Kiev Moves to disarm Ukrainians with Russia at the door

Russian army parade / Photo: James Picht
Russian army parade / Photo: James Picht

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2014 — According to a report from the New York Times, the government of Ukraine has ordered any of its citizens in possession of “illegal guns” to turn them in to the authorities. This move is being heralded by the European Union, which has made this step a provision of membership. Kiev believes that disarming Ukrainians will go a long way to end the escalating destabilization and the ever present threat of violence that has risen with the formation of “self-defense groups.” Others see this as a superficial power grab, and meddling politics on behalf of Europe.

READ ALSO: Ukraine Defense Minister resigns, Ukraine disarms citizens: Kiev has a choice

This 1918 Communist propaganda poster from the Russian civil war serves as yet another reminder that tyrannical regimes throughout history have always sought to disarm their populations through gun control. -
This 1918 Communist propaganda poster from the Russian civil war serves as yet another reminder that tyrannical regimes throughout history have always sought to disarm their populations through gun control. –

It is dangerous at this point to demand that Ukrainians disarm. It is dangerous for a number of reasons. First, the grip of the new government on the country is tenuous. Crimea has already been lost, with Ukrainian troops currently pulling out of their bases there in the wake of Russia’s decision to annex the peninsula.

READ ALSO: Next steps on Ukraine and Crimea – A European perspective

Kiev is not up to the task of both courting the EU and the West, while fending off the Russian wolf prowling at their door. The Ukrainian government cannot afford to alienate themselves from the boots-in-the-square civilians who put them in power. Calling for disarmament has the potential of only further destabilizing the region. Second, it would be difficult to believe after weeks of taking machine gun fire during their protests that Ukrainians have any desire to be weaker than the government again.

Indeed, they were disarmed years ago, when President Obama urged and assisted Ukraine in collecting some 400,000 small arms from the country in an effort to lead them away from conflict. These people faced the machine guns and riot police of Viktor Yanukovych and won. They overthrew him, they believe they gained their freedom, and they armed themselves to make sure that they would not be taken advantage of again. It was the will and courage of the Ukrainian people that won the new Ukrainian government their seats, and it was the will and courage of the Ukrainian people that they are in a position to bargain with the E.U. Neither the Ukrainian government nor the E.U. has the right to demand that those same people disarm.

Third is Russia. Russia has positioned over 150,000 troops around the Ukrainian border. They have taken Crimea, and they have moved on infrastructure positions and made threats against Eastern Ukraine. Ukraine has a combined military strength of one hundred fifty thousand. Some of those may have ties to Russia and ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, which raises questions about their reliability. Russia has another 600,000 troops stationed around Asia and Europe. If the situation escalates, Ukraine will need help. They have to look to their own people. There are millions of Ukrainian men and women of service age, many of whom participated in the protests in Kiev. An unarmed populace in a war against Russia would be devastating not only to the new government in Kiev, but to the people of Ukraine. They would once again be forced to confront machine guns and riot police without firearms, but this time against a foreign invader.

Russia cannot afford to fight Ukraine in a guerrilla war.

READ ALSO: Force is the only remaining option in Ukraine

However they can most certainly afford to fight them on conventional, “19th century” terms. If Ukraine and Russia weigh in to this match with their navies, air forces, and massed artillery, Russia will win, hands down. If Russia is met by both Ukraine’s army and by millions of armed partisans supported Kiev, the outcome will be entirely different. Russian mothers and wives will be forced to watch their children and husbands come home torn and destroyed by a conflict that is blatantly imperialist and wrong.

Such a conflict would not last for days, or months, but years.

A look at Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria are all one needs to learn of the effectiveness of an insurgency or a well-funded guerrilla program. Ukrainian partisans fought against Soviet power after World War 2, well into the 1950s. Russia is looking to project strength to achieve an easy victory, and disarming the people will severely handicap Ukraine’s ability to counter that projection. Ukraine should not be disarming its people. Entry into the EU is important, and Kiev needs to be on good terms with the West, but focusing on that right now is like arguing over the wallpaper while the house burns around them.

The E.U. and the West need to understand that Ukraine is not just another quaint little country petitioning for entry into the club. Kiev should be arming and training Ukrainians, not disarming them. They should be holding their hands up high in defiance to Moscow, they should be preparing to resist the next step in a Russian invasion. Russia is training and arming pro-Russian and ethnic-Russian militias in Crimea. Russian soldiers are holding clinics on how to fire an AK-47, and Crimeans are showing up to learn and to fight. Kiev cannot afford to alienate and endanger Ukrainians by disarming.

