Putin has a higher regard for animal life than human life. Discuss.

This is an article in which animals become humans and humans become animals. It’s a topsy-turvy, upside-down world and it all comes from Russia courtesy Mr Vladimir Putin.

The Moscow Times, on December 31, 2018 reported that Russia had introduced animal welfare laws which outlawed animal cruelty. Of course, up until that moment there was a lot of animal cruelty in that cold country such as the random and commonplace killing of stray cats and dogs.

But after eight years of debate and prevarication, Vladimir Putin signed off the new legislation which is called “On Responsible Treatment of Animals and on Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation”.

It bans all kind of animal cruelty including petting zoos in shopping malls, animal café’s, animal fights, housing animals in bars and restaurants and the killing, as mentioned, of stray cats and dogs.

The law also includes regulations regarding the standard of quality of animal caregiving and, for example, bans on the keeping of exotic animals in homes and apartments. The law includes the obligation to obtain a licence to keep certain animals. There are a multitude of new protections for animals in Russia. The law isn’t perfect, but it is a great step forward in animal welfare in that vast country provided it is enforced (another story).

Update: I have considered this, and it is probably all BS. The new law I mean. Putin should respect human and animal life equally. He respects neither.

Ukrainian woman cries for the loss of her husband in the war
Ukrainian woman cries for the loss of her husband in the war. Photo: AP.

Turning, then, to Russian’s invasion of Ukraine, I would hope that most of us have read about the 34,000 documented, potential and actual war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine during the war and the potential acts of genocide.

These war crimes include murder, torture, terrorism, rape as a weapon of war, deportation or forced transfer, abduction, looting, unlawful confinement, the murder of tens of thousands of civilians carried out deliberately and terrorism against civilians to weaken morale.

When the Russians withdrew from Bucha for instance, they didn’t have time to cover their tracks and therefore the horrors of their residency in that area came to light such as civilian bodies lying in the street outside many of the houses. They had all been summarily shot, coldly murdered.

The stories coming out of Russia of these war crimes are at the top end of horror in terms of base human behaviour. Their behaviour has been described as animalistic. Douglas Murray writing for The Sun said that “by raping innocents Russia’s forces prove they are animals-[the] West must treat them like the criminals that are”.

The point is, though, that animals don’t behave like this. So, Mr Murray is doing animals a disservice. I don’t like it when people equate horrific human behaviour with animal behaviour. It is entirely inappropriate and unfair on animals.

But bizarrely Putin signed off legislation to protect animals while at the same time not long afterwards, directed his troops to commit war crimes against women and children, totally innocent civilians to try and break the will of Ukraine people.

“At least 437 children are among more than 8,300 civilians who have been killed in Ukraine since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February”- New York Times

Putin is directing his troops to behave like animals in the words of Mr Murray. But they are behaving in a way which is far worse than the behaviour of animals.

It is hard to envisage human behaviour which is worse. Does Mr Putin regard the life of animals as more precious than the life of humans?

And remember, at the beginning of the war and perhaps continuing, the Russians didn’t bother to recover the bodies of dead Russian soldiers. It was the Ukrainian soldiers who collected them up and put them in freezers. They were abandoned by the Russians. This once again supports Putin’s complete disregard for human life.

Let’s be clear, too, that for a large part of this Russian invasion, Putin has been in direct charge.

I almost forgot to mention that about 400,000 animals have been killed (estimated) since Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine. So perhaps I’m wrong in saying that Putin values the light of animals over people’s lives. He doesn’t seem to value life at all.

Below are some more articles on Ukraine.

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