Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

The Russo-Ukrainian War Offers a New Opportunity for Political Demagogues to Destroy Freedoms at Home

By Jose Alberto Nino

Politicians thoroughly enjoy times of war.

Periods of bellicosity are when the most power-hungry members of the political class indulge in their most depraved political fantasies. The Russo-Ukrainian War has been no exception to this trend.

Western politicians have been taking advantage of the largest conventional military conflict on European soil since World War II to crack down on civil liberties at home and drag their countries closer to an open conflict with a nuclear power in Russia. Though the domestic measures Western governments have pursued have been particularly breathtaking.

For example, the European Union (EU) has already banned Russian state media outlets as RT and Sputnik for allegedly spreading disinformation. In the United States, which possesses stronger free speech protections at the political level, the assaults against freedom of expression had taken a more corporate hue. For example, Big Tech juggernauts such as Google have enthusiastically blocked channels receiving funding from Russia.

Even more egregious have been the actions of EU and NATO members such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia. These countries have criminalized any behavior that could be construed as being in support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Similarly, Latvia has adopted a police hotline where citizens can report individuals who manifest support for Russia’s military action in Ukraine. Several German states have pushed the envelope even further by prosecuting individuals who display the “Z” symbol connected to Russia’s military campaign.


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