A reflection on the attitudes of some patriots towards the Ukrainian cause

Patriotism and the Russian invasion: Do you ask of Ukraine what you would not accept for your country?

Today marks one year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a fact that has shown the world the danger that Russian imperialism poses for peace in Europe.

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This invasion has generated very mixed reactions in the field of politics. Support for the cause of Ukraine has been transversal: it has been joined by many conservatives, liberals, centrists and social democrats. In turn, support for Russia or equidistant attitudes have been more frequent on the margins of the political map, from the extreme left to the extreme right. It is curiously significant, of course, to see the extent to which anti-liberalism, anti-Westernism and rejection of NATO have become excuses to defend a criminal tyrant like Putin, from both ends. Something not surprising, since these sentiments have been cultivated by the Kremlin's propaganda media in the West for years.

One of the strangest positions on this issue consists of invoking patriotism to take sides with Russia or to take an equidistant position . This position forgets that patriotism is a very noble sentiment that leads you to understand the love of others for their country and the sacrifices they may make to defend their freedom. On the contrary, nationalistic selfishness consists in not caring about your neighbors, without realizing that one day you may need them. I wonder with what face we would ask our allies for help tomorrow if we had maintained a equidistant attitude in this war. The example to follow is the strong support for Ukraine from the prime ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic and Italy, all of whom are conservatives and Vox partners.

It must be remembered that Spain is a member of NATO because the Spanish decided so in a referendum, and that implies obligations towards our allies, just as the allies have obligations towards us in the event that we suffer an attack by part of another country. Among those allies are countries directly threatened by Russian imperialism such as Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. And here I would like to make an aside: Poland is a country greatly admired by many Spaniards who consider themselves patriots, but the things that some are saying today about Ukraine to justify Russian aggression or to ask us to stay out of it, tomorrow they would also say about Poland if that country were attacked by Russia (remember that a few months ago, the Russian State Duma threatened Poland with being invaded next).

For the rest, it is difficult to understand that people who admire great heroic figures who defended Spain against different invaders, presenting them as a role model and as heroes of whom we should be proud, now belittle the Ukrainian heroism against the Russian invasion and even demand that Ukraine surrender or cede a part of its territory to the invaders, simply because the invader is a tyrant who presumes a lot of patriotism, just like other tyrants did like Napoleon, Hitler and Stalin. What part of Spain would those patriots be willing to cede to Russia if Putin decided to attack our country? Why do they want Ukraine to do something that they would consider dishonorable, indecent and cowardly if a Spaniard did it in front of someone who invaded his homeland?

For my part, as a patriot and as a person who loves Freedom, I am very clear: Ukraine is fighting for its independence as we would if we were invaded. The Ukrainian people have been able to resist as they have. before the Russian power because it is moved by patriotism and by the legitimate desire to expel the invader from its soil, the same motivation that led the Spanish to expel Napoleon's armies even though it was an unequal fight. The least we can do, out of national dignity and honoring the nobility that this heroic resistance should inspire us, is to offer them our military and humanitarian support, because if Russia wins, it will have an incentive to continue attacking other countries and it will continue to endanger security and peace in Europe, something that concerns us Spaniards, as Europeans that we are.


Photo: Seth Humeniuk/Medill. A demonstration of Ukrainians in Chicago, USA.

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