The Wrath of Selective Activism: Thoughts on the Global Support of Ukraine from an Angry Armenian

Rally for peace in Ukraine outside the White House in Washington, DC. February 27, 2022 (Photo: Flickr/Mike Maguire)

As we are all well aware, Russia launched a horrific full-scale attack last week on the sovereign nation of Ukraine. As Armenians, this is a story that we are accustomed to. A nation whose struggles are ignored, we are unfortunately familiar with the human rights violations occurring in Ukraine and should stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people. I truly do feel for the many displaced citizens, and it is crucial for us to donate to organizations, such as Sunflower of Peace, which is preparing first aid backpacks for front line paramedics, and Razom for Ukraine, which is fundraising for refugees and the military. 

In an odd way, my heart aches seeing the global support for Ukraine. Although I am part of said support and am always working for a peaceful world, as selfish as it may sound, it can be quite difficult for me as an Armenian to mentally juxtapose the Artsakh war to the Russian-Ukrainian war and come to terms with how hypocritical the international community and the average person are currently behaving. I am by no means stating that we should not care about Ukraine and the innocent lives being lost. If anything, I am saying the opposite. As mentioned in previous articles, humanitarianism does not come and go with what is trending. Yet, each time this sentiment is proven wrong, I still find myself completely and utterly shocked, clinging on to a thin sliver of hope each time.

To anyone but the Armenian, the betrayal we feel can come across as self-centered. Tactless, even. Despite it all, we must be honest, and honesty isn’t always beautiful. The honest truth, at least for me, is that I feel completely dejected. We all remember the Artsakh War and our community’s level of involvement. We attended protests, we donated, we fundraised, we spread the word on social media and despite it all, Lady Justice turned a blind eye to the Armenians once again. We put in endless hours of work to spread the word about our cause and reached a dead end. A few days of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict have already amassed a much larger audience than we had months into our struggle. It hurts to feel that certain people are prioritized in the eyes of the media, and thus, the world.

It hurts to feel that certain people are prioritized in the eyes of the media, and thus, the world.

Why must we deal with the ever-so-tired sentiment of “thoughts and prayers” when the media has sensationalized this conflict to benefit their pockets? Why are Armenians, Palestinians, Uyghur Muslims, and other groups of people labeled as “terrorists” while Ukrainians are praised for “fighting for their freedom?” This kind of rhetoric is intensely damaging, especially when it comes to guilt-tripping at the hands of the same people who ignored our cries in the midst of the Artsakh war. How dare the same Western society who condemns those who don’t post about the conflict on social media ignore the cries of the people suffering from it? This does not start and end with Armenian issues for me. When it comes down to it, this is a global issue. No one’s suffering is more grave than another’s. 

History will remember the brave heroes of both Armenia and Ukraine. Let us all pray for a better world. 

Melody Seraydarian

Melody Seraydarian

Melody Seraydarian is a journalist and undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, pursuing a degree in Media Studies with a concentration in media, law and policy. Her column, "Hye Key," covers politics, culture and everything in between from a Gen-Z perspective. She is from Los Angeles, California and is an active member of her local Armenian community.


  1. This is not about pain and suffering.

    The response to pain and suffering is thoughts and prayers, and may be humanitarian aid. At best. Nothing else. That is the reality. If we are honest, we’ll admit we do the same about other peoples’ and countries’ pain and suffering.

    The West’s response in the case of Ukraine is about common interests. Ukraine leans west. Russia wants to bully it to go east. Hence, the West’s moral and material support. Amplified by a concern that after Ukraine, Russia will keep going further West. The history of Russia as the West’s adversary, its size and power, and Putin’s rhetoric contribute to this.

    There was no such common interest in the case of Artsakh war. Some of it is due to size and location. Some of it has to do with the fact that Azerbaijan is not a threat to the West. Some of it has to do with the fact that Armenia has done nothing in 30 years to even attempt to create a common interest with the West.

    If say Laos invaded Cambodia, or India invaded Bangladesh, would the West’s reaction be the same? No. Just like India, Bangladesh, and Laos do not react to Ukraine invasion now. Because it’s not a threat to them and they have some interests with Russia.

    , Ukraine does not get the full support that, say, Poland would get. Why? Poland is a NATO ally and Ukraine is not. I’m sure many Ukrainians are bitter about that, but that is the reality. Poland has obligations to help other NATO countries and all NATO countries have an obligation to help Poland. There is no such agreement between NATO and Ukraine.

    So the help and support you get is proportional to the extent your interests are aligned with the interests of the countries that support you and, when the interests are really strong, they are formalized in treaties, which allow you to receive maximum support.

