An Open Letter to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (VVP)
You Have stripped Your Russia of Superpowerdom
Like the League of Nations before it, the UN has been on a slippery slope. For the last eight years, Yemeni mothers and children have been perishing as the world watches. And since the instigators are aligned to some UN Security Council veto-wielding Nations, no condemnations have been enough to stop the Yemenis’ sufferings. ‘As the dictators behind the killings align to us, nobody would touch them,’ even when the same dictators kill a Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi.
Should it therefore be a wonder when another veto-wielder invades a sovereign Ukraine?
The threat of unleashing nuclear weaponry should make other nations reconsider owning their own sets. Ukraine would not have been invaded had they not given up their possessions.
It was time those reform debates restarted.
Good day VVP, you must be wondering why some little-known person from the bottom tip of Africa would be writing you this letter. I surely don’t even know, but if I didn’t write it now, you would be left believing that those of us in Africa don’t care that much about the images of deaths we are receiving from Ukraine. At least I care enough because the war in Ukraine is affecting me socially and economically. As a member of BRICS, your actions have consequences on all of us. I understand you’ve asked for some sort of support from China (also a member of BRICS), I wondered if you could have made similar requests to other BRICS members – India, Brazil and South Africa. Further remember that not so long ago, you were in talks with Pretoria to buy a nuclear power plant from your country. Your arrangements with former President Zuma appeared suspicious and had to be suspended.
I personally don’t have any bone in this fight despite your action having affected my favourite English Premier League team, Chelsea FC. And as a journalist, some of your actions have indirect negative consequences to my work especially when you push for the shutdown of independent media in your country while your forces kill journalists in Ukraine. Secondly, having read your July 2021, 6,885-worded essay, at least you owe me the right to read my letter.
I appreciated your perspective of historical references contained in your essay and while I agree with some aspects contained therein, I would beg to inform you that none of us would like our world to be taken back to those ancient times; Sir, we have moved on. How would Africa, for instance, be like if every community in the continent were to demand to return to the continent’s map before the 1884 Berlin Conference called by Germany’s Otto von Bismarck whereat our continent was shared among European powers like a birthday cake?
I have been unable to find any records of military service by your father, Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin (who was 28 at the break of the Second World War), and you were not yet born so it would be wrong to attempt to derive some PTSD from that war. And yes, I wasn’t yet born at the break of that war; but my uncles fought alongside British forces in that war.
Mr VVP, with your permission, may I start communicating with you briefly about your essay. From the second paragraph you talked of a collective “past mistakes…” this gave me the impression that it was a confessionary or something like that. As per my count, you used the noun ‘FACT’ a record nine times. I have no reason to doubt you and it’s not my intention to fact-check you, but it’s vital to bring forth other facts that you may have overlooked.
In your laying out of the facts, while addressing various previous mistakes, you seemed to have had some reasons for avoiding to state anything regarding Holodomor. Your silence on this would imply that you don’t regard it as a mistake by Joseph Stalin. And while watching what your forces are currently doing in Ukraine, it would appear as you are trying to recreate your own Holodomor. Or why else would you be targeting food storage facilities and breadlines?
In your essay, you talked repeatedly about the love and connection your country has with Ukraine. In my line of work, your current action against Ukrainians tells me the opposite. It’s like an abusive spouse who professes love to the partner while repeatedly attempting to break her nose at whatever opportunity he gets. “Ukraine belongs to you and if you cannot have it, then nobody should.” How else would you explain the evident destruction in Mariupol?
Ironically, while your forces sat on Mariupol, a few days ago, you demanded of Kyiv to surrender the Mariupol to you within a few hours or else you would not withdraw your ill-equipped forces from Ukraine. Really, how would you expect Mexican to react if Washington were to send American forces into Quintana Roo and demanded of Mexico to surrender Cancún?
On the security issues that you have been raising since your invasion of Ukraine in February, being a former KBG spymaster, you must be familiar with how you operated in the old days. So, I would understand your concerns. It’s not lost to me how USSR and your adversary USA operated around the world. Africa was a casualty of your multiple proxy wars. Your operatives were jointly all over Africa. I still remember your involvement in Angola and Mozambique (both, our local neighbours here).
