Ukrainians, Your Fight is Our Fight: We Are Mutually Indebted – Editorial

A letter from the Editor to Ukraine

22 February 2024

Wojciech Przybylski


Ukraine’s resistance: a beacon of hope for European unity and prosperity

Thank you, Ukrainians, for your resilience and courage – also in the name of the farmers who humiliate you in Europe! Accept our apologies for not resolving that internal conflict of ours early enough.

Even in Poland, we have learned our lessons too late. Our boastful claims of expertise in Russian affairs were silenced when our farmers fell under Moscow’s influence. We should have been more vigilant – Russia, with its imperialist ambitions, never misses an opportunity.

Yes, Russia is a neo-colonialist power. Today’s Europe is anything but. And the present-day EU is only growing up to the challenges you have been directly exposed to for far too long.

For a decade of war and two years of intense invasion, Ukrainians have been defending not just their homeland but also the rights of Polish farmers to protest peacefully, far from the frontlines.

The war frontlines are alarmingly close – just 350 km away from the closest EU border, 500 km from Bucharest and 1000 km from Warsaw. If Ukraine fails, the new frontline will be 300 km from Budapest and 700 km from Berlin. Read Putin’s lips – he has some ambitions.

The EU’s dream of a geopolitical Union, built on cheap energy from Russia, affordable production from China, and free security from the US, went up in smoke – literally. It took your fierce resistance for the past years to wake up. It took Ukraine’s fierce resistance to awaken the EU to the reality that peace must sometimes be defended with arms. Now, the job is to remind the EU that such a reflection is pointless without ammo production and further action.

Meanwhile, Ukrainians help European farmers keep their companies and EU subsidies. If Ukrainians did not resist Moscow, oligarchs would have even cheaper grain to smuggle into Europe than they do today.

Ever since 2022, Russians have flooded EU markets with Moscow-subsidised agricultural products. Yes, Russia has increased food price dumping in the EU, not Ukraine!

Yet, we allow pro-Russian propagandists to speak freely – the cost of democracy, the least imperfect of all political regimes.

We should only remind them more often that their children are not stolen away to become cannon fodder on the Russian frontlines because of Ukraine’s fight. And that in Europe, such agitators are not presumed suicide victims en masse, unlike many of their peers in Moscow, who have perished after deviating from the Putinist narrative.

This war has created a bond between us, paving the way for our shared path ahead. We are mutually indebted.

Central and Eastern Europeans are particularly grateful. Your effort not only provides a buffer from the frontline but also helps us restore the moral compass. You are welcome here as refugees, immigrants and European neighbours.

Our support for Ukraine is not just about morals. We want Ukraine to flourish in the recovery process and elevate our prosperity too. We envision Ukraine as a fully European nation with robust institutions that guard against domestic corruption and ensure transparent competition. This is the great promise beyond the war.

This war will not be negotiated away. Russia’s history and today’s facts speak for themselves. Therefore, we stand with you until your victory. Peace cannot be prescribed; it must be fought for. Godspeed!


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The featured image uses “President is on a working trip to the ea” (Public Domain) by President Of Ukraine, “170919-A-RH707-476” (CC BY 2.0) by 7th Army Training Command, and an image which is Copyright: European Union and available here.

Wojciech Przybylski


Political analyst heading Visegrad Insight's policy foresight on European affairs. His expertise includes foreign policy and political culture. Editor-in-Chief of Visegrad Insight and President of the Res Publica Foundation. Europe's Future Fellow at IWM - Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna and Erste Foundation. Wojciech also co-authored a book 'Understanding Central Europe’, Routledge 2017. He has been published in Foreign Policy, Politico Europe, Journal of Democracy, EUObserver, Project Syndicate, VoxEurop, Hospodarske noviny, Internazionale, Zeit, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Onet, Gazeta Wyborcza and regularly appears in BBC, Al Jazeera Europe, Euronews, TRT World, TVN24, TOK FM, Swedish Radio and others.

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