Tymofiy Mylovanov Profile picture
May 18 22 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
NYTimes publishes a (paid) letter by 14 US national security experts. Jeffrey Sachs among the signees.

It calls for peace by stopping to support Ukraine.

Every claim it makes is misguided and uninformed. The arguments in the letter are embarrassingly weak. 1/ Image
Claim 1. More weapons is a guarantee of further death and destruction.

This claim only makes sense if you don't think about it. But if you do, you see that the Western weapons allowed Ukraine to liberate Bucha, Kharkiv, Kherson, stopping torture, rape and executions there. 2/
Yesterday and the night before, the Western provided air defense protected people and saved lives. Before Patriots, people would die from Russian missile strikes.

The Western weapons help liberate territories and protect Ukrainian controlled territories. 3/
The implied assumption in the claim about weapons is that if there were no weapons there would be no war or violence. But it not true. Think about it. What would Russia do if Ukraine had no Western weapons? Well, they showed it in the begging of the invasion. 4/
They would try to take the entire country by force. Ukrainians would not surrender, and many more people would die.

The only way stopping providing Western weapons can save lives is if Ukraine surrenders to Russia. But it won't. 5/
Claim 2. The war could be ended speedily through diplomatic efforts.

If only we would live in the world in which this were true. Diplomatic efforts are relevant if Russia can be trusted to keep the agreement. But it can't as the past history has shown multiple times. 6/
The Budapest memorandum, the Kharkiv agreements, the demarcation of the border of Ukraine, the case of Tuzla island, or the ceasefire agreements from 2014 to 2021.

The problem is that the only mechanism to enforce any agreement with Russia is to have sufficient force. 7/
This literally means weapons. Ukraine should be able to militarily defend itself, only then any agreement will carry any weight.

Claim 3. The US is leaving Russian no choice but to either be humiliated or use nukes.

But Russia can withdraw its forces and end the war. 8/
No, it will not be humiliation as the evidence show. Russia withdrew from Kyiv, Kharkiv, Kherson, and not a thing changed. But it had to be forced to do it. And this how the war will go. Ukraine will force Russia give up territory until it is out of Ukraine. 9/
Claim 4. NATO expansion provoked Russia.

Let's be serious here for a moment. Russia seized Crimea in 2014. What provoked it to do this? Plans of NATO expansion? No! The Revolution of Dignity. What was the revolution about? Joining the EU. 10/
No, it has never been about NATO, but about the fact the Ukrainians dared to tell Russia to go mind itself and turned to Europe.

But NATO fears cannot justify systemic rape, torture, and other war crimes in the occupied territories. How is that related? 11/
Well, Russia is destroying the spirit of resistance in Ukraine in the areas it occupies. But Ukraine won't have any of it. It is an existential fight for Ukraine. But it is not for Russia, and it is not about NATO. Russia can loose and go on ok. 12/
The letter calls for "immediate ceasefire and negotiations without any disqualifying or prohibitive preconditions".

The implication here is that Ukraine should abandon its citizens in the occupied territories who are being terrorized by Russia. 13/
The mistake the authors make is that they see this war as a war about territory (or NATO expansion), but the war is really about whether Ukraine has the right to be free.

So, if the authors say it does but the US should not support it, it is ok, but let's be honest about it. 14
Now let's look at this argument in earnest. Say the authors understand that Ukraine is fighting for its freedom and the US doesn't support it the war will stop, Ukrainians will be concurred, but there will be peace. 15/
Is this in the interest of the US? No, and here is why. Consider the next step of Russia after it swallows Ukraine. Now, it has 30 more million people under its control that it must suppress. It will take time, but eventually, at least this is what the authors seem to assume, 16/
it will work. Now Russia will have 5 more million people it can recruit for other military operations elsewhere. This is exactly what it did in the East of Ukraine - it forced Ukrainians in DNR and LNR units to fight the Ukrainians in the Ukrainian army. 17/
Most of these forcibly recruited people are dead by now. What will Russia do with this force? Moldova? Baltics? Georgia? Kazakhstan?

There is no reason why Russia will stop in Ukraine. Just a belief or hope that it would be insane for Russia to attack other countries. 18/
But it was insane for Russia to attack Ukraine in the first place.

