In his book 1984 George Orwell described the “Ministry of Truth”, in fact a “ministry” of pure propaganda. It is a truism that the truth is the first casualty of any war. The question is “Whose propaganda?”
The story of the Donbass region of Ukraine has been badly told- or at least important elements missed out. The 2014 election led to Ukrainian attacks on the breakaway areas which refused to accept the Maidan coup. And the “neo-Fascist” Azov Battalion has been involved in those attacks. To what extent was the Maidan coup “encouraged” from outside Ukraine??
The US has a history of not “allowing” states near its borders (its “back-yard”) to become tied to another and potentially hostile power (for example Central America). Despite that NATO “advanced” to Russia’s borders- because of a felt need by former Soviet “satellites” for protection against a resurgent Russia- but Ukraine joining NATO seemed like “the last straw”.
In Russia today there are determined attempts to “control” the truth- with the threat of 15 years imprisonment for “fake news” (for example distributing photographs of the impact of bombing, missiles and sheeling on mobile phones). Despite this 176 Orthodox priests criticised Putin’s policies.
We have to recognise that there is no single “agreed” truth, but different versions, depending on people’s different experiences. The truth is a person, not an ideology or a doctrine (or even a fact??)- but what does this mean? What does it mean to “do the truth” in Kyiv today? Is “what would Jesus do?” the right question to ask? Women with umbrellas confronting tanks? Compare Gandhi’s “salt march” or Martin Luther King’s march on Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, Alabama. George Orwell argued that if those tactics had been applied in Hitler Germany the participants would have been machine-gunned. “Turning the other cheek” perhaps means different things in different situations.
Ephesians chapter 2, verses 1 to 11 talks about Christ breaking down the “dividing wall of hostility” and reconciling Jews and Gentiles (though under the Roman Empire and “Christendom” the hostility was resumed).
Putin was born 6 months before the death of Stalin, and was brought up in the Khrushchev (his childhood) and Brezhnev (his teenage years) era of the Soviet Union. He then experienced the break-up of the Soviet Union under Gorbachev, and the devastation of the Russian economy and its “asset-stripping” under Yeltsin (a history not unlike that of Germany in the 1920s). Putin became President with a mandate to restore Russia’s sense of self-worth- and perhaps its status as a great power in world politics.
None of this, though, justifies the destruction of some Ukrainian cities and the loss of life involved.