Ukrainian Rhapsody

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A week ago, at the US Open men’s final closing ceremony, US Tennis Association President Michael McNulty praised the “worldwide tennis community’s support for the Ukrainian people” and the amount of money they raised for victims of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This was so important to McNulty that he failed to mention the anniversary of 9/11 in the city, where nearly 3000 people lost their lives in the deadliest terrorist act in the world’s history. Such actions, as well as the mandatory Ukrainian flags and lapel pins, have been an invariable background of every major sporting event for months. The otherwise restrained Brits outdid everyone – they banned all Russian tennis players from participating in Wimbledon. But to be fair, this Ukrainian obsession is not only in sports. In Eurovision 2022 (the biggest European annual music event), the victory was predictably awarded to … Ukrainian folk-rap group formed in 2019. Corporate America and a growing number of multinational businesses have severed their dealings with Russia and taken a stand in support of Ukraine.

Of course, and so it must be, would say the fervent supporter of this newest ideological trend. When people die, we cannot stand by. This is a matter of morality and human solidarity on which there can be no other opinion. OK, but may I have my own opinion on where this ostentatious rituality is coming from?

I’ve always hated not having a say and a choice. I hated it when, as a child in socialist Bulgaria, I had to support the Soviet athletes, even when they were playing against my own country. I was angry that I was not allowed to watch Chicago Bulls v. Boston Celtics (though I had the freedom to follow the games of Dynamo Kiev and Krilya Sovetov). I hated it when I had to study Russian at school, and on Fridays, I could only watch Russian TV. Years later, I realized that the ideological restrictions simply covered up the lies, corruption, and incompetence of the people in power. They were meant to keep us from the truth.

That’s why I am extremely suspicious of any ideological imperative. I do not accept that those who for more than a decade used Ukraine as a testing field for massive political corruption (Hunter’s Burisma is only the tip of the iceberg) now wave it like a sacred banner. These same people sacrificed Ukraine for their own political and financial gain – regardless of the casualties and destruction. Of course – the satrap from Kremlin is the executor of this hellish plan, on whose hands is the blood of thousands. But the responsibility of those who deliberately pushed him to war, did nothing to prevent it, and now are pouring in billions to keep it going, is no less.

Biden and his regime wanted the war, and they got it. Now they shamelessly use it politically – Putin is to blame for their disastrous failures. Also, since the beginning of the war, the U.S. had already spent over 15 billion in military, humanitarian, and financial aid to Ukraine, with much more to come. What portion of it went into the pockets of consultants, instructors, contractors, and lobbyists close to the regime is difficult to assess. Of course, after the war, we will be rebuilding the country. Hunter is ready to help, I am sure.

One more thing to these with Ukrainian lapel pins. I don’t know how many of them have ever heard of Yemen. More than 150,000 have died there in the 8-year-long civil war, and over 230,000 have died due to starvation and lack of medical care (according to the UN). No word on Yemen at the US Open?! And why the American aid there is incomparably smaller than that for Ukraine? Not an easy ground for consultants and lobbyists, I guess? Or maybe Hunter does not like the climate?

Of course, the real victim of this madness is the people of Ukraine. Thousands were killed and wounded, millions of refugees, and a ruined country. Yes, we owe a lot to these martyrs. And that’s not lapel pins and cheap slogans at sports events.

We owe them the truth.

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