Ukraine: the country that cares

Nadiya Savchenko at Borispol Airport after arrival from her illegal imprisonment in Russia (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images 

2016/05/25 • Analysis & Opinion

Article by: Vitaliy Portnikov

The difference in the welcomes given the released prisoners in Kyiv and Moscow says more about the Russian-Ukrainian conflict than dozens of words.

Nadiya Savchenko was greeted as a heroine in Ukraine’s capital. The entire world has been glued to her release. There is no politician who would not want to bathe in the light of her fame and glory at least for a few minutes. There is no citizen who has not sighed with relief at the news of her release.

The Russian intelligence officers were met only by their wives. No Russian politician even thought about showing any interest in the fate of the “heroes of Novorossiya.” The few journalists who wanted to report on their return to their homeland were not allowed at the airport.

No one in Russia is interested in Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Alexander Aleksandrov except for their loved ones. And this is despite the fact that it was the Russian state that had sent them to occupied Donbas — no matter what fairy tales the officers spin about their “voluntary” choice. Nadiya Svachenko, however, did volunteer to defend her country.

And here is the main difference between modern Ukraine and modern Russia. We are a country of citizens who care, as Savchenko emphasized after her return.

She really has every reason to thank her fellow citizens for caring about her and for working for her release. We have been quite interested recently in those who are protecting us. And the Russians, whatever they may say about their “patriotism,” are indifferent to their own military.

It is striking that the fate of Yerofeyev and Aleksandrov, as well as the fate of all those killed in the Donbas war, is of interest not to the “patriots” in Russia but to those opposing this despicable war.

Because this is the real patriotism — to oppose the war and not be indifferent to the fate of the country’s heroes. And to remember their own soldiers who have ended up in captivity or in nameless graves.

This feeling was even described in the poems of Homer, whose heroes confronted death in order to defend their homeland, in order to free or at least to bury their own with dignity. And no propaganda, no words can replace this kind of patriotism. It can only be confirmed by actions.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
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  • Dirk Smith

    Great point. Sums it all up between these two countries.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Obviously the two are an acute embarrassment for the dwarf. It will be most interesting to see what will happen next to the two Dwarfstanians. Will they be arrested and prosecuted for telling the truth i.e. that they were active serving members of Dwarfstan’s army? Dishorourably discharged even, or be thrown into the clink for”revealing state secrets”? And what about their marriages? If MY wife had publicly disowned me by stating that I had resigned from the army and “volunteered” to serve in the Donbas rather than telling the truth, that I was an active serving soldier of the Dwarfstanian army, I’d divorce her on the spot.

  • Robert

    Sad… so sad … Soul Sad …

    … but True … SO True … Soul True…

    Well said. Astutely noted. Succinctly Clear.

    It’s Truly a shame that Russians cannot freely express their True Feelings.

    One can only wonder … a year from now … where will be Nadiya Savchenko … and where will be these two Russian ‘intelligence officers’? I’m happy they are at least home with their Wives and Families. I also must wonder how they enjoyed their ‘volunteer vacation’? … and if they actually knew they were on ‘vacation’ … or exactly when they discovered they were on a ‘volunteer vacation’?

    Slava Nadiya!

    Slava Crimea!! Slava Ukrainia!!! One and The Same…

    … Russia … get off your knees …

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      I suspect that the Dwarfstanians ARE expressing their true feelings. They have been bombarded with the dwarf’s propaganda for years and probably consider the two traitors for (a) being captured rather than killed and (b) speaking the truth, that they were serving soldiers of Dwarfstan’s army instead of toeing the dwarf’s line of being former soldiers who had resigned and “volunteered” to fight in the Donbas.
      As for “getting off your knees”, Dwarfstanians are too apathetic and lethargic for that. Like a bunch of Oblomovs, they prefer to wallow in self-pity and do nothing.

  • Lev Havryliv

    Nadia Savchenko represents the unbreakable spirit of Ukraine.

  • anonymous

    The difference between Nadia and the two Russians is that Nadia was in her country, the Russians were not in their country. No matter how they got to Ukraine; they are criminals under Russian and Ukrainian law. If they were ordered in, they followed illegal orders; if not they were illegal mercenaries in a foreign country (Russian law). Nadia was acting legal in her country and not breaking any foreign law. Criminals should not be celebrated; loyal persons acting in legal manner are to be honored. Russians should not honor criminal combatants no matter how they got to a foreign country. My “hope” is that someday all criminal foreign combatants in Ukraine will be recognized as criminals in Russia and in Ukraine and in the whole world.