Should Ukraine surrender to Russia in 2022?

Should Ukraine surrender to Russia in 2022? See W:2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Those who are arguing against sending arms to Ukraine seem to be supporting that position since fewer arms means shorter ability to resist, but they may have other reasons as well.

Predicates and items: civilian lives, civilian infrastructure, disruption of Ukrainian economy, disruption of Ukrainian agricultural export, mineable resources in Donbas, nuclear weapons, nuclear power plants, appeasement, Munich agreement, national self-determination, 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, geographic defense features, Holodomor, Russian imperial ambitions beyond Ukraine.

Ukraine should surrender to Russia in 2022 edit

Arguments for edit

  •   Argument for If Ukraine surrenders, it will save many Ukrainian lives and prevent of lot of damage to country infrastructure including civilian buildings. Given the amount of missiles that Russia can fire at Ukraine, it is very unclear whether Ukraine can defend itself. And if Russia is truly determined to take Ukraine, they may use tactical nuclear weapons as well. It all depends on how much sane or reckless those in Russia that are in power are. Fighting a nuclear superpower is a very uncertain prospect. The worst case outcome is that Ukraine will stand defeated with many lost lives and buildings in ruin. A rather bad case outcome is that Ukraine will defend itself but many lives will be lost, residential and industrial buildings and other structures badly damaged, facing winter, facing economic problems, facing possible hunger, etc. A risk is that the fighting will hit a nuclear power plant and a catastrophe will ensue, and given the Russians act like crazy, it is a real risk.
    •   Objection It may result in many Ukrainians losing their lives anyway, and maybe even more lives long-term.
      •   Objection Some lives yes, but it is not clear more lives would be lost. And Russia would have no interest to destroy infrastructure when it can instead take it over. If Russia is after territorial expansion and natural resources as it seems to be, it does not have a deep interest in killing civilians other than as a means of terror as part of a war. Hitler did not kill all that many Czechs in Bohemia and Moravia (part of today's Czechia) either, and he was a real monster. The countries that did not surrender in World War II suffered much worse.
        •   Objection less than 20 years after the Bolsheviks won in Ukraine, there was the Holodomor. Hitler controlled Czechoslovakia for less than 8 years.
        •   Objection That is defeatist and cowardly. If all democracies (or semi-democracies) did that in 1945, the Nazis would have gained and kept much of Europe, and Japan have much of China, in 1865, the southern states might still have slavery, in 1784, the US would still be a British colony.
          •   Objection Nazi-occupied Europe might have been good for the people of Africa and Asia (e.g. the w:Bengal famine of 1943 less severe), we aren't sure about the southern states maintaining slavery for over 135 years after 1855), and the US was bad for indigenous people.
          •   Objection True: no one will earn respect by surrendering instead of fighting. The songs are sung about those who fight and never give up. But earning respect is not the only thing of value; civilian lives and buildings are also of value.
            •   Objection The above kind of reasoning is what Putin is betting on.
              •   Objection Of course he is since it is part of the logic of the situation. That alone does not make the logic bad.
        •   Objection That is not like Churchill. The world would have turned bad if Churchill gave up.
          •   Objection If Churchill, the Soviet Union might have been weaker by 1945. Indeed, it might have ceased existing west of the Urals.
          •   Objection Churchill was on an island, which provides significant defensive capability, he had a lot of resources of the Commonwealth/Empire. If the going got too tough, he could have also fled to Northern Ireland, Newfoundland, or even Jamaica, and still arguably be in UK, and to get to UK, Hitler had to go through France or a German amphibious invasion attempt would be a lot longer. Czechoslovakia was none of these. Poland even took a chunk out of Czechoslovakia around that time. Poland fought back but it was for nothing. Ukraine does not have good geographic features for defense, unlike the Great Britain.
            •   Objection The situation is not analogous to Poland: Poland was attacked on two fronts by Hitler in the west and Stalin in the east. So far, Ukraine only has to defend against Russia. 
              •   Objection The above does not detract from an island being much better defensible than a mostly landlocked country with no mountains separating it from the attacker, Russia.
              •   Objection The situation is similar to the Polish one in some regards, and dissimilar in others. What 1939 Poland and 2022 Ukraine have in common is that they fought an apparently much more powerful enemy alone and that they were isolated from the enemy neither by mountains nor by ocean.
