Russia's war on Ukraine: Cost-of-living crisis must not weaken our support for Kiev – Scotsman comment
Russian propaganda might start to seem appealing to those who want the cost-of-living crisis to end, above all other considerations – a potential weakness that Putin’s acolytes are eager to exploit.
Yevgeny Popov, a Russian politician, told BBC Radio 4 yesterday: "Your world, the West, are struggling… I am shocked you have more than a million people in the Great Britain who are hungry right now, more than a million! It’s a shame for liberal democracy. War is bad for everybody, we are struggling, you are struggling.”
The subtext was that our problems could all be over if only the West would force Ukraine to submit and cut a deal that would see a large swathe of its territory seized by Russia. Popov somewhat undermined this devil’s bargain by stating “we didn’t begin this war”. If you are trying to come across as sympathetic and reasonable, it’s best not to spout such obvious lies.
The cost-of-living crisis is causing real and serious problems in this country. Every year, cold weather contributes to the deaths of many hundreds of people in Scotland and this winter’s death toll is likely to be higher.
But we must keep in mind the suffering of the people in Ukraine where temperatures fall well below freezing in winter. This year millions are struggling to stay warm, not because they cannot afford heating, but because power plants are being bombed by Russia. Yesterday saw more than 60 missile strikes across Ukraine, with at least two people killed when a residential building was hit.
Putin is trying to break the spirit of the Ukrainian people and yet, despite the freezing conditions and the appalling loss of life, they remain defiant. They do so because they want to remain free. And they also know that rewarding Putin for his invasion will only make him more powerful; embolden him to take further military action; and allow him and his forces to get away with an estimated 50,000-plus alleged war crimes.
That’s what Kremlin stooges like Popov want. If we are weak and allow Putin a victory, hoping for 'peace in our time’, we will regret putting such faith in a mass-murdering megalomaniac.
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