Why is Ukraine Europe? A historical analogy

While Kyiv is bombed by artillery but not occupied by the Russian Army, the Ukrainian philosopher Oleksiy Panych writes about a historical analogy.

By Oleksiy Panych

In the same manner as the ancient Greeks, today’s democratic Ukraine is overpowering and will defeat despotic Russia. We have stopped all internal quarrels. We have self-organized. The historical analogy with the Persian wars more than 2500 years ago is evident.

Kharkiv after a being shelled. Screenshot.

Thermopylae 480 BC

In 480 B.C. Greeks were in a big trouble. They just suffered a devastating defeat in Thermopylae. Greek poleis quarreled with one another and refused help to each other. Persian army captured and ruined Athens. Greek fleet flocked up near the island of Salamis, but Greek strategists, representatives of different poleis, could not reach an agreement on further actions. Persian fleet, situated nearby, was much more powerful and numerous.

And now Persian King Xerxes made a fatal mistake: he moved his fleet into a narrow sound near Salamis in order to inflict on Greeks the last and utter defeat.

Then a miracle happened. First, Greeks suddenly stopped all quarrels. Second, they were self-organized. Third, their “ant fleet”, consisted of smaller than Persian, but more mobile vessels, opted for smarter tactics: they used a delusive maneuver to induce Persian fleet to huddle up and then attacked it from all sides at once.

At this moment Greek “decentralization” turned into strategic advantage: all Greek vessels acted according to common general plan, but in the course of the battle each of them turned into self-governed combat unit.

The battle of Salamis was decisive for the future destiny of Europe. If Persians won, Greek civilization would be destroyed (as well as Roman), and this part of Europe would become a part of Persian empire. However, democratic Greece defeated much more powerful despotic Persia.

Ukraine 2022 AD

Ukrainians today demonstrate the same phenomenon of miraculously rapid social transformation “from the bottom” for common self-defense as Greeks had shown in 480 B.C.

Every Ukrainian city, every village, every group of “angry citizens” – all turned into self-governed combat units, acting according to common general plan.

That’s why Ukraine is Europe.
That’s why Ukrainian steppe is the present-day Salamis.
That’s why we’ll win.

Russia is an old despotic Asia, with political order not much different from that of Persian empire.
The end of this Russian empire will be the same.

But it will come much faster.

Written in Kyiv to the accompaniment of sirens, explosions and gunfire somewhere not far away