READ ALSO: War in Ukraine? Why Putin will keep Crimea

If Ukrainians are disarmed, Russia will roll over them and take Eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian government needs to arm the people so that the first Russian column to enter Ukraine won’t be greeted by apprehensive, unarmed citizens anxious to see the invaders off, but by thousands of armed citizens standings strong beside their government ready to protect their lands. Ukrainians fought for freedom; it would be wrong and an injustice to take from them the very instruments which could preserve it. 

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  • Carol Marie

    now this is a disturbing development…….

    but then, this excerpt says a lot:

    “According to a report from the New York Times, the government of Ukraine has ordered any of its citizens in possession of “illegal guns” to turn them in to the authorities. This move is being heralded by the European Union, which has made this step a provision of membership.”

    • larabina34

      I bet this announcement came at Obama’s insistence. OTOH, they disarmed the EU yrs ago, soooo.

      • whiteaglesoaring

        That’s always the demand of the tyrants before they show their hidden agenda. That’s also true of other freedoms; they more freedoms the tyrant can’t persuade the people to give up willingly, the more leverage they have to pry loose more hard won freedom and the fewer freedoms they must eventually crush by force. There is no security in giving up freedom.

  • alan_the_aussie

    The Kiev-based usurpers in Ukraine aren’t disarming their people because they are worried about a Russian invasion. They are disarming the populace to avoid a counter-coup when they begin to seriously enact their agenda.

    • Chris Sky


      The new APPOINTED PM (ex head of the Ukraine Central bank!) already talked about BANK DEPOSIT CONFISCATION a la Cyprus and a 15 BILLION DOLLAR LOAN from his old boss, the IMF which as a condition of the loan will see Ukraine gas prices rise 40%…

      and now you wonder why they want their guns?

      Is it easier to rob somebody if they have a gun or if they are disarmed?

      • John Adams

        Or is it easier to defend yourself from being victimized ?

  • sweetie

    Looks like Putin is stretching his muscles. If I lived there, I wouldn’t turn in any weapons, illegal or not. I’d want to protect my family.

    • mich08

      I doubt very much that you could protect your family against thousands of military forces invading your area. No one could! Welcome to The New World Order. This will be happening to us as time goes on.

      • Ewilk

        The U.S. has the best-armed civilian population in the world, with an estimated 270 million total guns in March of 2013. This number is MUCH higher now, thanks to efforts of the left to disarm us last year. This is exactly what keeps “thousands of military forces” from invading our area.

        • mich08

          It really won’t matter if those guns are turned on US…our own military turning on the civilians if they are ordered to do so or else they go down as well. History is repeating itself and people are too blind to see this. Our government is not watching out for us and these men will be given their orders and everyone’s firearms will not protect them in the end. The military men and women are just *puppets* for their government.

          • Ewilk

            The estimated 270+ million guns I referred to will not be turned on US, because they are US.

          • Raconteur Duck

            Funny how most people think that if Americans go into armed revolt, that the targets will be the military. I beg to differ. The targets will be the politicians giving the unconstitutional orders and the ones carrying out those unconstitutional orders. Most of the military will not obey an unconstitutional order and swore an oath not to. Besides, would you like to fight against the guys who trained you and now outnumber you 3:1?

          • mich08

            Yes, they may have swore on oath, but when things start to change where you have a government that then gives orders to take away guns from civilians or else THEY will be shot for going against the government, that will be a determining factor. They can also say how certain people are a *threat* and give whatever crazy story they choose, since Obama has given the executive order that *anyone (US Citizen) that is considered a threat can be imprisoned indefinitely*. When all is said and done, it will be no different than back in Nazi Germany and if those people didn’t do as they were told they were going down, as well as their families. There aren’t that many *loyal* people as you might think when all is said and done. Maybe some, but not enough that will stand together as we’ve seen throughout history. Not putting down military men, just saying it’s human nature that you’re going to protect your own in certain situations.

          • mich08

            Besides, there are also other things in that oath and they will go with their government…not only that, but the Constitution has already started to be broken down and it really won’t mean a thing after awhile when you don’t have a government to enforce those laws and oaths…because our government would be the enemy.

          • Raconteur Duck

            The big difference between those in history who have been tyrannized by their governments and today, are that it has not happened (in the last 100 years) to armed Americans on such a large scale, nor to so many veterans. Protecting our own is what we are armed for; no matter who the enemy is. Enough stood together to overthrow the British and enough stood together in the Battle of Athens, TN in 1946. There are enough to defend America from its own government.

