Vasyl Cherepanyn, head of the Visual Culture Research Centre in Kyiv, launched a damning attack on Germany after the nation announced it would deliver anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine from its own stocks to help in the conflict. Germany has come under heavy criticism for its apparent reluctance and hesitation over delivering heavy weapons to Ukraine in the fight against Russia but seems to have had a turnaround after it pledged to deliver Gepard tanks from Bundeswehr stocks.
But Mr Cherepanyn said the move would not “eliminate the elephant in the room” because Berlin “has not only overlooked the new fascism breeding under Russian President Vladimir Putin, it has been feeding the aggressor from its own hands”.
He argued the Kremlin “unleashed its beastliness” after former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s departure, whom he described as “Germany’s beloved Mutti” – mother in English.
Writing for Politico.co.uk, he said: “Germany has finally, and begrudgingly, been dragged to agree to deliver tanks to Ukraine as it battles against its oppressor.
“But that doesn’t eliminate the elephant in the room — that despite its historical background, Germany has not only overlooked the new fascism breeding under Russian President Vladimir Putin, it has been feeding the aggressor from its own hands.
“And as soon as Germany’s beloved Mutti left, the Kremlin leader unleashed his beastliness.”
He said Germany sending tanks would be “welcome” but “not enough” as he issued a terrifying warning “we won’t have a common world to live in”.
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Germany continues to face intense pressure over its huge reliance on Russia’s gas, getting around a third of all its supplies from Putin.Berlin had been one of the most opposed to an EU ban on Russian gas, despite the urgency of the Ukraine war.
While, the bloc has published an energy strategy, REPowerEU, laying out how the whole 27-nation alliance can cut oil and gas imports by two thirds by the end of the year, Germany has made clear that an overnight split from Russia could cause economic chaos.
Mr Cherepanyn accused Germany of actions to “allow German corporations to maintain ties with their Russian oligarch counterparts all this time”.
He added: “Since the Soviet Union’s collapse, Germany has been imposing neocolonial optics on its Eastern European ‘peripheries,’ and on the post-Soviet space in particular, where Ukraine was long considered a gray buffer zone about which the EU was ‘deeply concerned.’
“Germany didn’t bother itself much with differentiating between former Soviet countries’ pasts. Even until recently, any Ukrainian agenda in Germany was often “balanced” with a Russian perspective, so as to not exclude the latter by any means.
“But Wandel durch Handel, Germany’s change through trade, has simply been a maskirovka, a deception that has allowed German corporations to maintain ties with their Russian oligarch counterparts all this time.
“It has helped fend off efforts to counter Russia’s international crimes and its aggression against Ukraine.”