                •   Objection The Nazi invasion of Poland took 35 days. ≥453 days after Russia's invasion (not counting the events of 2014), and 80% of Ukraine is still independent.
            •   Objection The Soviet Union also did not have good geographic defense features, except perhaps for winter. They did not give up and instead lost very many lives.
              •   Objection The Soviet Union had great industrial weapon production capacity and huge populace.
                •   Objection Ukraine has weapon supplies from the West: as far as weapon supplies, Ukraine is fine.
                  •   Objection Ukraine will probably run out of Soviet SAMs by the time F16s arrive.
                  •   Objection But Russia outnumbers Ukrainians by population.
                    •   Objection Russians don't seem as motivated except for Russian "boomers" giving pro-Putin views on certain YouTube videos and rent-a-crowd rallies and celebrations.
                      •   Objection Putin is very very popular in Russia, to argue that it’s just boomers who support him is a bit ignorant. Russian cultural values are not identical to the west. 
                        •   Objection Russian polls are probably less reliable than Western polls, Russian boomers are far less likely to be conscripted than young Russian men, many young Russians have left Russia since early 2022, and Russian cultural values aren't (totally) different to the West. 
              •   Objection Indeed, and Ukraine, which was part of the USSR, fared better under post-Holodomor USSR than it did under Hitler.
        •   Objection Surrendering could be seen as a form of collaboration with Russia.
          •   Objection It is not clear how the countries that are not ready for active military intervention on the side of Ukraine could legitimately complain. If they showed willingness to deploy actual troops, that would be a whole different signal for Putin. Of course, that would also increase the risk of World War III, one reason for why they are unlikely to do it. Other countries should show empathy for the dire situation Ukraine is in.
    •   Objection Ukraine has defended itself against Russian missiles for over a year. At the same time Ukraine is reclaiming ground from Russia, and Russia is also being adversely affected by sanctions. Winning is not impossible.
      •   Objection The above statement does not contradict the first sentence of argument for, nor does it contradict multiple other sentences. (Should such an obviously invalid item be deleted from the debate?)
      •   Objection Getting Russian soldiers out of Donetsk and Sevastopol probably won't be as easy as Kyiv, or even Kherson.
    •   Objection If Putin used nukes, it'd be the 3rd time—and likely 4th and more times—in warfare, the first time in over 75 years, the first time this century, the first time in Europe, and the only living leader to have ordered it. Effects such as fallout might affect Russian soldiers and winds might blow it into Russia or Belarus. Ukrainian church buildings wanted by the Russian Orthodox church might be destroyed. Also, the effects might not be as bad. It's likely that most cities in Ukraine have a higher concrete-to-wood ratio than Hiroshima and Nagasaki, know better the effects of nuclear explosions—the flash (e.g. wear light clothing if nuclear war threatens), blast, and radiation (e.g. fall-out shelters, have potassium iodine, stay away for a few weeks). Also, it'd give more countries that border Russia—including Ukraine—reason to develop their own WMDs.
    •   Objection Vietnam successfully fought nuclear powers such as the US and in the late 1970s, the PRC.
    •   Objection If buildings are destroyed, Ukraine can rebuild them. However, If Ukraine ceases to exist, Ukrainians cannot easily regain their country, like how Poland ceased to exist for over 100 years after it was partitioned by neighboring countries.
    •   Objection If a nuclear power plant is hit, Belarus and Russia might be affected by the radiation (e.g. File:Chernobyl radiation map 1996.svg).
  •   Argument for Many Ukrainians self-identify as Christians. Christ preached pacifism. As part of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:39, Jesus says "But I tell you, don't resist him who is evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him to the other also." In Matthew 26:52, after one of Jesus's disciples cut of the ear of the high priest's servants in response to Jesus being arrested, Jesus told him "Put your sword back into its place, for all those who take the sword will die by the sword". Ergo, surrendering, or at least refusing to fight, would be the Christian thing to do.
    •   Objection The Bible condemns vengeance but does not uniformly condemn self-defense. For example, in Nehemiah 4, the Israelites rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem to defend themselves against attacks. 
      •   Objection The actions of the Israelites is not a good basis for morality. In Numbers 31, the after defeating the Midianites, killed everyone except virgin women. We should focus instead on actions and life of Jesus, who preached radical pacifism.

