PDi Magazine condemns Russia’s attack on Ukraine

Published 19/4, 2022 at 08:49

When PDi issue 1-2022 was sent to the printers, it was right in the middle of production of the magazine when Russia invaded and started the war against Ukraine.

This meant that I did not have a chance to comment on it in my editorial column. When writing the column it is about six weeks since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine started. What can I say? How can the world allow, frankly one man, a dreadful dictator, to do this to a whole nation of people? The only thing the Ukrainian people want is to be a free nation, free from a Russia that has been controlling the country for so many years as part of the Russian Empire and then the Soviet Union.

Every day in the West, world news means we can follow the terrible things that are being done to the Ukrainian people. There is little doubt that war crimes are taking place and someone must be held responsible. Luckily, these crimes are well documented and can be held against those responsible. I am very thankful for being born in a democratic country where you can express your opinions freely and where we have a free press. Recently we learned about the Russian occupation of the Ukrainian city of Butja, or Bucha, where a large number of civilians were appallingly treated, with many murdered. It is not only that the Russian military are committing serious war crimes by murdering innocent people, they are also lying about everything that has happened in Bucha, saying it was staged by the Ukrainians.

Russia has two arch-liars, Putin and Lavrov, who are spreading false propaganda amongst the Russian population. Older Russians, and those with lower education levels, tend to watch state controlled media channels that are spreading this disinformation, while younger Russians and those who are better educated, tend to get their information through other channels and are more aware of how the Russian propaganda machinery works.

I can understand Ukrainian President Zelenskyj’s appeal for armed support from the European Union and NATO. But I can also understand the hesitation from the West when it comes to sending Western troops to the Ukraine. There would be a clear risk of a third world war.

The general opinion in the respective countries about whether Sweden and Finland should apply for membership of NATO is quickly increasing towards membership. In Finland, well over 50% of the population want to become members, and in Sweden, we are at around 50% today. I believe that most likely both nations will become members of NATO soon. Even the ruling party in Sweden, the Social Democrats that have always been in favour of an alliance free Sweden are now positively embracing NATO membership. The centre and conservative parties are all for NATO membership.

Putin has several times threatened both Sweden and Finland if they were to take such a step and that it would result in serious actions from Russia. But things like this we must decide as sovereign nations ourselves. Russia has no say in these decisions. There has also been a great deal of Russian activity in the Baltic sea and recently two military airplanes violated Swedish airspace right outside the Swedish island of Gotland that sits right between Sweden and the Baltic state of Latvia.

I was born and raised during the 1960s and 1970s, and grew up with the cold war. I was never afraid that something actually would happen to Sweden even though Russia is only some 850km away from Stockholm. It is more or less the same distance it was to drive to my grandparent’s house in the north of Sweden. But today, with everything that is going on, I am much more afraid that Sweden could end up in a war, not with the Soviet Union, but with something that is becoming more and more like it.

Jan Hermansson

Join our Newsletter