in Ukraine), they are a very meek and peaceful bunch. As a bonus, they kill the inbred golden horde Vatnik terrorists. Besides, who better to fend off the Nazis and fascists from Muscovy?

A nationalist, not a Nazi, symbol. You just have to believe it.

Appeaser: I really do not feel that I have to take history or iconography classes from you. The meaning of symbols are several and each layer of new meaning is added by the pages of history. For me and for most people on this planet this symbol reminds me of the SS and stands for Nazism, whatever way you try to spin it. You do not seem to grasp a very simple thing: anything that smacks of nationalism, “national ideas” or other similar rhetoric is gone. It is not the direction contemporary civilization is moving to. You may have all your rights to build a Ukraine for Ukrainians only, but please do not knock at the US or the EU door when you need to beg for money then.

Patriot: Well, you need to take a history class in general if you think anything that looks like Nazi symbols, is actually Nazi. It’s ridiculous. Especially looking at how modern Russia is run. Can you be anymore hypocritical? Ukraine seeks Western ideals, Russia seeks to destroy them, and so do Nazis. They’re anti EU and anti NATO generally. What does SS have to do with anything? Azov doesn’t use those symbols. I already explained what Azov symbol stands for. The Russian flag itself, by the way, was the flag of the most numerous and powerful collaborationist force fighting for Hitler back in the days. How about that pro-Nazi symbol? I prefer to listen to actual leaders of Azov and not Russian propaganda whose only goal is to discredit Ukraine’s fight for freedom.
Nationalism is still very much alive. Especially in Russia. That’s all they have. They don’t actually need it though, they’re not the ones being invaded after all. Nationalism is a normal and healthy thing when your country is being attacked and discredited. And so is patriotism. So who are you to discredit these things? Nobody. And you know nothing about Ukraine except for the bullshit news that you watch. You have a lot of nerve bringing up civilization and progression considering your beloved Russia is going obviously backwards while Ukraine is trying to move forward. Russia’s goal is to drag Ukraine back. It’s sickening. Nobody is building a Ukraine for “Ukrainians only”. And if you actually knew anything about Ukraine, you’d know. Ukraine has become more diverse than anything. Unlike Russia, who’s racism grows everyday. And hatred for minorities.
Who’s begging? You don’t have to beg when you got allies. It’s Russia who’s trying to swoon totalitarian countries for any kind of help whatsoever. They shouldn’t have invaded a sovereign country.

Appeaser: So you want to build a nationalist, European and Western-minded Ukraine. Good luck with that. It sounds an interesting task trying to conciliate all these things. Don’t you see the contradiction when you claim that the “national idea” of the Azov battalion and their likes has nothing to do with the nationalist slogan “Ukraine for Ukrainians”?
Ukraine is only a chip in the regional struggle for power between the US led world and Russia. That’s the only reason why the West is supposedly “allied” with Ukraine. It has nothing to do with morals or some supposed high and universal values of Western civilization. The West does not give a damn about Ukraine or about Ukrainians.
I don’t think that people like you are necessarily bad. But you are an idealist and you live in a world of fantasies, in a world of Good against Evil, and you have been seriously misguided. This is not your damn Games of Thrones. I envy people like you sometimes. You always seem to know better, you always know what is right …

Patriot: You saying “Ukraine” is for Ukrainians sounds something that would be used in a bad way coming from Russian propaganda. I do admit it could have been used in the good way in the past, but now everything has been twisted. Ukraine is clearly not only just for Ukrainians. So be it a chip, or not. It doesn’t mean you should discredit them fighting for their freedom. As you can see, the Western world hasn’t even provided proper lethal aid yet. So perhaps you are right on some part. They just don’t care as much. But Ukrainians are thankful for any help they can get, even if it’s just night vision goggles.

Appeaser: For me the whole conflict is a bit more complicated than a simple mythical fight for the freedom of the Ukrainian nation. That’s an extreme oversimplification and to me this is the whole issue. I realize that the annexation of Crimea may have broken international law, but I’d rather break international law any time of the day than having people killed. At least Crimea escaped the fate of the Donbass. If by some twist of chance the Crimea peninsula had ended up being part of the Ukraine for the past 25 years, it does not mean that it was given by God to the Ukrainian nation for eternity. I know this is controversial, but for me the highest value is human life and at least life loss was reduced to a minimum in Crimea, partially thanks to the assimilation in the Russian Federation. Borders come and go. The people of Crimea made their choice. The referendum might not have upheld all the international standards, but for me an illegal referendum is thousand times better than war. Moreover, going to other countries to foment revolution and regime change, like Western politicians did on the Maidan, is also, by the letter of the law, a breach of international law and territorial integrity.

Patriot: Ukraine has every right to fight for its territory and I truly do hope we take back what’s ours, even Crimea. You don’t have to overcomplicate things, it all boils down to freedom in the end. And if we let Russia get away with its crimes, then what the hell is wrong with us? Countries need to stand up for themselves. As for your last statement, I agree. That’s why Russia should be punished. And not just by Ukraine. People like you let Hitler take Austria and Slovakia. Did it save any lives? Don’t think so. It only madeHitler’s appetite grow. Who’ll be next on the russkies list? Turkey? Estonia? Poland? Germany? They won’t stop unless they are stopped.

Appeaser: Actually Hitler did not take Slovakia, he laid the foundations for its independence, just like the Nazis did in Ukraine, in a way. But I guess the accuracy of the historical facts is not a big concern to you, the most important thing is your national narrative. You know very well that Russia has no intention whatsoever to invade the Baltic states or any other country for that matter, but you are using this argument anyway even if you know it is faulty because apparently you don’t have so many other ones.

Patriot: In 1942 Ukraine declared its independence from Soviets and the Nazis. Neither of them liked it and put an extra effort against Ukraine. Stepan Bandera, for example, was thrown to a Nazi camp and his brother was killed in another one. So much for laying the foundations for the independence of Ukraine. And the the russkies weren’t any better then the Nazi and at some points even worse.

Appeaser: You did not respond to any single one of the points I made previously. I understand that Crimea going to Russia offended your sense of national dignity and you are ready to do anything to take it back. But for me it is absurd to have people die in the name of some sort of abstract idea like the sacred unity of the Ukrainian territory. Crimea is not hurting you. But you do not seem to care about this. The people of Crimea will do just fine without you. They “declared independence”, just like “you” did in “1942” (again I don’t want to be too picky about the historical accuracy here, you already said I was making things been too unnecessarily complicated for you, so let’s keep it very simple). Ultimately, if you care so much about Crimea (will they care about you in Crimea? Probably not), if you think Ukraine has a God given right to take Crimea back by any means, why don’t you just take up arms and go and fight and die to free Crimea from the Russian occupiers?
I have noticed that for many people like you the question does not even seem to be so much about Ukraine, but about the West and the US. For me the world order in the XXI century cannot be a place with one hegemon, who cannot allow itself to show any sign of weakness, because otherwise the fundamental of its hegemony would be forever compromised, the world order in the XXI century it has to be the result of a balance of power, of nations talking to each other and trying to achieve solutions without recurring to military force or economic blackmail. I am not even sure the destiny of the people of the Crimea worries you so much. It is more a question of national ego pride.

Patriot: Don’t get it twisted. It is about Ukraine. The West is already showing weakness by not providing Ukraine with proper weapons yet, and letting Putler get his way. I do worry about Crimeans, mostly the indigenous people of Crimea and how badly Russians are treating them.

Appeaser: The indigenous people of Crimea? You mean, those who voted to leave Ukraine? …

As you can see, there is no end to this debate. Our patriot and our appeaser will probably not even be able to agree to disagree.

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