A READER gets in touch to discuss the crisis between Russia and the Ukraine.

RECENT history does paint a black picture against Russia, the evil regime under Stalin, the concentration camps in Siberia, the atrocities by Russian soldiers after the Second World War.

In more recent times the assassinations or attempted assassinations and imprisonments of dissidents.

The shooting down of a Malayan airline seven years ago by a Russian missile over Ukraine with the loss of 283 lives and the only reason I can see is to stop non-Russian flights over Ukraine.

With this history it is easy for the West to put Russia completely in the wrong for every conflict with Russia especially the current one with Ukraine.

I could be wrong but it appears the USA is using Ukraine to base missiles pointing at Russia. A sort of a reverse Cuba crisis and if this is true it is understandable why Russia is concerned.

Russia is also concerned that Ukraine wants to join NATO, another country as a potential enemy. Ukraine wants to join the Europoean Economic Community but why the EEC would the want them to join. It seems to me that there is no end to the EEC’s dreams of expansion.

You cannot call Putin a democratic leader, but in Russia under his leadership Christianity and Church attendance is booming. Putin also believes in old fashioned moral values which are quickly declining in the West.

Are we freer in the West? I sometimes wonder as the oppressive culture of political correctness curtails freedom of speech and is a form of Communism.

We have in the West now, I don’t like buzz words, but this word sums it up nicely, ‘Groupthink ‘ which especially applies to the EEC.

If it is decided that a certain policy should be applied then everyone has to jump on the bandwagon or adopt that policy. This is why compulsory vaccination is the mode in most countries.

I can also think of the pressure applied to take illegal immigrants.

Thomas Ball, Barnard Castle.