In the summer of 2017, I saw the family living close to the war zone in the eastern half of Ukraine. I’d last seen eastern Ukraine and Donetsk in 2009 as a teen, but this time was recognizable. The road signs had bullet holes, windows have been destroyed, flats and even hospitals revealed signs of harm from rocket fire. Some of my loved ones hadn’t survived the violence which had happened.
Since April 2014, over 10,000 people are murdered in Ukraine, while another 1.5 million are displaced and most are currently refugees. The warfare between Russia and Ukraine might appear far removed for many Americans, and most are amazed to hear that the violence of this war remains today. However, a lot of us unwittingly encourage it each time we purchase products in the giant online retailer Amazon. While Russia is waging an illegal invasion to Ukraine, Amazon is profiting from the symbols of the battle, like the banner ads which represent Russian proxy powers. The retail stage enables third parties to market merchandise containing images that signify the so-called”Donetsk People’s Republic” (DPR). It’s an interim regional authority-based and financed by the Russian authorities – that is now wreaking havoc in Eastern Ukraine.
The DPR banner is a version of this Novorossiya banner, that has been used throughout the Empire (1721-1917) to symbolize a”New Russia” – the invasion and subjugation of all Ukraine.
Amazon’s official coverage prohibits sellers from providing products that “promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance or market organizations with such perspectives .” Despite this announcement, products that foster the DPR are offered for sale on the Amazon site now. From the DNR, among the Russian government’s militants tied a Ukrainian girl into a pole at rifle point to humiliate her. The Embassy of Ukraine from the US has advocated Amazon to eliminate products with DPR symbols for over a year without so much as a reply from the Business.
Ukrainians, such as my loved ones, are innocently caught in the center of the war and trying hard to maintain their lives together. Allowing goods like DPR decals to be marketed on Amazon is a tacit acceptance of those continuing violent actions against the people of Ukraine. No individual or company should gain from the sufferers of Russia’s war from Ukraine. If ISIS decals, for example, were available for purchase on Amazon’s stage, what activities would have been accepted by today?
Before, Amazon has reacted to the selling of violence by banning related products. Examples include Nazi-themed action characters and many recently, Amazon eliminated holiday decorations bearing pictures of Auschwitz. Therefore, why’s Amazon not removed the DPR product over six months because it went on the market? By keeping up these products for sale, Amazon is encouraging Russia’s war against innocent individuals, and it’s encouraging a harmful, hateful group.
Amazon should maintain its policy against products that glorify violence and hate.
Whether the service is indirect or direct, Amazon should maintain its policy against products that glorify violence and hate. Amazon has prohibited contentious product before, however, the question remains: isn’t Amazon devoting more funds to eliminating Russian-funded separatist propaganda goods on their website?
We can not expect to change the path of geopolitical events as humans. But, we could stand together and need justice; which includes the stage which makes it possible for the marketing of hateful symbols which observe the grave injustices committed against our fellow person.