Back to your essay. You have talked of the 1921 Treaty of Riga and you seemed to blame Vladimir Lenin for the 1918 rejection of Donetsk-Krivoy request to be considered as an independent Republic. You wrote, “This was met with a refusal. During a meeting with the republic's leaders, Vladimir Lenin insisted that they act as part of Soviet Ukraine. On 15 March 1918, the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) directly ordered that delegates be sent to the Ukrainian Congress of Soviets, including from the Donetsk Basin, and that ‘one government for all of Ukraine’ be created at the congress. The territories of the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic later formed most of the regions of south-eastern Ukraine.”
On February 21, you unilaterally decided to ‘right’ what you seem to regard as Lenin’s mistake and declared Donetsk an independent Republic. I don’t believe you have such power. Imagine how your BRICS partner in Pretoria would feel if you decided to declare Western Cape an independent Republic?
You then faulted the 1924 USSR’s Constitution for a provision that allowed constituent Republics to secede from the Union should they feel like. Sir, we may not like our respective countries’ Constitutions, but unless legally amended, we do not have individual powers to ignore them. On August 24, 1991, Ukraine became an independent and sovereign state. You didn’t have to like that, but that was a decision of Ukrainians.
While your concerns regarding NATO’s expansion may be understandable, President Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy has no powers to agree never to join NATO without undermining Ukrainian Constitution that he swore to respect.
Finally on your Special Military Operations in Ukraine, you must agree that it wasn’t any of the mistakes you referred to in your essay. This is a current mistake. The only special thing about the Operation is the fact that it has exposed your country not to be such a superpower. According to information we have received down here, other than the nuclear arsenals and the hypersonic missiles your country boast of, your military cannot stand against any reasonable military. They cannot successfully fight against any African military. Your action has exposed your country’s weakness and would henceforth not be regarded as a superpower. Sir, just imagine the number of Generals you have lost in Ukraine. At my last count, five (5). This makes me wonder how they became Generals. btw does that mean all servicemen under their controls have also been killed? It's not worth it.
I know you have always wanted to be part of the greatest tables like the G-7, unfortunately, you are now just a social-media meme and that boogeyman that would be used to scare kids into eating their broccoli. "kido, if you don't eat that, we will open doors and windows for Putin!"
The brutality with which your starved servicemen are displaying in Ukraine is atrocious and deserved to be condemned by all 7.9 billion citizens of the world.
This leads me to question the inequality within the United Nations. Why should a few countries have veto power within the UN Security Council? The Council has been abused repeatedly against lesser members. This takes me to 1993 when the Council decided to roll into Somalia on a say-so of one Veto-wielding member. The same was repeated a decade later when Iraq became a casualty of the Security Council.
On your claimed denazification of Ukraine. If you are being a Nazi hunter, why don’t you first look closer to your home. And please start your investigations at the Russian Space Agency, ROSCOSMOS.
Sir, I call on you to wake up and recall your forces from Ukraine and undertake to pay for the damages they have inflicted on Ukrainians. The sanctions imposed on your country is going to hurt innocent Russians most of whom never mandated you to invade Ukraine. Of course, you didn’t need their permission to initiate the war; After all you are driven by the philosophy of Ivan Alexandrovich Ilyin who believed in a zero-party rule. I know you recently threatened to settle Russian foreign debts in Rubles; wouldn’t that be laughable! How would you have the rubles remitted to creditors? No SWIFT and no Flights from Moscow, the private yachts wouldn’t be able to sail to your creditors either without risking being confiscated.
In other words, you are screwed.
PS. Since the SWIFT ban was strategically not comprehensive as some banks were exempted from the ban probably to enable the EU to continue paying for gas and oil from your country, But payment in the Rubles would not help you. I think if you were to effect that threat, I would advise Pretoria to buy that nuclear power plant from you right now… at the present exchange rate of 0.14cents to a Ruble, it would be a steal; I could even buy the plants from you and resell to other countries. Could I be your reseller?