Ivan Hoffman looks at Ukraine: Peace has become a dirty word

From history we know wars in which the weaker surrendered without a fight that could not be won, and wars in which the weaker fought even though they knew they would lose. When Czechoslovakia was invaded in August 1968 by the armies of the Warsaw Pact under the pretext of international aid, they encountered no armed resistance. We reacted with “passive resistance”. The advantage of non-violent resistance is usually spared human lives. If we had fought, the dead would not have been 137, but thousands. Nations that do not fight back, but lack chapters on heroism in the history textbooks that future generations remember.

I remember how it was discussed at that time whether or not we should defend ourselves. As a teenager, I was clear that it was a matter of principle and that we had to fight with the occupiers so that we wouldn’t have to be ashamed of our cowardice. Passive resistance was decided by the old people, who at that time still remembered the Second World War, could imagine death and it was clear to them that there was no one to come to our aid. Sacrificing lives for socialism with a human face when we did not take up arms against Hitler in the past? There was really no threat of that from our politicians.

The war in Ukraine presents itself as a story with an open ending, but today one can already think about the meaning of this futile fight, because the information from the battlefield does not look good for the Ukrainians. The Ukrainian president does not choose between victory and defeat. It only decides how many Ukrainian heroes killed by Russian artillery will be celebrated in history textbooks. So if Ukraine still teaches from patriotic Ukrainian textbooks.

Ukraine’s dead heroes are increasing thanks to the military, financial and logistical support of the West, which pursues its own interest in containing and weakening Russia. Encouraging the Ukrainians that they can defeat Russia and become a Western liberal democracy, a member of the EU and NATO, can only prolong the war. In order for Ukrainian soldiers not to die needlessly, and for Russia to be defeated, the West would really have to enter the “war between the Americans and the Russians to the last Ukrainian”. And that won’t happen. Ukrainians are not worth the hardships of World War to the Americans.

Ukrainians apparently lost the chance to avoid a futile struggle at the Maidan 2014. Since this coup, the logic of history, which is written stronger today than at any time in the past, is on the road to destruction. The world will remember how the Ukrainians defended themselves against Russian superiority, and the Ukrainians will remember that, rather than accept humiliating neutrality, they preferred to let themselves be deprived of the territory on which they let their heroes bleed to death in a previously lost battle. Whether it was worth it depends on who you ask. Patriots and nationalists will not hesitate to retort that dying was a good choice.


Those who value a simple human life more than a heroic record in history see no point in a war already lost. But with the first shot in war, peace becomes a dirty word. Not fighting back is seen as cowardice and going to the death is seen as a challenge to fate. In retrospect, it is clear that neutrality was a mafia offer from Russia that could not be refused. The West told the Ukrainians that it is possible to…

We would have taken neutrality by all ten in the sixty-eighth!

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Ukraine (War in Ukraine)

News from the battlefield is difficult to verify in real time, regardless of whether it comes from any side of the conflict. Both warring parties, for understandable reasons, may release completely or partially false (misleading) information.

You can find brief information regarding this conflict updated by ČTK several times an hour on this page. PL editorial content discussing this conflict can be found on this page.

author: Ivan Hoffman

The article is in Czech

Tags: Ivan Hoffman Ukraine Peace dirty word

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