a mystical möbius — curating facts, ideas, text, and media to create a contemplative space.
Russia attacks Ukraine
Tick-tock… in long broad strokes
In an essay from July 2021, Russian president Vladimir Putin began to claim that the nation “Ukraine” is a made-up entity, that it has no basis in historical reality without Russia’s authenticating blessing.
Over a period of several months in 2021 Russia steadily amassed one hundred fifty thousand troops and all manner of weaponry and support equipment along the Ukrainian border while consistently assuring Ukraine and the world that there was no intention to invade Ukraine.
Then, in a speech he gave only days before the February 24th invasion, Putin essentially claimed that there was no historical basis for Ukraine (Vox article). Many observed that Putin’s move to deny the very existence of Ukraine as a nation was brazen, to say the least — this move in itself is an ideological enactment of genocide. Of course, he was still insisting there would be no invasion of Ukraine.
On February 23, the day before his criminal aggression began, Putin and his top ministers swore that Russia had no intention whatsoever of invading Ukraine.
After invading, Putin announced Russia’s “denazification goals” and declared that he was stopping a genocide in Ukraine (i.e., the extermination of Russians by Ukrainians – e.g., he asserts that “Ukrainians” are really Western anti-Russian “Nazis” exterminating Russians in Ukraine). Putin is claiming that Ukraine is enacting genocide on what he says are essentially Russian First Peoples in the region. Obviously, Putin’s view requires a perverted re-write of history.
Putin’s actions easily merit charges of war crimes. The far more specific charge of genocide is very difficult to substantiate, as it requires proof of intent. Ordinarily, intent is a very difficult thing to prove. As Providence would have it, in the present case of Russian genocide against Ukraine, thanks to Timofey Sergeytsev’s article in RIA Novosti , we have clear articulation of Putin’s intent to commit genocide.
OK, please give a good close reading to Sergeytsev’s article, “What should Russia do with Ukraine?“ at your first opportunity. Today and next week I plan to cite some of the interesting/telling passages from the piece.
According to the plan
Putin believed that his army would almost effortlessly roll into Kyiv and topple the “Nazi-led government” for a three-day “special military operation.” He likely imagined that the Ukrainian people would be giving bouquets and having parades for his “liberating” army. We know this with a good deal of confidence, because on February 26 RIA Novosti mistakenly published the pre-written victory announcement. The premature report was summarily taken down from the Novosti site. Oops!
Nothing has gone “according to the plan” — at least, one would hope! Sergeytsev’s article claims success in terms of what the denazification mission has revealed about the prevalence of neo-Nazism in Ukraine.
The great switcheroo
“In traducing the meaning of words like ‘Nazi,’ Putin and his propagandists are creating more rhetorical and political space for fascists in Russia and elsewhere.” “The Russian handbook is one of the most openly genocidal documents I have ever seen.” “It operates within the special Russian definition of ‘Nazi’: a Nazi is a Ukrainian who refuses to admit being a Russian.” —Timothy Snyder
Part of Putin’s rationale is the Ukrainian oppression of speaking the Russian language. Ironically, “Russian speakers in Ukraine are much freer, much freer in every respect, than Russian speakers in Russia.”—Timothy Snyder.
Putin cannot afford, nor can he abide, a freedom differential with Ukraine.
It’s in plain sight, and it’s hidden
We’ll see next time, upon close inspection of Sergeytsev’s article, that if one steps back, it becomes obvious that Putin has gone to war with Western values. The war’s justification is Putin’s Russian empire and Holy-Rus-traditionalism against any and all who come in the name of anything else, but chiefly modernism and the march of evolutionary change toward freedom and democracy. It’s traditionalism (including ethno-nationalism) vs. liberal multiculturalism; i.e., culture wars on steroids.
I’m out of space again. Next week we’ll look closely at Sergeytsev’s article in RIA Novosti. Here’s a sample, Sergeytsev writes:
The peculiarity of modern nazified Ukraine is in amorphousness and ambivalence, which allow Nazism to be disguised as a desire for “independence” and a ‘European’ (Western, pro-American) path of “development . . . “
Next week: Ukrainian genocide?! (pt. 3) Come and see.
[this post ~825 words (3 minute read)]
Hey, Hey, Rise Up
6 thoughts on “Ukrainian genocide?! (pt. 2)”
Good job Michael, I think you have your sources and focus just right.
Despite all the shortcomings and negatives of social media, I have found Twitter to provide a diverse and up-close connection to reporters, citizens, and others on the ground in Ukraine and within governments around the world.
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Yes, I don’t think the real horrors of war have ever been witnessed as clearly as they are being witnessed in this war. I pray that exposure can somehow create significant potential for change regarding peace.
peace and peanut butter,
I think your sentence….. “Putin cannot afford, nor can he abide, a freedom differential with Ukraine.” sums up quite well why such a horrific war was initiated. A rationale person, standing back, would think that any threat to Russia (if any) is so far down the road historically (10 years absolute minimum and more likely 20-30) that Putin will be gone by then and the world will be a much different place with completely different priorities and problems lik climate change for one big one. Either he believes he will live forever or he has another psychological defect because to take such a risky course now makes no sense. Putin must have gotten so wrapped up in an “ultimate plan” that he had to make this chess move now – in chess terms this seems like an unsound sacrifice even though he has hurt the opponent/Ukraine a lot.
My only tiny quibble here is the use of the term genocide. While war crimes were committed without a doubt, to me the term genocide is more appropriate to much larger atrocities like what happened in Armenia, Rwanda, and the Holocaust. You have definitely painted a picture of the intent for genocide. Let’s pray that this madness can be stopped.
The Economist has excellent coverage of the war going into many facets from the reasons for, to strategic aims, and changing war tactics. A few months ago they suggested the same rationale as your sentence I quoted above. There is much evidence to support your assertion. https://www.economist.com/ukraine-crisis
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Shasta Mike, thanks for writing!
> I think your sentence….. “Putin cannot afford, nor can he abide, a freedom differential with Ukraine.” sums up quite well why such a horrific war was initiated.
As I recently overheard someone say, “for Putin, Ukraine is a wag-the-dog operation to distract the Russian people from the grim picture that is Russia for the average Russian.”
Stay tuned as the missives I’ve written for May 1 and May 8 remind us of what I consider the primary reason Putin invaded Ukraine. The present three-part series is more regarding how he has justified the action. Putin’s miscalculations are many with regard to Ukraine, not the least of which is the fact that his justifications for attack also supply proof of his genocidal intent. Oops.
imagine whirled peas,