The Russian state continues to intimidate Ukraine with a military invasion. This time, among the plans of the dictatorial regime of Vladimir Putin is an open, full-scale, conventional war with the forces of the regular army. To confirm its intentions, the “fraternal country” demonstrates to the whole world echelons of military equipment moving towards the Ukrainian borders, hundreds of thousands of soldiers and even blood banks.

At the same time, the leadership of Moscow is putting forward absurd ultimatums to the Western world and replicating a manic geopolitical narrative through the mouths of its propagandists from all over the world – they say that the NATO military alliance did not keep the promise that it would refrain from expanding to the east of Europe, allegedly given during the collapse of the USSR.

Russian diplomats are demanding that NATO give some kind of “written promise” not to accept Ukraine and Georgia into its ranks, threatening that if this condition is not met, the Western world will see a harsh response. Obviously, their response is an attack on Ukraine, because this is what the furious concentration of Russian troops around our borders can testify to.

Of course, the demands on the West, as well as statements about some kind of “betrayal” of non-existent promises on the part of NATO, are just another manipulation to divert the attention of the international community from one simple fact: a fascist government is sitting in Moscow, so purged of internal criticism that it is capable of starting another war in Europe for the sake of incomprehensible and unnecessary goals.

There is no opposition in Russia, no democratic institutions capable of influencing the decision of the leadership. Russians can either support their government’s foreign policy decisions, or disagree with them and it doesn’t matter. The Kremlin regime is not elected or regulated by anyone, and its policies are germinating in the minds of a narcissistic dictator and his insane generals. We do not have accurate information about the motives of the Russian leadership due to the lack of transparency in decision-making and their general absurdity.

The only working hypothesis that the editors of our journal can put forward is that the ruling class of Russia is on the verge of a political and economic crisis and is capable of any action to postpone its death. If Putin’s system loses the financial flows that ensured the loyalty of citizens in past decades, it will collapse.

The people responsible for making decisions in the Kremlin do not want the fate of Viktor Yanukovych and his henchmen. Looking at the example of the Ukrainian revolution of 2014, they understand that they will lose not only their positions, but also their heads, and the Russian state will lose the role of a militaristic empire for a long time. They cannot afford to make concessions due to the challenges of the times and the moral obsolescence of their government and state, and also cannot refuse to abandon the “steering wheel”. After all, the Russian regime is not just an unprincipled kleptocracy, but also a cauldron, full of conspiracy theories, fetishistic nostalgia for the totalitarian and autocratic imperial past, and painful judgments about humankind and the world.

Russian generals, officials, and advisers to the dictator are a mindless scum whose days are long past. It is ready to take everyone it can reach to hell with it.

On the Russian-Ukrainian front, we have a conflict that cannot be resolved by reconciliation and mutual concessions, because this is not a dispute between equal opponents on extraneous issues. This is a conflict between the empire and the former colony, the subject of which is domination and enslavement, on their part, and emancipation and decolonization, on our part. Ukraine is moving in the direction of democratic change, and although these steps are rather weak, Putin is already dissatisfied with this.

In our opinion, Russia’s position in this conflict lies in the belief that Ukrainian independence is a mortal danger to the half-collapsed Russian empire, and the further Ukrainians move away from the “Russian world”, the more terrible the threat to Russia. The Kremlin believes that Russia’s “historical mission” will fail if its closest neighbors – the former Soviet republics – adopt “Western values” that are destructive to dictatorial power and incompatible with Moscow as a model.

The current war cannot be resolved peacefully in the sense that Ukraine already wants nothing from Russia, except to end the oppression, liberate the occupied territories and compensate for the losses, the damage and lost lives. Ukraine did not attack Russia and did not even try to discriminate against citizens with Russian identity: until now, speaking Russian and participating in Russian culture are signs of belonging to a certain privileged background. The most successful politicians and businessmen in Ukraine are Russian-speaking (at least until 2014) and have a Russian cultural background.

Under such circumstances, attempts to establish the Ukrainian language as the only official language and get quotas for it in the cultural space are the only logical response to the first soft, and then the brute power of the imperialist “Russian world”. And even significant successes in Ukrainization, de-Russification and decommunization (despite all their shortcomings, frankly erroneous and even illegal decisions) do not create any obstacles for those who want to communicate in Russian and consume the products of Russian culture.

It is obvious that a positive resolution of the conflict with Russia is possible only if Ukraine is strong in defense and politically open, its course is towards democratization and ideological pluralism, the strength of civil society and its attention to the formation and operation of institutions remains. The pacifists demand that Ukraine put down its “pride” and sit down at the negotiating table with the oppressor, and in exchange for peace, give up its political independence and all the democratic achievements of recent decades. If this happens, there will be no place for Ukrainians in Ukraine, and all those who disagree with the new regime (it’s naive to hope that after peace on Russia’s terms, Ukrainians will be able to freely choose their political leadership) will either emigrate, or rot in the dungeons as prisoners of conscience, or will be killed by guardsmen of the regime as a lesson to others. Russia will not stop demanding and implementing repression until Ukraine ceases to exist as something more than an administrative unit.

That is why the editors of our publication believe that the only possible response to a likely Russian invasion is participation in the defense of Ukraine. We urge our readers not to panic and to make efforts for our joint survival as a sovereign people. You can directly hold back the enemy with weapons in your hands, take care of the wounded, help provide for the military, join the civilian self-defense organization, and so on. Any help is priceless, because we have everything to lose. We can believe in something or not, we can have different beliefs, but we are all united by a common cause – freedom and protection, and an albeit imperfect, but democratic republic. Until it’s safe, any internal conflicts will only help the enemy, who does not care about us and our dreams, and who hates our civil identity. We have something to die for, and most importantly, our sacrifices will not be in vain.

If you do not live in Ukraine, but you support our liberation campaign, you can help with money or your own physical presence – as a civilian or military volunteer, correspondent, streamer or just a blogger. We will welcome any form of international solidarity and all attempts to show the world the truth about our struggle and the aggressive actions of the neighboring empire.