Following my article in Wednesday’s paper on the situation in Ukraine I got some emails, plus some comments on the article itself, along the lines that my article was overly biased in favour of Russia.

Such was not my intention, at all.

There are no ‘good guys’ in the Ukraine situation right now.

The West (the EU and the USA) have actively supported, funded and facilitated the overthrow of a democratically elected government and the installation of a far-right ‘government’ in its place.  A government that has appointed six far-right fascist politicians to Cabinet posts, including a neo-Nazi to the Ministry of Internal Security.  This neo-Nazi has found that police aren’t regarding his Ministry as legitimate and is subsequently deputising neo-Nazi militia to fill the resulting security vacuum.  Not exactly ‘good guys’ in my book.

The democratically elected Government of Yanukovych became increasingly authoritarian and corrupt, not to mention incompetent and unstable.  It’s now fled into exile and is discredited.  They’re not exactly ‘good guys’ in my book either.

The Russians have actively supported and tried to prop up an increasingly corrupt, authoritarian and incompetent Government (Yanukovych), and then acted in a cynical and manipulative way to effectively occupy the Crimean region and is no doubt involved in the unrest in the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine.  They have engaged in sabre-rattling and threats.  And Russia’s democracy is questionable too.  They’re not ‘good guys’ in my book.

The Americans themselves have acted in an incredibly hypocritical manner, above and beyond the already noted involvement in the overthrow of the democratically elected Government in the first place.  One need only look at the hypocrisy of Secretary Kerry’s condemnation of Russia’s actions when he says: 

"You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text.”

The US presided over the greatest act of aggression so far in the 21st Century with the invasion of Iraq (with at least 500,000 dead) – an illegal war complete with crimes against humanity by Western forces; as well as the illegal war in Afghanistan (again with crimes against humanity) – both on trumped up pre-texts; regime change in Libya; arming and supporting questionable Syrian rebels (shades of Afghanistan all over again); and presiding over illegal drone wars in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. 

Let’s just say the US doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on here.  The Americans sure aren’t the ‘good guys’ here either.

While there is some appeal to viewing the Russians as at least a limited counter-weight to the imperial power of the USA in the 21st Century, this doesn’t make the Russians (or the Chinese, or whoever) the ‘good guys’. 

All it does is help demonstrate that all parties involved are acting in their own interests, including imperialist ones, and all sides are engaging in blatant and cynical propaganda.  And the sooner we collectively recognise that fact the sooner we can all start calling them out on it and working to make a better world without such imperialisms.

Curiously, on the same day that my article was published, a leaked phone-call, confirmed to be authentic, between the Estonian Foreign Minister and the EU’s Catherine Ashton revealed that there’s evidence that the snipers who killed protestors may actually have been in the pay of protest leaders themselves.  The implication being that their role was to provoke violence (by creating martyrs and also firing on security forces) and generally discredit and destabilise the Government.

In Ukraine there are no good guys.  And the people are, as usual, the victims.