Photo by Finn IJspeert on Unsplash

A Sobering Look At Who and What We Are Defending In Ukraine

Gender violence, LGBTQ discrimination and ostracism, a massive dose of corruption, and torture.

5 min readJun 21, 2022


Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine back in February of this year, I have seen an unrelenting flow of “Slava Ukraine!” posts, commentary, and displays of support for the former Soviet state. All over Twitter, I see the blue and yellow avatars in support of Ukraine. But very few people are willing to acknowledge that as far as states go, Ukraine is no angel.

Remember that Ukraine was once a part of the Soviet Union. The corruption of Ukraine and Russia has been documented by numerous historians and observers. Many of them have called out Russia for its “Gangster Capitalism”. It appears that Ukraine is not so innocent with its brand of “capitalism”. In many respects, Ukraine is a chip off the old block.

There is a darkness about Ukraine that requires our attention, even if we insist on believing that Ukraine is the “good guy” in the war. This is why I read multiple perspectives by the press on the war. I read stories from two opposed perspectives to find something closer to the truth.

To better understand Ukraine, I conducted my own investigation. I wanted to see what it is that we are defending with $53 billion in military and humanitarian aid. I wanted to better understand the character of the people we hold as victims of an invasion at the hands of Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia.

I started with a 2021 report by the human rights advocate, Amnesty International. Here is what they had to say in 2021, before the invasion, with an acknowledgment that a war had been ongoing since 2014:

Impunity for torture remained endemic. Gender-based violence remained widespread, although a new law removed legal obstacles to prosecuting military personnel and police for domestic violence. Homophobic attacks by groups advocating discrimination and violence continued. The investigation of attacks against journalists and human rights defenders was slow and often ineffective. A draft law on the security services envisaged additional powers of surveillance without legal safeguards. The crackdown on dissent and human rights defenders in occupied…