Archives for posts with tag: Kyiv

I grew up in a communist country, Romania.

Russian films were ‘readily’ available.
Some of them were good. Really good.

Besides going to the movies, I was an avid reader.
I must confess that the ‘great Russian classics’ didn’t impress me. No special reason.
But I did read a lot of Russian literature. About the partizans fighting the Nazis during WWII, about the communists fighting for freedom – for their version of freedom, in the early ‘920-ies, some Sci-Fi novels about the happy lives the Russians were going to live in the next millennium.

This morning I was listening to the radio.
The news bulletin was, of course, about what’s going on in Ukraine.

A refugee, a woman who had fled accompanied by her young daughter – her husband and her son remained at home to fight, was speaking in her native language.
I know that Ukrainian is different from Russian. But for my ears they sound very much the same.

Imagine what I felt.

I grew up associating the Russian language with the struggle for freedom. With the promise of a better world.

As I learned things… my understanding of history had become more ‘nuanced’.
The Soviet Union had collapsed after Afghanistan. The regime finally got what was coming to it.
As Putin crushed Chechnya, killed Litvinenko, ‘peacefully’ occupied Crimea … things were no longer ‘nuanced’…

But this!

They say that an image is worth a thousand words… I’m no longer sure about that!

There is so much violence paraded in front of our yes that our ‘retina’ has become calloused.

Hearing that brave woman trying to convey her tragedy in a language I associated in my childhood with the promise of liberty really did it for me.

This time the oppressor itself was speaking Russian.
Russian soldiers were doing the very same thing the Russian people had experienced during the WWII. And they were doing it to their ‘brothers’.

Russian soldiers were turning Kyiv into rubble!
Kyiv, the birth place of the Rus-ian people…

All this conveyed in a language which, for me, sounds very much the same as the language I had associated in my childhood with the quest for freedom.

I wept.

Hoping the Kremlin will learn to understand tears.
Maybe not the present ruler but at least the stony walls…

Ever since Putin had ordered his army to invade Ukraine, I keep hearing about what drove Putin to do it.
About his dreams of rebuilding the old Russian Glory. About his drive to become the most important Russian personality. About NATO ‘pushing itself’ closer and closer to Russia’s borders. About…

The map above is the last argument I came by. And the last straw…
The person who posted the map doesn’t agree with Putin. Not at all.
But cannot ‘forget’ the fact that at one time Kiev did belong to Russia.

Well… I’ll be blunt about it!

This person, along with many others, tries to explain what is going on in a rational manner. They attempt to find an objective reason for a subjective decision.

Putin is flattening out Ukraine because he is afraid.

The Soviet Union had survived 1956 Hungary, 1968 Prague, and 1980 Solidarnosc. All of these ‘movements’ had been, somehow, quashed. Dealt with.

The Soviet Union had, finally, crumbled under its own weight after Afghanistan. After a people didn’t cave in. After a people, an entire people, found it in themselves how to resist. How to say no!

Putin had successfully quashed Yeltsin’s oligarchs, the Chechen rebellion, the first Orange revolution, dealt with Saakashvili, helped Lukashenko save his throne and put a lid upon the recent Kazahstani attempt at making a small step towards democracy.
And was contemplating the Western Europe planing to give up burning gas and oil.

‘His’ gas and oil…

He had to do something. Otherwise ‘his’ people were going to throw him out.

If Ukraine was allowed to continue on the self determination path, who was going to stop the Russians from following suit?

So yes, the circumstances described by that map are valid.
But it is Putin who bears the entire responsibility for what’s going on.
And for creating the circumstances in which ‘next’ is going to happen.

Can you imagine what’s going on in these children’s souls?

Circa 840, “three noble brothers” of Viking origin – Rurik, Sineus and Truvor, established “what came to be called Kievan Rus”.

“Rus,” which is where the name “Russia” comes from, purportedly derives from an old Nordic word for “men who row.”

882. Oleg the Prophet captures Kyiv and moves the capital of the Viking kingdom from Novgorod to Kyiv.
Thus the Rus becomes Kievan.

1703. Peter the Great of Rus-sia established Sank Petersburg as a bulwark against the Swedish Kingdom.
The city served as Russia’s capital from 1712 to 1918

1941. Hitler breaks the German Soviet Non Aggression Pact and starts a war against the Soviet Union.
Leningrad – the city formerly known as Sankt Petersburg, had been put under siege from September 8, 1941 to January 27, 1944

2022. February 24. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, the present day ruler of Rus-sia, in complete defiance of the Budapest Memorandum, started a “special military operation” meant to achieve the “demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine,”

Kyiv hasn’t been besieged yet but has already been under heavy bombardment.

I’m Romanian.
Romanians don’t have very fond memories of what had happened to their country whenever the Russian soldiers had come by to ‘visit’.
As a teenager I read The 900 Days The Siege of Leningrad, 1968, by Harrison Salisbury

And wept.

Now, an already old man, I check out, on the Internet, what’s going out in Kyiv – the former capital of the Kievan Rus.

And weep.

Homo homini lupus has become a massive understatement.

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