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Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, the great rejection of Russia

[This editorial is also available in Ukrainian.]

No, it is not the Americans who are stirring up rejection of Russia everywhere and by everyone around it!

It is of course the memories of a totalitarian past that resurface with Putin.

It is above all the proximity of the European Union, its freedoms, its rule of law and its economic success.

In the eyes of the Russian authorities, the peaceful success of European integration, which has already enabled 75 million citizens, forgotten in 1945 behind the wrong side of the Iron Curtain, to escape poverty, widespread corruption and the gulag, is dangerous. It exposes their failings, their revisionism and their archaism.

Europeans still sometimes doubt the relevance of what they have built. This is normal, as it is unprecedented in history; it is salutary, as it is necessary to work constantly to improve their unfinished unity. But it has to be recognised that the people of their neighbours dream of joining the European Union. They have no doubts.

They are fleeing Russia en masse, rejecting its expansionism, of course, but also its society, methods, brutality and authoritarianism, which they have experienced.

The Georgians are successfully protesting against a liberticidal law imported from the Kremlin by a local oligarch in its pay.

The Moldovans want to finally have the right to peace where mafiosi, supported by a few misguided Russian soldiers, have seceded to pursue their criminal activities.

The Armenians have been abandoned in the name of suspicious agreements with Turkey.

The Ukrainians are paying with their blood for their wish to live free and independent.

All its neighbours are distancing themselves from Putin's Russia.

For these states, the European Union embodies freedom, the rule of law, human dignity, respect for borders and a prosperity that has long been confiscated.

There is no need for Europeans to want to "export democracy". The peoples of these countries have already chosen it and will do everything to conquer it.

Russia's greatest enemies are not in the West, as it would have us believe, but they are at its head, with its leaders nostalgic for the worst moments of its history. Predation, theft, violence, repression, gulag, Russia is driving people away, both its own and its neighbours'!

The feeling expressed by the Russians of being "surrounded" is sometimes surprising, even though they have the largest territory in the world. But it is true that they are surrounded, by a desire for freedom that will prevent them from imposing by force a domination from another age. It is time for them to embrace the new century, at the risk of defeat or even collapse.