    In the case of Armenia, the mutual defense treaty was and is with Russia, and Belarus, and Kazakhstan, etc. Those are the countries that should have done what the West is doing now for Ukraine and even more, they should have done for Armenia what the West would do for Poland. To me that’s the outrage. Not the fact that, say, US did not do for Russia’s military ally Armenia what it is doing now for Ukraine. Russia is an adversary of US and NATO. Armenia is a military ally of Russia. So thoughts and prayers is the most we should expect in these circumstances.

    Let’s not confuse ourselves, because the big part of the reason we (Armenians) are where we are today is because many of our people, even those in politics and government, are utterly confused about how the world works.

    • Your comment is full of errors.
      1) Ukraine does not lean West entirely. There is a sizeable sector of the Ukrainian population that does not care to join NATO or the EU.
      2) The French and the Americans were members of the Minsk Group, and thus had a duty to act. Armenia also was involved in NATO peacekeeping missions in Kosovo, Lebanon, and training in Germany. We also have a partnership with the EU.
      3) The West only cares to use Ukraine for its own purposes. Similar to how they destroyed Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen for their own gain.
      4) Putin can only carry about a quarter of the blame. NATO giving false hope to Ukraine, flooding it with weapons, antagonizing Russia, and then not even trying to deescalate is also a major part of it. You left that out because it doesn’t suit your narrative.

    • armenia can join EU AND NATO if Greece Cyprus Approve they just cant because of İslamic alliance in nat0 between Albania and Turkey also nat0 anti orthodox policy in Kosovo against serbs this is one of reason West doesnt care about armenians during artsakh war most of armenian diaspora faced this reality across the EU and in Middle east.first save the armenians in middle east evacauted to Armenia.

  2. You said exactly what I’ve been saying about Palestine. Speaking of which, let’s not forget that during the 1967 war, Israel murdered US troops and got away with it.

  3. All wars are tragic, but some are justified. Despite what CNN says, history will be on the side of Russia.

    What would Uncle Sam do if Texas tried break free from the United States and made a military alliance with Russia? What would Uncle Sam do if China was to deploy troops and missiles in Mexico? What would Uncle Sam do if Russians were to deploy troops or missiles in Venezuela? What did Uncle Sam do in Cuba, Vietnam, Granada, Panama, Iraq, Serbia, Libya and Syria?

    This war was a direct result of expanding NATO to Russia’s borders, despite 30 years of complaints and warnings by Moscow. This war was a direct result of placing missile systems near Russia’s borders, despite 30 years of complaints and warnings by Moscow. This war was a direct result of fomenting anti-Russian Color Revolutions throughout former soviet space, including in Ukraine. Ukraine has been a hotbed of anti-Russian activity. Western powers were planning to deploy troops in the country. Zelensky’s regime was planning to procure nuclear weapons. The pro-Russian separatist region of Donbass was bombed for 8 years. Time was running out. Russia had to react.

    This war was also a consequence of Western powers and their allies invading Iraq on false pretexts. This war was a consequence of Western powers and their allies mercilessly bombing Serbia, again based on false pretexts, and giving a major piece of it (i.e. Kosovo) to Albanian Muslims. This war was also a consequence of Western powers destroying Syria, Libya and Yemen via Western-back Islamic terror groups. Western powers and their allies are responsible for a number of illegal invasions and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people around the world since 1991. Western powers and their allies are also responsible for a number of bloody “regime changes” and “color revolutions” around the world, including Armenia in 2018, which led to the loss of Artsakh.

    It’s about time someone stood up and said – no more! Once again, that someone is the great Russian nation.

    I did not see the “civilized world” protesting when Artsakh was attacked. I did not see them protesting when Serbia was attacked. I did not see them protesting when Iraq was attacked. I did not see them protesting when Syria was attacked. I did not see them protesting when Libya was attacked. I did not see them protesting when Yemen was attacked. The “civilized world” with all its toxic organizations and institutions, along with their Ukrainian friends can go to hell.

    I hope to see Russia turn its attention on the south Caucasus after Kiev capitulates.

    This war will end with Ukraine’s total capitulation in one to two weeks. Despite what Western MSM is trying to tell us, President Putin’s war effort in Ukraine has been brilliant. Despite the fact that Ukraine is one of the largest countries in the world and has a well armed and well trained military, within one week, around 25% of Ukraine is in Russian hands. Despite what Western MSM is trying to tell us, all measures are being taken by the Russian military to lessen civilian casualties. Russians have even kept the lights on throughout the country. This humanitarian restraint by the Russians is causing delays as well as Russian casualties.

    For their part, Western officials and journalists have been encouraging and inciting Ukrainian civilians to fight the Russian army. In other words, Westerners are doing their best to get Ukrainians massacred for a good “photo op”. And Zelensky is their Grim Reaper in this regard. In any case, Ukraine will no longer exist after this. They played with fire for too long. No tears for Ukraine from me. Let’s Russia do what it needs to do to that pro-Tatar and pro-Azeri hotbed of Western, Turkish and Israeli activity.

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