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  • Writer's pictureThe Paladins

Fragments from a War Diary, Part #254



The knives are out and sharpened in frozen Saigon. More and more, I am hearing stories from supposed international civilian volunteers in the East, and they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing. We’ve got casual hookers collaborating with the Russians. We’ve got sex pests and sex tourists. We’ve got all sorts of disgusting things going on. Someone asked me last night, “are there any useful volunteering opportunities in the East?” And I suppose I am in a position to know, having worked for or with well over a dozen different NGO’s of differing calibres all over Ukraine. And to be honest I haven’t had a very high opinion of very many of them. But now, and because I’ve been here a while, and I hope because I’m discreet and I keep my sources to myself, people are starting to trust me and they’re telling me the things I never knew and frankly none of us ever wanted to know. And it’s absolutely appalling.


Now there are scores to be settled. A lot of NGO’s have treated their staff very badly, and those staff want revenge and that revenge is me. And I understand that. And I have to assess each and every allegation on its merits and on the basis of the evidence given to me and the plausibility of the witness. These are inherent skills in being a lawyer, I suppose, and I discard perhaps 70% of what is told to me as implausible or unsustainable. But I also believe that there’s no smoke without fire. And when I hear story after story after story after story after story, from trustworthy and reliable people, I start to get disturbed. And I start to think that there must be a far higher standard of regulation of NGO practices in Ukraine, particularly outside Lviv but also in Lviv. We must all be held to a higher standard. This is not a mental asylum for war tourists. It’s a war zone, and professional, responsible behaviour must be complied with by all, because we are each and every one of us in the international communities Emissaries for the West.


I am particularly disturbed by those Ukrainians who volunteer - so they say - to serve on the front lines with westerners and international NGO’s, only to betray their own country and sell secrets to the Russians and to sell sex to anyone who will buy it. This is disgraceful. Why do they do it? The only reason I can perceive is because they have no principles. For them this is a war of personal enrichment or personal survival, and it’s not a war of ideology. These people have no space in my way of thinking. They are profoundly disappointing, and they point back at an old Soviet ideology in which the West is full of dumb foolish strangers to be backstabbed and ripped off at every turn and we all live in a wilderness of human wildlife in which only the law of the jungle applies. The people who think in this way have no principles; but principles are what divide civilisation and barbarism; they are what divide contemporary Europe from the Russians.


So now I have devoted myself to a new cause. It’s to hunting out the traitors and the fence-sitters and the nasty types who say one thing to one side and another thing to the other. Because in an ideological war, you can’t be like that. You’re either with us or you’re against us. Which side do you want to play? If I’m not satisfied you’re with me, then I’m going to treat you as an enemy.


Ukrainians on the whole have pulled together and they have found unity and common cause against Russian neo-totalitarianism. And I admire them for that. But there remains a corrupt and guilty core - and this includes young cynical people who imagine cheap profits and cheap casual lifestyles under the corrupt and brutal Russian way of doing things - that lie brazenly in our faces and we all know who they are. So to those people, I tell them: go back to your lives outside free Ukraine; you are not welcome here. We have security and intelligence services on our side and we are going to hunt you out and believe me, we are looking at you and we are watching what you are doing.


In Ukraine, as a traitor to the values of freedom, liberty and the European polity, you have no future. We will tolerate you if you shut your mouth, but if you seek to endanger the Euro-Atlantic project of maintaining free Ukraine and preserving and enhancing NATO then we will have no choice to hunt you out and to deal with you by any means necessary. This is a war; martial law applies; you can join one side or the other but you cannot sit on the fence. That sort of thing isn’t acceptable.


Sitting in Lviv, in relatively comfortable environs, I nevertheless see all the strains of thought and all the fragments of humanity pass through this beautiful and civilised city’s portals. And I hear every rumour, every piece of gossip, I learn of every piece of treachery, and I am taking notes of them all. Like Madame Defarge, in Charles Dickens’s sobering novel about the French Revolution A Tale of Two Cities, I am keeping records of everyone, and all they are doing, so that at the end of this cruel conflict a full accounting can be kept, and I know who needs a one-way ticket to The Hague. If you are a traitor to free Ukraine and the West, don’t think it won’t happen to you. Look at the former Yugoslavia. All the war criminals and traitors ended up there in the end. It took a few years; we had to gather political pressure to achieve it; but eventually their revolting crimes and their treachery were exposed for the world to see. Don’t think it won’t happen like that again. Just as Russia implodes, once the collapse of the Russian Armed Forces under the weight of the combined forces of the New World and the Old eventually takes place, there will be accountability. I implore you to ensure that you are on the right side of the line.

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