      • whiteaglesoaring

        Vietnam did it. Iraq and Afghanistan did it. Haven’t you noticed?

      • Name Taken

        it’s not about 1 family protecting themselves against thousands of military forces. it’s about millions of families collectively protecting themselves against thousands of troops. either that, or dying while protecting your family, but having the luxury of dying on your feet, as a free man, as opposed to living on your knees as a slave.

  • Kevin Blankenship

    Hopefully the Ukrainian people resist such useless agenda moves armed citizens are the best deterrent to an invading army!!!

    • whiteaglesoaring

      :Putin isn’t interested in an invasion of Ukraine when he only needs to be patient and let the illegitimate coup show its agenda and south and eastern Ukraine will be begging to be annexed by Russia, too. The enemy is within the gates.

      • John Adams

        Well said , time will show you maybe correct .

  • mikesbuffalo

    never turn in your arms period , its the only way to defend yourselves , and to hell with europe.

  • LiuD

    It is utterly incredible the EU praises the disarming of the citizens of a nation under invasion. Do they not remember their own members’ very recent history? Does the French Underground Resistence ring a bell? Was it not Hitler who disarmed his people and all of the European countries he “annexed”? What in hell is wrong with these useful idiots? “Progressive-Rot” has clearly infected the EU brain trust (an obvious oxymoron… emphasis on “moron.”

    • IANSA

      Governments of the world have gotten together (UN) and decided that under no circumstances should governmental power be contested, all other peoples are “illigitimate” and are not permitted to own firearms, including civilians. Self defense and firearms ownership are outlawed. See most any country that isn’t America and you will see in the laws that self defense is NOT a “legitimate” reason for owning a gun- this is the UN’s work (thanks to IANSA, every country has a member- Brady Campaign, Coalition for Gun Contorl, etc).

      It is your civic duty to be a victim now, it seems.

      • LiuD

        MOLON LABE… they will lose in America.

    • ChristCrusader

      Because it was never about the people…

  • Arestaeus

    Lol this article it’s a joke, you guys live in fantasy land.
    Ukraine authorities are disarming Ukraine . So people won’t revolt against them. Same prior who would welcome Russia abd it’s troops. Half the Ukraine wants Russia, involved.

  • Butseriously

    The restoration of the Balfour transcends all other issues.

  • jessie

    does anyone remember the meeting with Putin and obama. over the mike obama stated to putin. wait till after this election i will have more flexability. talking about the last presidentual election

    • chochowming

      The meeting wasn’t with Putin.

      • Jim Steele

        That was Medvedev.

        • chochowming

          Yes, I know. I wanted the writer to look it up.

    • Dan

      He was referring to how he was planning on taking yoga, so the next time they met in a bathhouse he’d be able to grab his ankles.

  • Bill Goode

    This idea to disarm probably came from the US government, which has had a hand in this conflict from the beginning.

  • Gary Goforth

    Lets look at the possibility that the Nazi sympathizing EU and the West who are moving in CIA mercenaries Russia has been warning about …are about to do a gotcha on the people of Ukraine

  • whiteaglesoaring

    The bias of Conor Higgins shows in his treatment of the allegations of sniper attack launched by Yanukovich. Much evidence already revealed make that quite unlikely. 1. Yanukovich would have NO motivation to kill his own riot police. 2. source of gunfire came from building that Right Vector controlled. 3. Same bullets killed both riot police and protesters.

  • truthistreason

    Of coarse they want their guns. All tyrannical leaderships go for the weapons to to enact their rein on the populace. Duh.

  • Ezra Pound

    There are some glaring falsehoods in this article. Start with this: “…in the wake of Russia’s decision to annex the [Crimean] peninsula…” Totally false. Russia didn’t “decide” to “annex” Crimea; Crimean citizens voted to join Russia and Russia obliged them, mainly because Crimea has always been a part of Russia until an incompetent, alcoholic Soviet named Krushev unlawfully “gave” Crimea to the Ukraine. Second, there is this: “…the grip of the new government on the country is tenuous…” Yes, and that is precisely WHY the neo-Nazi NATO regime wants to disarm the People; because most Ukrainians DO NOT support the US-imposed puppet regime that took over Kiev in a violent putsch. Therefore, NATO/Kiev Puppet Regime (KPR) want to disarm Ukrainians before they can kick out NATO’s Neo-Fascist/foreign (Israeli) oligarchs.