Basically, what the authors advocate is the new Cold War, where Russia will get all the countries that are not in NATO and suppress freedom and opposition there. And they think that this world is safer. 19/
I disagree. The new Cold War and Russia controlling neighboring countries is as dangerous as the Soviet Union was if not more. The risk of global confrontation will increase and the nuclear war will be more likely. 20/
The best way to contain Russia is now while Ukrainians are willing to fight and are doing it well. The world in which Russia wins in Ukraine will embolden Russia and many other countries around the world, it will demonstrate that using force pays off, and so force will be used.21
The war in Ukraine will determine the next several decades of the European history. Will we move towards a more free and democratic world or will we move back in time to the 20th century? It is scary to stand up to a bully, but it must be done. Russia must be contained. 22X

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More from @Mylovanov

May 18
Vyshyvanka Day in Ukraine: A collection of vyshyvanka from different regions. ImageImageImageImage
Read 7 tweets
May 18
It is Vyshyvanka ("embroidered shirt") day in Ukraine. I am proud to wear one.

It is beautiful and symbolic. It’s history traces back thousands of years.
The first instances of vyshyvanka in Ukraine can be found as early as the Trypillian culture (5400 to 2700 BC). 1/ Image
Trypyllia is an ancient civilization on the territory of Ukraine, Moldova, and Romania. The decorative motifs of embroidery are found on clay figurines from that period. Scholars believe that people already adorned their clothing with thread. (Photo: our op director Roman) 2/ Image
Today almost everyone at the Kyiv School of Economics has dressed into vyshyvanka. It felt festive and sunny. And very diverse! This is our CEO Mykhaylo. 3/ Image
Read 9 tweets
May 18
Robert F. Kennedy Jr claims that the West pushes Ukrainian land to oligarchs and Western investors. Russian propaganda amplifies him and argues that Ukraine uses Stalinist methods to get farmers off their land.

Both narratives are false and must be refuted. With facts. 1/
Let's start with the claims. @RobertKennedyJr says that

1. The IMF and the World Bank give Ukraine new loans in exchange to removing restrictions to sell land.

2. He says that this means a massive transfer of land from small farmers to oligarchs and Western investors. 2/
Both statements are completely false. Let's see why.

Robert cites a study that cites a study that cites a study. I traced the source and read it. It is not a study, but a report, not peer reviewed, not published by a respectable outlet, there no clear quality controls. 3/
Read 15 tweets
May 17
Stalin Terror Techniques. Modern Russia is not quite there in terms of the scale, but it pretty much follows every trick in the book. See for yourselves.

1. Purges. Yes, among the Russian-installed leadership of the occupied territories. 1/
2. Show trials. Yes, opposition leaders in Russia and people who dare to speak about either the war or peace.

3. Political repression. This goes without saying. Navalny? Kara-Murza? Nemtsov? Crimean tatars. Ukrainians in the occupied territories. 2/
4. Forced labor camps. I don't think we are quite there, but what is happening in the occupied territories can be in many ways worse - industrial approach to torture chambers, social isolation, forced conscription to fight against Ukrainian army.

5. Propaganda. Oh, yes! 3/
Read 5 tweets
May 17
The missile exploded and burned through everything. Every body that was recovered was burned and unrecognizable. The authorities used DNA tests for identification.

23 people died, including 6 children.

After the first section collapsed, the building continued to shake. 2/
But the rest of the building held and so many more people survived. The construction expert says that this is because the building was Soviet built with extra robust design.

There are stories that make you go in shock. A husband gets up at 4am because he got hungry. 3/
He goes to the kitchen to cook and the attack happens. He survived. The rest of the family died.

Another family - the father and the mother took a younger kid in their bed. The two oldest kids were in a different room. They burned and died. The parents and one kid lived. 4/ Image
Read 8 tweets
May 17
My calling during the war is to be supportive and helpful to students and school children.

But they want to be a part of the defense effort

Yesterday, they showed a design of a drone similar to Shaheed. It is an early stage, but we will help develop it. Perhaps it’ll work 1/ Image
Our master students also want to be helpful to business. So they organizing a consulting club where will volunteer their time and knowledge for the Ukrainian businesses who need talented and educated people. 2/ Image
Our university and think tank - @KSE_Institute and @kse_ua - are striving to make a meaningful contribution to recovery of deoccupied villages. So we brainstorm non-stop. One idea is to create and scaffold local coops, but we are divided about it. 3/
Read 4 tweets

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