Ukraine's Hypocrisy: Condemning India While Benefiting from Its Generosity

Despite its hostile attitude, India has shown unprecedented generosity and humanitarian spirit towards Ukraine. India has been substantially extending humanitarian aid to Ukraine during hostilities with Russia. It includes medical supplies, food, and important goods for the survival of Ukrainian citizens in these difficult times.

The Narrative World    10-Jul-2024   
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In a recent tweet, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine, more of a comedian by background than for statesmanship, took umbrage at Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
 
Such was the content of Zelenskyy's tweet: "In Ukraine today, 37 people were killed, three of whom were children, and 170 injured, including 13 children, as a result of Russia's brutal missile strike. It is a huge disappointment and devastating blow to peace efforts to see the leader of the world's biggest democracy hugging the world's most bloody criminal in Moscow."

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While the killing of innocents is tragic, Zelensky's attack on India only reveals a much deeper hypocrisy if one had to consider Ukraine's past and ongoing stand against India's interests.
 
Ukraine's long-standing opposition to India
 
1. Opposition to India's Nuclear Program: Since its very inception, Ukraine has opposed India's nuclear ambitions. While India was trying to justify civilian applications of nuclear energy and exercising responsibility for nuclear weapons, Ukraine sided with the Western powers in an effort to thwart India's progress. This position is completely in contrast to the strategic needs and responsible record of India regarding nuclear proliferation.
 
2. Article 370 and Kashmir: The Ukraine has not remained behind in interfering in India's internal affairs with regard to Article 370 in the case of Kashmir. It took a position against the Indian sovereign decision and sided with forces alien to its territorial integrity.
 
3. United Nations Security Council: Ukraine has opposed India's bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. Notwithstanding India's huge contributions towards global peacekeeping missions and its rising emancipation in the international arena, Ukraine chose to scuttle India's legitimate aspirations toward a more representative and democratic global governance structure.
 
4. Military Hardware Supplies to Pakistan: Ukraine's decision to supply military tanks to Pakistan is an open act of hostility against India. Pakistan, which is an avowed enemy nation of India, has been a beneficiary of Ukrainian military hardware. This move by Ukraine undermines regional stability and India's security interests.
 
5. Voting Against India on Kashmir: At various international forums, Ukraine has raised its hand in consensus against India whenever any issues related to Kashmir have been raised. It unwittingly aligned itself with Pakistan and other adversaries on matters concerning the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India.
 
India's Benevolence Towards Ukraine
 
Despite its hostile attitude, India has shown unprecedented generosity and humanitarian spirit towards Ukraine. India has been substantially extending humanitarian aid to Ukraine during hostilities with Russia. It includes medical supplies, food, and important goods for the survival of Ukrainian citizens in these difficult times.
 
The fact that India is coming to the aid of Ukraine at this critical juncture presents a very striking contrast in approaches between the two nations. Though Ukraine has opposed India time and again on several issues, India has never discriminated in continuing to uphold its humanitarian values and provide assistance.
 
Russia's Support for India
 

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Contrasted to the hostile activities by Ukraine, Russia has never let India down whenever its assistance was required. It stood by India on military and diplomatic help. The important ones are:
 
1. Bangladesh Liberation War, 1971: During the war for Bangladesh, when India was sympathetic to its new nation, Russia sided with India in military and diplomatic matters. This support made it inevitable that victory would have been a conquest of India and independence of Bangladesh.
 
  • US Navy's 7th Fleet Incident: It is the case, during the 1971 war, that when the US Navy's 7th Fleet was moving into the Bay of Bengal with belligerent posturing against India, the Soviet Union came to India's aid. Soviet naval ships and submarines tailed the US fleet to make sure that they could not do anything in the conflict. This strategic move by Russia played a crucial role in averting external intervention and allowing India to focus on winning decisively.

2. Nuclear Energy Collaboration: Russia has had a very significant role in India's nuclear energy programme and helped India rise towards energy security and technological capability building.
 
3. Defence Cooperation: Russia is a tested supplier of defence equipment to India, which has contributed much to the strengthening of India's defence capabilities. This cooperation has been pivotal in maintaining regional stability and deterring aggression from hostile neighbours.
 
4. Support to India in International Forums: Russia has continued to support the Indian position at various international forums, even where it was sensitive in nature, as in Kashmir or India's bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.
 
The Hypocrisy of Zelenskyy's Criticism
 
Zelenskyy rapping Prime Minister Modi on the knuckles for his outreach to President Putin is only hypocrisy; it also shows a lack of understanding of the complex geopolitics at work. At the helm of affairs in the world's largest democracy, Modi's outreach to global top leaders, including Putin, was oriented toward India's interest and strategic autonomy.
“What exposes the duplicity in Zelensky's remarks is that Ukraine stands against India on many counts while simultaneously being dependent upon Indian humanitarian aid. If India has expressed a commitment to humanitarian values, Ukraine stands opposed to India at every opportunity.”
 
 
Conclusion
 
The latest tweet by Volodymyr Zelenskyy is only a grim reminder of the fact that international relations often get tinged with rank hypocrisy. While Ukraine continues to vote against India on every important platform, it is India that has turned magnanimous and charitable towards Ukraine in humanitarian gestures. At the same time, Russia stood as a strategic friend, helping India out in its hour of crisis.
 
With the changing dynamics of the globe, it is very important for leaders like Zelenskyy to understand the requirement for diplomatic outreach and respect each other's sovereignty and interests. Rather than indulging in uncalled-for criticism, Ukraine needs to introspect and work towards a more balanced and respectful approach to its international relations.