She reports on her debate with Peter Hitchens
Nov 5, 2022
Yesterday, Edward Lucas and I won a debate against two well-known British journalists who are actively lobbying for talks with Putin and demanding a stop to funding Ukraine.
Their arguments were expected: Russia invaded Ukraine through NATO expansion; Ukraine needs to stop idealizing because we have corruption and oligarchs who have taken power; The Dignity Revolution was an illegal coup d’état organized armed to the teeth nationalists led by the West; Ukraine has no chance of winning this war – and all in the same style of Russian propaganda.
Peter Hitchens said Putin started the war because “the nationalists are in power.” I thanked him for the compliment by explaining that nationalism for us is to love your country and protect it from the enemy. In response, Hitchens began shouting about glorifying Stephen Bandera, to which the hall responded with a loud “uuuuuuuuu”, and the debate moderator rushed to change the subject.
Mary Dezhevsky, who worked as a journalist in Moscow for years and even received an award from the Kremlin for it, talked about unhappy Russians fooled by propaganda, and that Britain needs to focus on its problems and finance its own economy in, not weapons for Ukraine. Unlike Hitchens, she had no support from the audience – she never got applauded for a two-hour debate.
I refused to discuss the problems of the Russians with the words “I don’t understand why we are talking about poor unhappy Russians now when they are killing Ukrainians right now” and asked to mention at least one anti-war Russian protest in London.
Overall, I am very angry that such journalists are still given public platforms to promote Putin’s ideas. Yes, the audience voted 2/1 in support of Ukraine, but I was struck by the great support of talks with Russia. Some Brits are tired of war – as pathetic as it sounds – and want it to end as soon as Putin starts nuclear war. But most still stand on the side of Ukrainians.
I thanked them for their support and said that with such an ally Ukraine will definitely win.