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Hundreds of Billions of Dollars to Fight For Democracy. Is Ukraine Even A Democracy Anymore?

Democracies, they say, should be the torchbearers of truth and freedom. But let me tell you something, the recent actions of the Ukrainian government have been nothing but a slap in the face of democracy. It's a bitter pill to swallow, seeing a nation that fought so hard for its independence now clamp down on the very freedoms it once cherished.

In February 2022, Ukraine decided to play puppet master with its media, forcing the nine largest television networks to dance to its tune in a state-controlled news program called "Telemarathon." Talk about censorship wearing a democracy mask. And that's not all. In April 2022, the National Security Council pulled the plug on three independent television channels just because they didn't sing the government's tune. What happened to the diversity of voices we're supposed to cherish in a democracy?

And then came December 2022, a dark month for freedom of speech in Ukraine. Zelensky signed a law that handed the National Broadcasting Council the power to regulate every nook and cranny of the media landscape. I mean, seriously? Giving the government the authority to censor and shut down independent platforms like Google? The European Federation of Journalists didn't mince words, calling it incompatible with European Union membership. Even Ukraine's own National Union of Journalists dubbed it "the biggest threat to free speech in (Ukraine's) independent history." It's like they're trying to outdo Orwell.

But wait, there's more. Democracies do not, I repeat, do not prohibit travel. Yet, when Ukraine declared martial law, it basically slapped a "no exit" sign on the country for men aged 18 to 60, forcing them into conscription. It's like they forgot that personal freedom is a cornerstone of democracy. Many brave souls still managed to escape to places like Poland and Germany. But guess what? Ukraine wants them back, and it's knocking on the EU's door to make it happen. Talk about the government playing tug-of-war with people's lives.

And let's not forget religious freedom. In December 2022, Zelensky took a sledgehammer to it by banning all religious organizations linked to Russia. Even Ukraine's largest denomination, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, wasn't spared. This church had more than a thousand years of history intertwined with the Russian Orthodox Church, but that didn't matter to the government. They wanted a clean slate, a new, state-controlled church. Fine, if people want to switch sides, they should be free to do so. But what's not fine is the government's heavy-handed approach, forcing congregations to switch allegiance and seizing property from those who resist. Now they're preparing to outlaw the Ukrainian Orthodox Church altogether. Democracies don't shut down a nation's oldest and largest denomination.

And then there's the elephant in the room – the far-right undertones of the Ukrainian nationalist movement. We've been hesitant to throw around labels like "fascist" and "neo-Nazi," but sometimes you have to call a spade a spade. Just look up Stefan Bandera or the Azov Brigade, and you'll see that the line between nationalism and racism isn't always clear.

Sure, governments sometimes limit civil liberties in times of crisis, but what Ukraine is doing goes beyond reasonable bounds. They've created a state-controlled church, silenced independent media, and banned major opposition parties. This isn't just a stretch; it's a full-blown assault on democracy. It's a bitter irony that a nation that fought for its independence is now stripping its own people of their freedoms. It's time for the world to take a long, hard look at what's happening in Ukraine and question whether it still deserves the title of a democracy.

Thats Just what I think though, in the meantime:

Trust No Single Source

Trust Your Gut &

Stay Curious

Sally Joe

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