Brian Bonner: The 7 stages of Western ‘concern’

By Brian Bonner

I’m not sure who came up with this list, but I saw them on the Twitter account of “Darth Putin” overnight, following the May 23, 2021, hijacking of a Ryanair civilian commercial jetliner by the Belarusian military to carry out Alexander Lukashenko’s order to arrest opposition journalist Roman Protasevich.

If such a crime can happen to Pratasevich, it can happen to anyone. If you live long enough, you’ll see everything and this is a first for me – a civilian airliner flies from one European Union destination to another EU destination and gets forced down because one mad and murderous dictator is afraid of a 26-year-old journalist who has set up the popular Nexta Telegram channel to organize opposition to Lukashenko’s illegitimate presidency.

Ukraine, more than seven years after Russia invaded militarily, seizing Crimea and parts of the eastern Donbas, is more than familiar with Western impotence and hand-wringing when it comes to the lack of courage by elected politicians in Europe and the United States to stand up to bullying from Russia, Belarus and other nations governed by autocrats.

So, without further ado, here are the 7 stages of Western “concern” – edited only slightly by me.

  1. We are concerned
  2. We are very concerned
  3. We are gravely concerned
  4. There must be answers & a complete, independent investigation
  5. There will be consequences
  6. It is important to engage
  7. We should separate this issue from commercial issues

I don’t expect this brazen criminal act will change Western spinelessness. So many more terrible crimes committed by Russia – which looks to have played a key role in the Ryanair hijacking on behalf of its client state — have gone unpunished, especially in Ukraine, Syria, and Georgia.

This world needs stronger democratic leadership. If those in power today in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere won’t supply it, it’s time to vote them out and put in politicians who will stand up for democracy globally and isolate with crushing sanctions those who try to destroy it, no matter the financial costs.

(c) KyivPost


  1. 100% true Brian. Shame on you though, you missed out extremely concerned. For this article I created a new category called Jellyfish, I think it is appropriate under the circumstances.

  2. Short and straight to the point. Never in recent history has such evil been so downplayed on such an epic level for so long. It really is unprecedented.
    The EU and Nato leadership will continue to get even worse. We must wait for a Marco Rubio presidency before anything changes significantly. It’s a long shot, but that’s all there is.

    • Luka wouldn’t never dare make a play like this without Russian backing, because Putin knows if the West find evidence of Russian complicity, everything will be swept under the carpet. Maybe the West will sanction a few meaningless nobodies, but that will be as far as they will go. I hope I’m wrong.

  3. Glad to see that others have noticed the West’s pathetic methodology in handling the crime syndicate and its minions. Actually, it’s been quite obvious for at least five years now.

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