Russia’s assault on Ukraine has been going on for over a year now. Many people have rightly condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s murderous rampage, which has killed thousands of innocent civilians.
But why is Putin really doing all of this? Our friend Deacon Nicholas Kotar — who comes from a family of Russian immigrants — offers some insights.
First, a word of caution about reports coming from the Russian government.
Government officials lie about virtually everything. If they’re actually telling the truth, you can’t ever tell.
To be able to discern the truth, you need to have a lot of historical context and talk to people who were in the room when decisions were made. And even then you’re probably only getting tidbits of the truth.
Putin is clearly making it difficult for others to discern his motives.
It’s not just politics — it’s values.
According to CNN, the Russian Orthodox Church cited opposition to the LGBTQ community as one reason for Russia’s invasion. That’s a highly questionable statement, although it contains a nugget of truth.
What the Russian government IS doing is drawing a red line to stop the spread of a certain style of liberalism it detests. Ukraine, unfortunately, has been a buffer zone and test case for the spread of a system of values that is mostly embraced by the elites, not the regular people.
Because there is a lot of money coming in from the West, there is an inherent tension between the elites of Ukraine and the elites of Russia. What Putin probably thought at the start of the invasion was that he would go into Ukraine and ordinary people would accept him as a savior.
It seems that he thought he was liberating the people of Ukraine from their leaders and the values those leaders espoused. But that’s not how things turned out.
The West is tying aid to Ukraine with the acceptance of its values. Many Ukrainians are looking to the West to save them, not Putin.
This war is merely a continuation of the age-long conflict Russia has been waging with the West. It goes back centuries.
It’s a very complicated and difficult conflict to understand. Be careful about jumping to conclusions based on what you hear in the media, even as we stand strong in condemning Russia’s inhumane actions.
Neither side is going to back down. The conflict goes way too deep. Let’s take up arms in the form of our rosaries and beg God for an end to a war that should be unacceptable in a supposedly “civilized” world.