  • billjcanada

    I would tell the UE to perform a impossible sexual act upon it’s self and arm every Ukraine citizen. I have no doubt the the Russians are going to take Ukraine but they should have to pay a heavy price in blood to do it. Maybe the US will get lucky and Obama will get nailed in the cross fire.

    • whiteaglesoaring

      The Russians have no desire to do any more than secure Russian culture and keep NATO out…just as JFK confronted Khrushchev on Soviet missiles in Cuba. Russia didn’t need to annex Crimea…except that the Ukraine was threatening the Russian access to warm water ports by crazies who violently overthrew the elected choice of all of Ukraine.

  • allan

    “illegal guns?” Where in the Hell do they get that terminology?
    Lets see it is not ‘illegal’ for their politicians to keep firearms;
    just the common citizenry; RIGHT ? there IS ONLY one way
    all this is going to stop; and we all know how that will be; Lets
    see LAWS are for the common people; not the ELITE; Lets see
    we have ‘COLOR of WORD’, ‘COLOR of LAW’ & ‘COLOR of
    AUTHORITY’ “COLOR” meaning FAKE/FIAT; it is only meant
    for the ‘ILLITERATE and UN-EDUCATED; in other words the
    IGNORANT & STUPID, those that are un-able to COMPREHEND;
    Those that do not understand that LEGAL TERMINOLOGY is totally
    different from the everyday use of LANGUAGE;

  • born hunter

    European Union must be stopped ,, there the real treat to us all . , to all of the world ..
    the EU is run by the worst group of criminals,, the rich and greedy..
    Let us not forget ,, for a country to join the European Union ,, that government must first disarm their citizens .. why ,, so they can run and control our every movement. PLEASE ..PLEASE DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO US..

  • banditos

    Disarm the people? Who do they think they are? The RCMP?

    • Jim Steele

      I saw the humour in your comment…sadly, I saw the reality too.


    Gun control is always about control. Funny how the European Union and United Nations are always in favor of civilian disarmament (and Amnesty International). Be it large or small scale, from rape to genocide, they feel that self defense is always wrong, that civilian firearms ownership is always wrong, and hope to prevent “gun deaths” by ensuring the government has total power thus preventing a “prolonged conflict”. Thats right folks, it is your civic duty to die as quickly as possible so the government can attain and maintain its power over you quicker.

    Hand over your guns.

    • Jim Steele

      The UN has become a useless debating club that is only as good as it’s worst member, and there are plenty of bad actors. The UN is driven to the goal of one world government as in a New World Order. This goal is simply impossible as long as the world populus continues to bear arms.

  • Jon Weiss

    The politicians who are calling to disarm the populace are in the same category as Vidkun Quisling, and deserve the same fate as the traitor.

  • John Adams

    I would rather die then give up liberty , a life under these types of conditions would not be worth living.
    In no way’s do I support the Government of the Ukraine , a government that does not even try defend themselves against an invasion of foreign troops on its own soil almost to the point that they want some one else to defend their rights and risk their own lives to protect them.
    It would have been the honorable thing to do , the right thing to do to have defended their territories and have shown the world that they were willing to make the ultimate sacrifices for protecting their own nation , then and only then maybe the citizens of the free Democratic countries would of said this aggressive take over of territories in a sovereign nation would have been worth fighting for.
    How can anyone imply or dare say that the Ukraine is worth fighting for in any means when they won’t even fight for themselves ?
    To try to disarm a Nation in any ways is a travesty and moral crime in which one day no doubt will be the cause of their downfall .
    When economies falter , when crowds of thugs decide might makes right the good citizens will be victimized and powerless to protect their families, their communities and their countries.
    I am at serious disbelief that not one battalion , that not one platoon , that not one man dared to aggressively make an effort to defend their nation .
    The government of the Ukraine has forgotten what armies are for , to defend their country at all costs until the end , may it be victory or defeat and even in defeat they would of relished in the thought that they did all they could do to save their country.
    Apparently instead the government of the Ukraine has decided that their armies are for show and there to only control their own citizens and apparently the citizens of the Ukraine have forgotten that to preserve ones heritage , ones country that they must defend their own nation with their lives .
    The people of the Ukraine have lost this fight before it even started , they may know how to riot with the thought that their own government would not have dared to fight against them , then when they get invaded by another country they hide away and forget what they were trying to accomplish .
    I say to all , that unless these people defend themselves with everything they have why should any other country give the lives of their own children to defend them ?

    • Quest

      The new thugs in control only want the money. Then they will stash it in a foreign acct. and leave the country high and dry for the US and Russia to battle over.