In addition to bombs, lightning fell on Ukraine. The discovery of mass graves in localities occupied for several days or weeks by the Russian army caused amazement. Ukrainians directly confronted with these terrible scenes have expressed hatred and detestation for the enemy army and for its supreme leader, President Vladimir Putin. This anger springs from a deep shock in the face of so much inhumanity and cruelty. It is to be hoped, however, that barbarism does not spread on the battlefield. While the fighting will now be concentrated in the east of the country, which the Russian army intends to completely conquer, a cycle of reprisals could begin.
→ MAINTENANCE. War crimes in Ukraine: “We must universalize the current revival of international justice”
Ukrainians must avoid it at all costs because it is precisely this system of deadly power from which they want to get out. For several years, during the elections, they have mostly turned their backs on a post-Soviet culture that draws on the Leninist principles of opacity and brutality. They reject the mentality of the Russian leaders for whom the individual, the person, does not count in itself. They free themselves from a society governed by fear.
Exactions that fall under mass crimes and crimes against humanity aim to shock, to crush value systems, to plunge the adversary into the same coldness as that of the killers. Ukrainians must resist and continue to distinguish, as many express, between the leaders who martyr them and the Russian people subjected to disinformation.
→ THE FACTS. The Pope denounces the “atrocities” committed in Boutcha and the “impotence” of the UN
It is also important for us, French and Europeans, who follow these events so close with anguish. Ukraine has well and truly sided with us on a civilizational frontier that is hardening every day. She also fights for us. Our attitude matters. We must therefore engage, from a distance.
We will not emerge unscathed from this ubiquitous war on our screens and which will cause profound changes in the organization of the continent. Faced with the horror, we must recognize with humility that we no longer know these dramatic situations. And besides, we don’t want to know them, that’s precisely the purpose of the European construction that began after the Second World War.
From a distance, however, many forms of support are still possible. The French state is engaged in multiple actions: economic sanctions against the Russian state and its main leaders; diplomatic action to try to hasten the possibility of a ceasefire; participation in the effort to document the crimes committed so that one day the Russian officials involved can be judged; assistance to refugees who settle in our country. These various commitments may seem derisory when, at the same time, the fighting is raging and civilians are falling, victims of a strategy of deliberate destruction. But they give substance to another reality, just as strong: that of international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
→ ANALYSIS. Relations with Russia: Germany reviews the political legacy of Angela Merkel
Ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel once said: “Putin is in a different world from ours. » The Russian President makes us feel this cruelly, but this should stimulate us to make ours even more concrete and fairer. We citizens have this role to play.