Ukraine: We’re Not Worried About Invasion Because Russia Has Been Invading Us for Eight Years

Children play on a tanks displayed at the Motherland Monument on the newly created "Unity
Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Ukrainian state media outlet Ukrinform ran an editorial on Wednesday arguing that Ukrainians are unfazed by the war hysteria gripping many Western politicians and media outlets because Russian forces have been in their country for eight years.

Ukrinform billed the lengthy article as “an editorial, aiming to convey to the Western audiences, including journalists, what’s on the mind of the Ukrainian people these days, why they have no fear, and what is the main motivation driving the nation.”

The gist of the editorial was that life continues as normal for Ukrainians, who are certainly aware of the Russian threat but not obsessed with it. Unlike some outside observers, the Ukrainians are not responding with great alarm to each tidbit of news about Russian activity on the far side of their border.

“The country’s capital Kyiv, along with other major cities, remains vibrant and lives a normal life with children going to school, businesses and offices remaining open to clients, no one taping their windows in anticipation of bombing or digging trenches in the suburbs to ‘meet’ Russian tanks,” Ukrinform wrote.

The key passage in the article needled Western media for paying so little attention to Ukraine while Russian-backed separatists waged a brutal war in the eastern part of the country, perking up only when the narrative of a Russian invasion kicking off World War III fired up their imaginations:

Some western journalists perceive our population as “fatalists,” which is plain wrong. In fact, there is nothing “heroic,” “fatalistic,” or even unusual in such human behavior. The reason behind it is quite simple – Russia has been waging war against Ukraine for eight years already. These are the eight years of daily reports of deadly shelling, IDPs, and casualties among our military and civilians.

These are the eight years of hate, tonnes of information dirt and Russian malign narratives being shamelessly poured onto the Ukrainians from the Internet and local pro-Russian TV channels – generally unrestricted. After, all, this is the unfortunate downside of democracy and freedom of speech for which Ukrainians have fought for so long…

These are the eight years of a rather superficial attitude on the part of the West to this largely “forgotten” war… “Where is Ukraine anyway?” many in Europe and beyond must have been asking themselves, unwilling to get out of their comfort zone and stress out over a conflict they thought would never concern them almost directly…

Ukrinform argued that the big shock for Western media came this year when the Russians began “waving their nuclear bomb” and lining up tanks on the Ukrainian border – but for Ukrainians, the big “shocker” came when Russia annexed Crimea and “unleashed a brutal massacre in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas” in 2014.

“The war, which has been going on for so many years now, has affected almost every family. It changed the entire society,” the editors wrote, mourning their own staffers who were killed in the Donbas conflict.

“This is all you need to know to understand what’s happening in Ukraine at the moment: The people are calm because they have long made their choice. The country will fight for a certain set of vital values, which are as strong in Kyiv as they are in Brussels, Prague, or Washington,” the editors declared.

Ukrinform concluded by thanking their “colleagues” in Western media for being concerned, and for bringing belated global attention to the clash between freedom and autocracy that began in 2014, and for helping to push back against the “massive flow of manipulative reports and outrageous disinformation circulated by Russia’s government-operated media platforms.”

“As for the war … Have no doubt. Ukraine will prevail. We won’t fail you,” the editors promised.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.