By Ambassador Henry Mayega
The recent brazen opinion of Opiyo Oloya about the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, utterly evinced the author as “a young boy who tries to shake a baobab tree but only ends up shaking his rump.” He essentially cancelled himself out as a pragmatical global south citizen by being harrowingly upbeat about ICC’s indictment of Vladimir Putin over the alleged “removing of Ukrainian children from their home country and taking them to Russia.” Apparently Russian speaking children and adults from Eastern Ukraine were evacuated to safety at the beginning of the Russian special operation to escape from the Ukrainian ultranationalists’ pogroms – that is normal practice in all conflict-ridden areas.
Since WW2, the west, more than anybody else, has overthrown or invaded tens of governments. Despite Opiyo’s exaltation of the west which has luxuriated as a free world, they, last year, shamelessly blocked RT and Sputnik – both Russian media houses from broadcasting into the northern hemisphere!
Opiyo Oloya, the most recent invader of Afghanistan was, in August 2021, seen removing several Afghan children without their parents from their country after pulling out its forces – why didn’t the ICC issue an arrest warrant? You went ahead to disparage President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Moscow which to you was meant to “buy dirt cheap oil and gas that Russia cannot sell to Europe because of the trade embargo…and turn Russia into an open market for dumping Chinese goods” – big lie; Russian “dirt-cheap” oil as well as gas are finding their way into the west through third parties.
To dispel Opiyo’s intellectual dishonesty and objectively appreciate the causes, course and consequences of the operation, one has to interrogate the intervening period after the collapse of the USSR to the start of the operation last year. Earlier, NATO committed to no expansion toward the Russian Border; they have, however, been threatening Russia’s security by expanding rapidly towards its border.
The situation was exacerbated by NATO creeping farther and farther to the east; the Baltic States that initially were once part of the USSR are the most recent engulfment; Ukraine was to follow. In the case of Ukraine, a majority of its eastern citizens are Russian speaking – a target of the Ukrainian ultra-nationalists who sought to force them not only speak Ruthenian but also carried out deadly pogroms against them claiming over 14,000 people. Opiyo, hopefully, remembers how the US reacted to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 because what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander.
NATO’s expansionist policy eastwards was purposed to lock in Russia’s strategic naval fleet in Sevastopol, Crimea – a region that had been gifted by Russia to Ukraine in 1954; their place of long standing military tradition and major access to that warm water port as well as the Mediterranean sea.
In short, 2014 was a deciding moment in Ukraine; at Maidan, Kyiv’s city square, deadly violence engulfed that piazza pitting the ultra-nationalists, militias and stone-hearted oligarchs against whoever opposed their agenda of joining the EU and NATO.
These are some of the underlying issues that Opiyo glossed over in his quest to soothe the nerves of his westerly friends. Nothing was more bizarre and preposterous than his fertile imagination that President Putin’s indictment by the ICC put him on the wire; for firsts, Russia is not a signatory to the Rome Statute which established the court that infamously and largely molests the gullible in the global south; the ICC doesn’t have a particle of jurisdiction over Russia. By parroting the western narrative, therefore, Opiyo is not better than those who collaborated with the pilfering colonialists. His piteous narrative is purposed to benefit the west’s hegemonic stranglehold on the rest of the world with all its poignant attendant economic trappings.
Secondly, those who “justified” the ICC arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin – a man revered by many in the global south for championing the equalizing multipolarity are themselves not ICC members. So, where did they get the locus standi to hail that court’s decision while simultaneously quizzing its competence thesis?
And so, when Opiyo, with approbation, cheers Putin’s ICC indictment, he exudes a sycophantic and apologetic posture to neo-colonialism hence exacerbating the north-south polarizing paralysation.
Analogously, Russia, like China, is impelling for a multipolar world in place of western unilateralism that has perpetuated a debilitating stranglehold on us for far too long. Africa, for instance, has been demanding for representation on the UNSC for decades to no avail. Some may gloss over that injustice committed against Africa but that duo has consistently advocated for the actualization of our demand.