Arguments against edit

  •   Argument against If Ukraine surrenders, it will lose its statehood and the nation will be suppressed. The Russian empire has a history of suppressing the Ukrainian language, and causing harm to Ukrainian people including Holodomor, sometimes recognized as act of genocide. It is hard to estimate what bad things Russians will do in Ukraine if it falls under their control, given the barbarism they are showing so far.
    •   Objection What's so precious about the Ukrainian language? What about other languages in the area such as Polish, or the language of the Tatars? Has Ukrainian been banned in Crimea or Russian-controlled Donbas?
      •   Objection The extermination, suppression, or altering of an existing culture, group, or language done in the name of hatred or expansion is an affront to life itself and infringes not only on basic human rights, but also removes valuable information, societies, and demographics from play, in some cases completely erasing them. It is ethically questionable to imply that because a language or culture isn't "precious" it shouldn't be protected as what it is. Additionally, yes, the Ukrainian language is actively being denied in its existence in Crimea[1] and you can find a greater list of infractions regarding it here, the most relevant and recent case being from 2022, wherein Russian officials are repeatedly denying the existence of the Ukrainian language as "part of incitement to genocide" and are even burning books.[2][3]
    •   Objection The Ukrainian people were arguably their most prosperous during post-Stalin Soviet times, and the Russians are no more barbaric than the US—which is funding this war—did in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Vietnam—which was decades more recent than the 1930s.
      •   Objection What the US did to those countries is somewhat irrelevant to this conflict: the US is killing no Ukrainian civilians: Russia is. Also, Russia ≠ USSR.
  •   Argument against If Ukraine surrenders, it will turn back on its citizens who want to live in Ukraine with the sort of freedoms that it has and do not want to be part of the Russian world with poor freedom of speech and poor treatment of homosexuals, transsexuals, etc., including those citizens who speak Russian as their primary language.
    •   Objection Ukraine isn't much more liberated/Russia isn't much more repressive. Ukraine has banned political parties. It conscripted its men and forbade most of them from leaving Russia. Its laws on abortions and drugs such as marijuana aren't much better. Ukrainian society is still somewhat homophobic and patriarchal. The Azov Battalion uses Nazi-like symbols and even flashed swastikas. Edward Snowden has become a Russian citizen.
      •   Objection Those parties might have been Russian fronts.
      •   Objection Ukraine is facing an existential threat: besides, most Ukrainian women chose/choose to stay in Ukraine with many who left returning. Also, some Ukrainian men could go to Russia, and from Russia, maybe other parts of the world. (There's also the issue of Ukrainian transmen, transwomen, and non-binaries.)
      •   Objection In Ukraine, laws and attitudes on issues such as abortion, drugs such as marijuana, homophobia, and gender equality seem to be getting better, whereas in Russia, they seem to be getting worse.
  •   Argument against If Ukraine surrenders, Putin will not stop there and will attack other countries.
    •   Objection That is not so clear since other neighbor states are in NATO and if Russia attacks any of them, NATO will have to show its true colors and is likely to engage back in a conventional warfare or prove to be worthless.
      •   Objection Moldova and Georgia aren't NATO members.
    •   Objection That is a concern for other countries, but not for the Ukrainian citizens. The question is not whether other countries should encourage Ukraine to fight but rather whether Ukraine would do well to surrender.
      •   Objection The question is, "should Ukraine surrender?" The question is vague and could apply to a number of perspectives, including the value of Ukrainian statehood, civilian/military lives as well as the future outcomes of a Ukrainian surrender on the global scale. The worldwide implications of a Russian victory, especially from Ukrainian surrender are valid concerns.
      •   Objection If Russia annexes Ukraine, it might have Ukrainians fight other opponents of Russia, much like the USSR had Ukrainians fight in Afghanistan, and likely suppress protesters in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968.
  •   Argument against The Hitler Munich experience confirmed that it is foolish to try to appease an aggressive dictator.
    •   Objection It would have seemed more foolish for Czechoslovakia to fight the dictator without anyone else's military help. It would end up like Poland or worse. (It was not Czechoslovakia's fault that no one came in its support.) Whether a coalition of military powers should have appeased Hitler is a whole different question. How good the chances are of victory, the feasibility of victory, makes a difference.
      •   Objection Czechoslovakia could have ignored the w:Munich Agreement and warn the Germans that agreement by France and UK for Germany, or no agreement, they'd fight any German soldier who set foot into their country (maybe also arrest Henlein and other SDP members). The results might not have been worse.
        •   Objection If Czechoslovakia ignored the Munich Agreement and fought Germany, the result is very likely to have been many more deaths of Czechoslovak citizens than actually took place, and Czechoslovak citizens are not to be blamed for the failure of the West to resist Hitler (Hitler had no nukes to threaten retaliation.)
  •   Argument against It is not reasonable to expect Ukraine to simply surrender; imagine if it was your country that was being attacked.
    •   Objection The debate is structured and conceived in terms of person-free argument, and therefore, the part "imagine if it was your country that was being attacked" is out of scope of the debate.
    •   Objection One can imagine that one's country is being attacked, e.g. Czechoslovakia in 1938; and from that perspective, the statement "It is not reasonable to expect COUNTRY_C to simply surrender" has no force, especially since it is part of the substance of the argument-based debate to articulate "reasonableness" rather than simply assert it.
    •   Objection On a note similar to the above, one may ask whether Czechoslovakia should have fought Russians and the other invaders in 1968 (see also W:Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia), since, "one must not appease an aggressor". The answer is not obvious; arguably, if Czechoslovakia fought, the result would still be subjugation, but with many more deaths.
  •   Argument against Impossible, it's 2023, Ukraine didn't surrender.
    •   Objection That is irrelevant since one can rephrase the question as follows: From the perspective of the information known in the middle of year 2022, should Ukraine have surrenderred to Russia in 2022?
    •   Comment Even if one accepts this objection, one can create a new debate, Should Ukraine surrender to Russia in 2023? Some of the input into the debate is likely to be very similar, including, 1) what if the semi-crazed Russian leadership starts using tactical (mid-impact) nuclear weapons, and 2) what if the semi-crazed Russians cause a serious accident in the Russian-occupied nuclear power plant in Ukraine? Which can be linked to: 3) semi-crazed Russians already caused a serious accident in a large dam in Ukraine.

See also edit

Further reading edit

  1. "Is Luhansk about to be annexed by Russia?". Euromaidan Press. 2014-09-06. Retrieved 2023-12-07.
  3. Luczkiw, Stash. "Linguicide in the Occupied Territories". Get the Latest Ukraine News Today - KyivPost. Retrieved 2023-12-07.