A sham trial of Nadia Savchenko masterminded by Vladimir Putin became so iconic for the Ukrainian people that it may be compared to one of the Biblical legends in terms of influencing public opinion: of a young shepherd David defeating Goliath the giant. The story tells that 3,000 years ago, the Philistine sailors started seizing the coasts of Palestine. Experienced and ruthless warriors, they began to move deeper into the country, intending to capture the ridge at Bethlehem aiming to split the kingdom of King Saul of Israel and enslave peaceful locals.

The giant sported a copper armor, being armed with a sword and a huge spear

Philistines pitched their battle formations on one slope of the valley, while the alarmed Israelis – on the other. Neither side dared to leave their positions, because they would need to storm the enemy-held slope to secure the offensive. In the end, the invaders exhausted their patience, so they sent to the valley their greatest warrior – Goliath. This six-foot tall giant sported a copper armor and was armed with a sword and a huge spear. The monster stood in front of the Israelis and called to choose a person who would dare fight him. Goliath said that the invaders will turn into Israelis’ slaves if that person kills him, but if the giant wins, than the locals will be enslaved. In a dramatic move, there came a young shepherd of Bethlehem, who only got to the battlefield because he had brought food to his older brothers. King Saul tried to persuade the young man not to accept the challenge of formidable enemy, but the young man was adamant. And so began one of the most paradoxical battles in human history. Refusing the offer to be armed in Goliath’s style, David chose to grab five stones from a nearby creek and his shepherd's crook.

Ridiculed by Goliath, David said that his power is not in formidable armor, but in his belief in his own strength and faith in God. Engaging a stone at Goliath with a leather sling, he knocked down the giant and beheaded him afterward with Goliath’s own sword. Philistines saw the death of their hero and shamefully fled from the battlefield. The war was over.

The weaker warrior has won, that is because he did not play by the rules imposed by the invaders. He showed us that the Giants are not as strong as the enemy propaganda claims. At the same time, the features that seem to be signs of power are, in fact, a source of weakness.

Isn’t it exactly what Nadia Savchenko has shown us?

Captured in combat near the Ukrainian Luhansk, Savchenko was kidnapped by Russian security services and taken to Russia with a bag on her head, to become subject of “exemplary punishment” of a Ukrainian patriot. With the participation of people from the Russian President’s Administration, the obedient court has ruled Nadia guilty of the murder of Russian citizens and the "illegal" crossing of the Russian border.

It was all very cynical, just in the style of the Kremlin’s master. The prosecutors were not interested in the facts, in testimony of eyewitness, in adhering to law and simple common sense. However, the cruel punishment of Savchenko has also become a historic case against Putin and the country, which is still obedient to him.

Nadia’s sling launched a stone at the head of Goliath. The truth has defeated the lies, honor has defeated villainy and ignominy. One brave hero has destroyed the seemingly impregnable armor hitting the enemy’s weakest spot.

Historians analyzed the military history of the past two hundred years, coming to the conclusion that even in the case of the invaders’ huge advantage in combat power, the parties who were initially considered weaker, actually won one-third of such wars. In case of applying non-traditional, non-standard methods of warfare, the percentage of success of the "weaker ones" increased to more than 60%.

The prosecutors were not interested in the facts, in testimony of eyewitness, in adhering to law and common sense.

Nadia Savchenko suggests that our chances of winning will increase significantly, when both the government and Ukrainian society refuse to play by the rules imposed by the enemy. More unexpected moves and more bold, innovative solutions!

Look at the apparent vulnerability of the Russian Goliath. Primarily, this is due to the fact that the specifics of the Russian “czar-focused” power structure implies the inevitability of his death. However long the 63-year-old warmonger lives, he won’t be around forever. When he’s gone, Russia will change as well.

Another obvious weakness of the enemy's strategy is that the Russians are clearly not eager to sacrifice their jobs and, moreover, their lives for the realization of global ambitions of their rulers. And our Nadia Savchenko has shown that she is willing to give her life for the freedom and independence of her country. Feel the difference in the bids!

A former intelligence officer, Putin surprises the modern and politically correct world with one simple technique: he does the exact opposite of what he says. He plays by the KGB old school rules. The most important for him are the symbols like the USSR and the "zone of influence of the superpowers," among which he, of course, he sees Russia. The system is creaking, but it is still working: Russian voters are ready to laud populism forgetting their empty fridges. But how long will this state of self-deception last?

Savchenko has defeated the Russian Goliath in something that the Kremlin believes it is the best (with all KGB experience): in manipulating public opinion.

Enemies thought Savchenko would break down, but she stood strong. They thought that this tribunal will intimidate the Ukrainians, but Nadia’s asymmetric response encouraged us.

Imagine the shock of people who are used to bribe packs of Ukrainian officials, now coming face to face with a Ukrainian woman, who cannot be bought or intimidated. And what happens in the minds of the modern Philistines, who developed plans for dissecting and occupying Ukraine, but faced the brave defenders of the Ukrainian land such as Savchenko? Hopefully, they are starting to realize that the people who have their own David can’t be defeated.

Savchenko has defeated the Russian Goliath in something that the Kremlin believes it is the best (with all KGB experience): in manipulating public opinion.

One of Canadian psychologists who analyzed the behavior of societies during the war, said that the morale of the society depends on the reaction of the survivors. The same event of a shocking nature can be deadly to a certain category of people, while stimulating change for the better for the others.

Putin assured Russian citizens that it is in their own interests to become more and more aggressive, to revive the empire that would rule over its unruly neighbors by means of terror and economic blackmail. But he forgot the legend of Goliath, who was killed because he was too big to dodge the launched stone. Quickly changing his mood, Putin creates the illusion of mobility of his vast country, but everyone who dealt with the Russians knows how conservative their society, and how clumsy their state is. They also know how acute the internal problems are as well as contradictions in the 144-million multinational country sprawling across two continents.

Now our neighbors were assured that there is no Russian-Ukrainian war, but there is in fact just a civil conflict, in which the Russians provide all possible assistance to the oppressed Russian speakers on the Ukrainian east. However, the masterminds of this myth don’t explain why this "oppression" was left unnoticed by most of Ukraine’s residents and why the Russian troops are killing these very Russian speakers in Ukraine. However, this lie will sooner or later be smashed to smithereens.

We did not want it, but the war has broken into the life of every Ukrainian, forever changing our society and our country. Convicted with kangaroo court, Nadia showed us the power of an asymmetric response. And the Ukrainian society, strong with its active citizens, will find thousands of opportunities to fight against injustice, for dignity and freedom. Our chances of winning will be much higher if we do not play by the rules of the enemy and avoid personal responsibility.

Goliath is no longer able to stop the stone launched at him. Nadia Savchenko showed us an example of how to convert defeat into victory. And she put in the hands of each of us who live in modern Ukraine David’s little sling. Thank you, Nadia!

Yuriy Kulikov