PEACE AND JUSTICE
After ten months of war in Ukraine, it is clear that this conflict, like many others, cannot be solved with weapons. More and more people, soldiers and civilians, especially Ukrainians, are losing their lives. Several million people fled beyond the borders of Ukraine before the war. Families are divided, lives are torn apart, the land is ravaged. Cities are turned into rubble, power plants, bridges, roads, schools and hospitals are destroyed by bombing. If it weren’t for Western aid, the Ukrainian state would have gone bankrupt a long time ago.
The war in Ukraine is at the same time a struggle that transcends it: It involves the West in the form of a massive military and financial aid and sanctions it applied against Russia.
The sanctions that the West and especially European countries have imposed on Russia do not meet the expectations with which they were adopted. They didn’t stop the Russian advance, they didn’t moderate it, and they didn’t even hurt the Russian economy in any significant way. On the contrary, they harm European households and companies, including Czech ones. Europe, and especially the Czech Republic, is being crushed by inflation, to which the war has played a significant role. Life has become more expensive for all of us, and although it is not pleasant for anyone, those in power who call for war the most are the least affected by the increase in the cost of living.
We want just peace. Peace that will be willy nilly accepted by all the parties to the conflict, peace which will be guaranteed by all relevant parties, peace agreement the precise content of which we do not know, cannot know and shouldn´t want to know. This peace will come out of long and painful negotiations. Peace negotiations should be undertaken by politicians, their diplomats and experts. They govern and so they should act. But we demand that they should act to conclude a just peace. And they should start the process immediately and to start with aim at earliest possible armistice.
SOURCE: Hořejší, Václav, et al. “Výzva.” Mír a Spravedlnost, 7 Feb. 2023, https://miraspravedlnost.cz/vyzva.
Pursuing peace instead of war could be regarded as one of the noblest of endeavours. Pursuing it at all cost is foolish. To make it worse, fact manipulation and untruth can set a dangerous precedent.
Above-mentioned point first is the most devious of all. All of what was written is true. It is important to ask why is the situation like that, why is death and destruction taking place. To that end we can turn to the article ”On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians“, penned by Russia´s president, in which a sovereignty of modern Ukrainian state is brought into question based on the country´s history. This is the answer to the question why.
-  Putin. Vladimir, “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians.” President of Russia. 12 July 2021. http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/66181
Fourth point of the appeal talks about the effect of sanctions, or lack thereof, on Russian economy. It is undeniable that the war had a profound effect of economic situation in Europe. Saying that sanctions didn’t hurt Russia in any significant way is a fallacy. It took several months for the sanctions to take hold, true. However, in January 2023, most important indicators of Russian economy are: 38% lower gas revenue than expected, budget expenditures 59% higher than at January 2022 with a total deficit being 2,295 billion roubles, excess of 60% for the predicted indicator for the entirety of 2023.  It can be argued that at the time of the appeal publishing, such information was not available. It is available now, no changes to this point were made, so it remains a fallacy available for all to see.
-  Arce, Ó., Koester, G., & Nickel, C. (2023, February 24). One year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – the effects on Euro area inflation. European Central Bank. Retrieved April 14, 2023, from https://www.ecb.europa.eu/press/blog/date/2023/html/ecb.blog20230224~3b75362af3.en.html
-  Ibadoghlu, Gubad. “What Impact Have EU Sanctions Had on the Russian Economy?” The London School of Economics and Political Science, 13 Mar. 2023, https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2023/03/13/what-impact-have-eu-sanctions-had-on-the-russian-economy/.
Despite the fallacy mentioned above, the most important and dangerous piece is the misinterpretation of facts on display. The appeal calls for peace, while taking facts out of context and presenting untruth to push its agenda. Peace at all cost feeds the aggressor.
about the source:
“Peace and Justice” is a Czech initiative founded in January 2023 which, at the beginning of February 2023, introduced their appeal to end the war in Ukraine, consisting of ten points and follow-up requirements towards the government of Czech Republic. The initiative´s goal is to push the government of Czech Republic to advocate for armistice and entering negotiations by war´s belligerents as soon as possible, with main arguments being the loss of life fed by western assistance and economic issues for Europe and Czech Republic caused by the war. The appeal itself is available to be signed on the website of the initiative.