Our Solidarity with Ukraine
First in Spodek, a spectacular place in Katowice, and last week in Gliwice there were raised Ukrainian flags. This is all we can do in this inconceivable situation. “Let’s call things by name and things will change” are the words of a song. International law was violated and part of a sovereign nation – no longer one of the Soviet republics, although that is how Russia has treated Ukraine – was attacked.
With the assistance of his advisors, a dictator is supporting only “his” citizens in Crimea and has been asked by his “autonomous” authorities. This clear violation of the nation’s sovereignty has occurred in Europe, not in the Caucasus or in any banana republic. If we call things by name, change will happen fast. There already have been appeals for this by independent persons, such as Zbigniew Brzeziński, President Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor; the former foreign minister of the Czech Republic; and the former Polish ambassador to Russia. So have those who have dealt with the leader of Great Russia who still has a Soviet-era mind set. And the West is acting like what Lenin, the creator of a giant with feet of clay that was a state of proletarians and peasants, called “useful idiots”. When in defence of his people Hitler annexed Czechoslovakia and Austria, the world also did not protest.
We the Poles, as a sovereign nation, first opposed Adolf Hitler’s vision of a great Germany, and so we feel sadness and understanding and we protest. The new reality of the 21st century cannot ignore facts and cannot tolerate aggression in the name of imagined dangers or the dictates of a state whose president can do everything and not be accountable to anyone for fictitious reasons. What counts are force and the politics of existing facts, and it is coming back. The Ribbentrop-Molotov school of diplomacy is, as we can see, still effective.
And what does Europe have to say? Fortunately, the United States is defending Ukraine. The return of Cold War politics is unbelievably hanging in the air. What about sanctions? The economic consequences are a potent weapon. The fear of losing one’s contacts, which causes real losses in exports and the exchange of gas and oil, is above all the politics of Europe’s own interests. Fortunately, this is not for all of Europe and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There remains the hope that Europe will be united and will speak in one voice because only together can we resist this act of aggression of a faded empire where there still are common pipe dreams of power.
Polish politicians are speaking in unison on this matter. May that thought end this text on an optimistic note.
Translated by Filip Mazurczak
M. Gajek – Jędros studied political science at the University of Silesia. She is at the same time a feminist and a mother. She edits human resources-related texts.