Denmark and the rest of Europe is at war with Russia, not just with Putin.
Several Danish politicians argue that we are not at war with Russia. It’s Putin we don’t like, not the country’s citizens, they argue. Therefore, we should not make restrictions on whether Russians can travel to Europe on holiday, they argue.
To this I just have to say: What nonsense!
“Doesn’t it shake the inner moral compass up when we with one hand financially support Ukraine to fight the Russia’s invasion, while with the other let the country´s citizens spend their rubles in the Copenhagen Magasin mall and Harrods ?
The ordinary Russian does not have the means to travel abroad. Those who travel do not speak out against the regime. If they did, their situation would look completely different. Because in Russia it is wisest not to stick your nose out and speak against the system. If you stay silent, you can live well. And although we in the West want to believe that it is only Putin who has imperialist superpower dreams, many Russians support his regime.
Secondly, some voices say it would be a good to continue to allow Russian students to study in the West. Who knows, the argument goes, maybe they’ll go back and spread the ideas of democracy they’ve been introduced to outside of their censorious, authoritarian homeland. Again, it is the children of wealthy Russians who travel abroad to study. And you have to be more than naive if you think that young Vladimir or Anastasia will go home and speak out against the system that has made it possible for their mother and father to send them away – a system that can bring their parents status down if the offspring speaks against the the system.
Either they are extremely naive or cynical when voices in the public arena argue that individual Russians should not pay a price for Putin’s madness. Especially when it is widely known that Russia is keeping captured Ukrainians in camps, using mass rape as a strategic weapon of war, and bomb towns specifically targeting the civilian population.
You can obviously choose to close your eyes to that knowledge. You could also choose to have integrity and stand up for principles instead of choosing to look at the situation from a monetary perspective. It can be difficult to open your eyes. You risk seeing something you don’t want to.
If you have previously taken a position that does not align with the real world, this can be difficult. But that is what gives a person integrity and character – that he or she dares to let his or her worldview be influenced by the real world and not the world we all wish we were living in.
The school year has just started in Denmark. Many new Ukrainian students have arrived, children who struggle every day to fit in and understand the childhood and the world that has changed for them overnight.
Isn’t it a mockery of the many victims of the war that we let rich Russians luxuriate in the same society we have invited Ukrainian citizens to find peace? Doesn’t it shake the inner moral compass when we with one hand financially support Ukraine to fight Russia’s invasion, while with the other let the country´s citizens put their rubles in the Copenhagen Magasin mall and Harrods ?
The West is not only at war with Putin – we are at war with Russia. The leader of Russia is Putin, and his system penetrates everything in Russia. Putin sends his people to war, and many voluntarily go to fight for him. It may be very convenient to want to separate the leader of a country from its people – but this argument is naive semantics. We have to punish collectively.
If the West dares to stand up for common decency, it may start to hurt the privileged sections of the Russian population who travel to the West and pretend the war has nothing to do with them . Maybe that way they will finally get the courrage to remove their terrible leader – if only to get their comfortable life back for and their children into Europe.
Selvfølgelig skal russiske turister ikke spankulere rundt i Danmark og andre lande, som Rusland er i proxykrig med
Danmark og resten af Europa er i krig med Rusland, ikke kun med Putin.