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)]
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