UPDATE: Since yesterday, when we posted the editorial below, the oligarch in question has published elsewhere the same opinion piece the Kyiv Post rejected. Therefore, we can now reveal the person in question was Dmytro Firtash. In the interest of transparency, anyone interested in reading his article can find the full piece on his lawyer’s MEDIUM web page, which can be found here.
This morning, the Kyiv Post received a provocative proposal.
An American lawyer representing a leading Ukrainian oligarch asked us to publish an “exclusive” op ed piece from his client.
As an independent and pluralistic publication, Kyiv Post is usually open to such offers. But in view of the content, we will not be publishing this piece.
What is presented in the draft op ed is not simply a point of view, but rather a more eloquent rephrasing of the main message, or rather demand, being made at this tense moment by Ukraine’s enemy – Russia.
As he did in May 2014 on the pages of the Kyiv Post, the same oligarch is again urging Ukraine to naively declare itself a neutral – read non-aligned – state and therefore give up its European self-identification and goal of becoming integrated in Euro-Atlantic structures.
Since this oligarch last advocated his vision of Ukraine as the “Switzerland of Eurasia,” Russia has invaded it, occupied Crimea and the eastern Donbas and waged war on Ukrainians by military and hybrid warfare means. The oligarch does not even bother to acknowledge this grim reality.
Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin openly questions the right of Ukrainians not only to have their own independent state and right to self-dermination, but even to claim that they are separate people from the Russians.
This oligarch is in effect promoting Putin’s demand that Ukraine should be abandoned by the West and undergo at best “Finlandization,” but more probably de facto re-absorption into Russia’s Eurasian sphere of influence and control. He argues lamely that this is “the best way to end the current crisis – with everyone agreeing to respect Ukrainian neutrality and sovereignty.”
No, the Kyiv Post will not allow itself to be used as a conduit for messages the Kremlin wants to promote. At this critical moment, Ukraine, Europe and the West are not as gullible as the Kremlin assumes them to be and will not allow the proverbial wool to be pulled over their eyes.
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