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Their rights to speech

Original post made by Ted Rudow III, Palo Alto High School, on Mar 12, 2014

Ukraine was governed by probably the most financially corrupt regime in the history of the world, which by the end of its rule was not only physically oppressing, but finally killing its citizens as they attempted to exert pressure by way of exercising their rights to speech and assembly. An entirely unprovoked Russian military intervention on part of Ukrainian territory.

The goal of this seems to be twofold—first of all, defensive, from Putin's point of view, to prevent this sort of thing from happening again in Russia. If you can create the image of chaos in Ukraine—and, of course, invasions have a way of creating such images—then you came make Russians believe that what's happened in Ukraine is entirely unattractive.
The second goal, the long-term goal and the more offensive goal, is to propound an alternative idea of what European civilization means. Putin and his advisers and the Russian press have made very clear that they understand Ukrainian events not just as an expression of Ukrainian interests or ideas or aspirations, but as part of a decadent European civilization. And by decadence, they mean rejection of Christianity, advocacy of the rights of ethnic and sexual minorities.

A leader such as Vladimir Putin--a man of action, a man of guts, one who is strong to lead. Putin has been nurtured since childhood. He has been groomed for this hour. Every­thing in his life--his upbringing, his schooling, his career, his interactions with ­others, the choices he has made, the voices he has heard in the night seasons--has been preparing him for this day. He has been working on him. Putin he will have one who is open and yielded to his will and ways and whims, a perfect pawn in his hands, one who will choose to advance his cause.

Ted Rudow III, MA

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