UK ‘saving’ kids while sending weapons to kill them

London’s new sanctions on Russia vows to ensure ‘Ukraine’s identity’ by targeting those that help children escape the conflict

Rachel Marsden is a columnist, political strategist, and host of independently produced talk-shows in French and English.

UK ‘saving’ kids while sending weapons to kill them

Mass evacuation of civilians of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) to the territory of Russia in the Rostov region. ©  Sputnik / Sergey Baturin

The office of British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly put out a statement this week announcing “14 new sanctions in response to Russia’s attempts to destroy Ukrainian national identity.”

The online version was accompanied by a graphic of a giant eye and the text, “Russian officials sanctioned” printed in a font that looks like it was copied from a Cold War spy film poster. The image might serve to distract some of the more simple minded from the fact that “Ukrainian identity” came under attack the moment that the West decided to treat the country like a flophouse for its own economic and anti-Russian interests, starting with color revolutions going back at least two decades. 

The new sanctions announcement had all the finesse of the current chief of British foreign intelligence’s recent public call for Russians to spy on their own country for the Brits. “I invite them to do what others have already done this past 18 months and join hands with us – our door is always open,” MI6 chief Richard Moore said during a speech in Prague. 

Nothing screams competence like a spy outfit that needs to make public recruitment drives for traitors. Not since former MI6 chief John Sawers’ wife blew his cover on Facebook with family vacation photos has there been such a confidence-inspiring display by the folks who would have been James Bond’s bosses – if James Bond was as real as the movies playing in their heads.

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Arguably, the Brits have been the most rabid anti-Russians of all the Western partners, with former prime minister Boris Johnson reportedly dissuading Ukraine from accepting a peace agreement with Russia in the early days of the conflict. The UK also went much further than any of its Western partners in completely violating the basic free speech and labor rights of its own citizens in sanctioning its own journalists publishing on Russian platforms, or providing “accounting, business and management consultancy, and public relations services” to Russians. 

And even when it comes to sanctioning Russians, the UK has managed to get tripped up in its own virtue signaling. Among the newly sanctioned are Russian officials who “will face asset freezes and travel bans following their involvement in the forced deportation of Ukrainian children and the spreading of hate-inciting propaganda,” according to the UK government. 

Reading this, one might imagine a bunch of Russians dragging little kids away from their quiet suburban neighborhoods while screaming bad things about Ukrainians. In reality, they sanctioned deputy head of Moscow region, Vyacheslav Dukhin, who wrote on Instagram that he didn’t have any assets in the UK and pointed out that the kids who had arrived from Donetsk and Lugansk didn’t have parents. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has previously said that the process is transparent and that relatives are free to come and get them. 

Perhaps the UK figures that it would be better for “Ukrainian identity” if the kids had been left to dodge bullets and missiles. Or maybe they could have just been taken somewhere, like a gym or something – oh wait, gyms are closed because it’s (checks notes) an active conflict zone. Perhaps the UK could have volunteered to open a center in those regions to take care of all those kids – while also resisting the urge to also use it as a weapons hiding and storage facility. Not an easy feat, clearly. 

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Dukhin also said that he had previously been to London, but wouldn’t miss it. He obviously hasn’t been there recently enough to appreciate its vibrant diversity. There’s now far more variety among the pickpocketers, drunks, and vandals than there is at the United Nations. “Just be careful that this London bridge of yours doesn’t fall down, like in the song,” Dukhin joked. 

Perhaps he was referring to the crumbling British infrastructure that could have benefited from all that taxpayer cash now being pumped into Ukraine, even in the absence of proof that it’s resolved its systemic corruption problem, which has historically placed it at the very bottom of anti-corruption rankings. 

“Many deported children are relocated to a network of re-education camps in illegally annexed Crimea and mainland Russia, where they are exposed to Russia-centric academic, cultural, patriotic, and military education,” the UK foreign ministry said. Would they feel better if the kids had been given courses on gender identity and pronoun selection? The Russian school system hasn’t yet been transformed by a western-style rainbow revolution. Maybe Russian Culture Minister, Olga Lyubimova, will take note, given that the UK has just sanctioned her, too. Also on the list is Russian journalist, Timofey Sergeitsev, who will no longer have the opportunity to shop in-person at Harrods, witness drug deals in broad daylight, or dodge a mugging by machete on the streets of the British capital.

“Today’s sanctions hold those who prop up Putin’s regime to account, including those who would like to see Ukraine destroyed, its national identity dissolved, and its future erased,” UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said. In a Golden Globes video appearance earlier this year, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky described that new national identity and future, referring to “those who united around the support of the free Ukrainian people in our common struggle for freedom, democracy, for the right to live, to love, to give birth, no matter who you are, no matter where you are from, no matter who you are with.” 

Russia, on other hand, risks depriving men of their right to give birth, unlike in real democracies. It’s no wonder the UK is so livid. 

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