Taxpayers Funding Ukraine’s Blacklisting of Americans

On July 14, the Ukrainian government published a bizarre list of academics, politicians, policymakers, and contrarian journalists, who are allegedly propagandists for Russia. The list includes sitting U.S. senators such as Rand Paul, R-Ky., former politicians such as Tulsi Gabbard, and military theorists such as Martin van Creveld and Edward Luttwak, as well as perhaps the foremost living international relations theorist of our times, John Mearsheimer.

A report in Unherd cites a report from the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation explaining that “the exact criteria for inclusion are also unclear, although next to each name the report lists the ‘pro-Russian’ opinions the individual promotes. For example, Edward Luttwak’s breach was to suggest that ‘referendums should be held in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions;’ Mearsheimer’s breach is recorded as him saying that ‘NATO has been in Ukraine since 2014’ and that ‘NATO provoked Putin.’”

If that sounds familiar, one might wish to recall documents unearthed by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., about similarly oriented programs planned by the Biden administration. They sound extremely similar. As the Unherd story adds, “The ‘Center for Countering Disinformation,’ established in 2021 under Volodymyr Zelenskyy and headed by former lawyer Polina Lysenko, sits within the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine. Its stated aim is to detect and counter ‘propaganda’ and ‘destructive disinformation’ and to prevent the ‘manipulation of public opinion.’”

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Given that the Ukrainian government is being subsidized with billions of American dollars, this censorship amounts to American taxpayers paying the Ukrainian government billions of dollars to blacklist American citizens for thought crimes.

John Mearsheimer is one of the kindest mentors young scholars might ever have. Not to mention, he is a towering intellect and a pioneer of the school of international relations theory, known as Offensive Realism. Simply put, this theory argues that the world order is anarchic with no global policeman and that states should be nationalist and take care of their own, instead of pursuing utopian financial and military adventures abroad.


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