a mystical möbius — curating facts, ideas, text, and media to create a contemplative space.
You be the judge
Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has said, without equivocation, that Russia has committed genocide in Ukraine. Genocide is a very specific kind of war crime.
“Genocide” has been so oft used as an attention-grabbing designation by activists in the West that many/most Americans are frequently skeptical about the term’s usage.
Regarding Ukraine, the most relevant parts of the U.N. definition of genocide are as follows:
…genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
- Killing members of the group;
- Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
- Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide reads: “Intent to destroy, . . . in whole or in part, . . . ” Of course,
The intent is the most difficult element to determine. To constitute genocide, there must be a proven intent on the part of perpetrators to physically destroy a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.
President Zelensky’s charge against President Vladimir Putin and the Russian forces did not occur in a vacuum. It came in light of what was being revealed in the towns that the Russian aggressors had been occupying and from which they were now withdrawing. Ukrainian communities like Borodyanka, Bucha, Dmytrivka, Gostomel, Irpin, Ivankiv, Mila, and others, are revealing the genocidal atrocities (U.N. definition points 1, 2, and 3 above) and war crimes (terrorizing violence – murdering, raping, pillaging, plundering and looting) that the Russian aggressors enacted on the Ukrainian people. So far, Bucha has received the most attention from the press.
Some deep background — “demoralization”
This video interview [full interview] — ironically, from 1984 — is with a former Soviet propagandist, Yuri Bezmenov. In this clip of the interview, Bezmenov describes the four phases of “ideological subversion” (or “active measures” or “psychological warfare”). Echoes of this same methodology show up in the article I cite below. Bezmenov forms a contextual link:
Smoking-gun evidence of “intent”
So, I guess if we wanted to know what Putin means when he declares that “denazification” is Russia’s goal in Ukraine, all we needed to do is read a Russian state newspaper, RIA Novosti. Well, as of last Sunday, anyway.
Last Sunday [4/3/22], Belarusian journalist, Tadeusz Giczan (@TadeuszGiczan), tweeted a thread that identified an article — that also appeared Sunday — in the Russian state media arm, RIA Novosti [Yes, this is a later iteration of the same Novosti that Bezmenov talks about in the video above (Novosti history).].
Truly, I’d swear that this RIA Novosti article would make both Joseph Goebbels and George Orwell blush. It’s entitled, “What should Russia do with Ukraine?” and it is written by Timofey Sergeytsev. The article plainly describes Putin’s thinking about “denazification,” and it is horrific. —Note: I’ll be using excerpts from the article in next week’s a mystical möbius three-minute missive, “Ukrainian genocide?! (pt.2).”
Please read it for yourself as Sergeytsev clearly describes precisely what Putin means by the “denazification of Ukraine.” [note: if you use a Chrome browser, Google will ask if you’d like it to translate the page; just click “English in the dialog box.]
Most people could look at the facts on the ground in Bucha [and elsewhere] along with Sergeytsev’s article and, by using plain common sense, be able to discern that Zelensky is correct in his genocide charge. Even so, it is also nice to hear from someone who is eminently qualified to make just such an assessment — someone who is a scholar of genocide.
And most importantly, the RIA Novosti (a state outlet) piece is one of the most explicit statements of intent to destroy a national group as such that I’ve ever seen.
The Russian handbook [i.e., RIA Novosti piece] is one of the most openly genocidal documents I have ever seen.
Orwellian (denial) response
Recall, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones said that the Sandy Hook massacre was fake. Jones said that it was staged by crisis actors. [Note: Jones has fully recanted now] Of course, Putin and his Kremlin sock puppets, like Sergei Lavrov and Dmitry Peskov, are saying the same thing now about the atrocities revealed in Borodyanka, Bucha, Dmytrivka, Gostomel, Irpin, Ivankiv, Mila, on Zhytomyr Highway, and many other instances . . . .
I’m out of space; so, next week I’ll unpack my take on what’s happening in Ukraine.