We must learn to ask forgiveness

The defiance shown by captured Ukrainian volunteer Nadia Savchenko when she was on trial in Russia for allegedly murdering two journalists (by directing artillery fire onto them) made her a hero for some in Ukraine and a symbol of resistance to ‘Russian aggression’. On the other side of the conflict, many regarded her as a war criminal and a militant nationalist. It was to be expected when she returned to Ukraine after being pardoned by Vladimir Putin that she would add her voice to those urging an escalation in the war and that she would resist calls for political concessions to the rebels in Donbass.

The reality has been very different. Savchenko has become a voice for peace. Among other things, she has called upon the Ukrainian government to talk to rebel leaders Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky. And on Thursday, she shocked many by suggesting that Ukrainians needed to ask forgiveness from the people of Donbass. As Gazeta.ru reports, Savchenko told TV Channel 5:

We must start speaking with one another. We must start hearing one another. We will have to forgive a lot. And we will possibly also have to ask forgiveness. Not possibly, definitely. We need to learn to ask forgiveness and to forgive. Otherwise, there will not be peace.

Savchenko’s suggestion that there is guilt on both sides of the war in Ukraine has outraged nationalist politicians. Member of Parliament Anton Gerashchenko, for instance, replied: ‘You, Nadya, can and should ask forgiveness from Givi and Motorola, or other Russians who have come onto our land to kill and rape, but we will not ask forgiveness from occupiers and terrorists.’ Savchenko was a ‘Trojan horse’ sent by Putin to Ukraine, Gerashchenko remarked.

Given this reaction, I very much doubt that anyone in power in Ukraine will act upon Savchenko’s words. But the fact that somebody is saying them is most welcome.

11 thoughts on “We must learn to ask forgiveness”

  1. Those bloody separs must totally aks for forgiveness, for their continued brutal, merciless and tireless shelling of Kiev, Lviv and Ternipil.

    Oh, wait…


      1. Civilians gunned down by “victorious” Ukrops in Mariupol in 2014? Yeah, we remember this too.


      2. Ukraine’s war crimes against civilians do not erase Russian war crimes against civilians. Abuse on both sides has been very well documented. This is precisely why Savchenko is speaking about “forgiving and asking for forgiveness”, which needs to be mutual. The same phrase has been recently used in a dialogue between Poland and Ukraine about Volhynia killings (and earlier in 1965 between Poland and Germany).


      3. “Russian war crimes against civilians”

        “Russian” war crimes? Seriously? That’s hell of a claim, that needs some proof. No – lots of proof.


  2. I have the impression (having read and watched some Ukrainian media sources) that it is allowed (if grudgingly) to sympathize with Donbas people. What’s absolutely out of bounds is to address with any sympathy anything the RF government does, and especially Mr Putin. That’s treason. As long as she’s only talking about “the people of Donbass”, that isn’t, I don’t think it is, a bombshell…


  3. Why “allegedly murdering two journalists”?

    I thought she had been found guilty as charged in a court of law, or do Russian court verdicts not count and all who are charged under Russian law are, by definition, innocent?

    Liked by 1 person

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