Saturday, September 24, 2022

Mixed reactions to Russian invasion of Ukraine in Iranian newspapers

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has drawn mixed reactions from newspapers in Iran with some criticizing Moscow while other blaming it on the US and NATO.

The Etellaat newspaper said in an editorial that as an independent, democratic, and prosperous European country adjacent to Russia, Ukraine could have been seen as a threat to Moscow because it could set a bad example for other ex-republics of the former Soviet Union, as well as for the Russian people.

The editorial said Russian President Vladimir Putin also believed that the divisions between European and North American governments had left the Western nations vulnerable.

According to this analysis, for this reason, Putin took the opportunity to resort to use force to prevent the Ukrainian government from fulfilling its application for NATO membership.

The newspaper also said the history of war between Russia and Ukraine actually dates back to 2013-2014 when widespread protests by the Ukrainian people, demanding closer ties with Europe, ousted then-president Viktor Yanukovych.

Following Yanukovich’s overthrow, the Etellaat said, Putin arrived at the conclusion that the annexation of Crimea would cause the southern and eastern Ukrainian states to secede from Kyiv and join the Russian Federation. But his predictions did not come true.

The editorial then touched on the role of the United States and the European Union, saying they dragged Russia into a quagmire.

The Etellaat maintained Putin thought that without any consequences he could violate international law but even if the resistance of Ukrainians is broken, the Russian leader will have to pay dearly for the continuation of Russia’s presence in Ukraine.

The influential Keyhan newspaper also suggested that Russia drew inspiration from Iran as it summoned the courage to say “no” to NATO and stand up against the US.

The newspaper also criticized those who are after extracting revenge on Iran instead of inviting Russia to exercise restraint.

Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Tuesday said the Islamic Republic of Iran supports cessation of hostilities in Ukraine. Ayatollah Khamenei however noted that the root-cause of the crisis in Ukraine is the US policies and those of Western countries.

The leader said the West’s support for puppet regimes is a mirage and all puppet regimes must know this.

Things came to a head between Ukraine and Russia after Kiev pushed for membership in NATO. Russia says it does not accept NATO’s eastward expansion. It also says accession of the ex-Soviet republics to the Western military alliance is meant to encircle Russia.

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