Listening, watching, the pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine: so much anger. About what exactly? They speak of the “fascists”, the “Nazis” in Kiev, who made a “coup”. They cry. They are very emotional, sometimes hysterical.
They wear orange strips striated with black, the same that were worn by the Soviet army in the war against the Nazis in WWII. The same exact decorations are worn all over Russia. The idea? The war against the Nazis, what Russians call the great patriotic war, has started again. What’s going on? Putin has made them red-hot, in the old fashion way baboons understand so well.
It’s all very simple. The ancestors of these Russians were sent by the Czars to settle “New Russia”. As Russian, newly Russianizing. Ukraine. Some, or their parents, were sent by Stalin. That’s why in East and South Ukraine, Ukrainian is spoken in the countryside, and less in the cities.
Ukraine was long the most productive part of the USSR, industrially, or agriculturally. But as Stalin and his henchmen “collectivized” the farms, peasants tried to resist. Stalin and his henchmen killed them with wild abandon. When the Red Army started to have had enough, Stalin and his henchmen killed that too.
Meanwhile, in the West, millions of “Communists”, rendered insane by their hatred of Western plutocracy, bleated their approval of Stalin’s fascism. A curious case of collective hysteria, jumping from the fire, into the lava. (Some, such as Camus, saw their mistake; others, like Sartre, not so much.)
Those pro-Russians in Ukraine we can see full of rage and distress on TV, got all their information, in Russian, from Putin controlled Russian TV. Many honestly believe the lies they have been told. How could they not? They know nothing else.
So is disinformation, dissembling, and outright lying a crime? Well, it is, when they go too far, and are what lead from peace to war.
Humanity progresses by becoming ever more sensitive and smart about the causes and subtleties of optimal morality.
Progress involves not just a refinement of introspection and culture. But also a refinement of the law. Including International Law. That is why wars of aggression and annexations of territory are, and ought to be, subject to the greatest penalties.
Be it only by instigating hatred and lethal fear through their deliberate lies, Putin and his henchmen are engaged in a criminal enterprise.
When Putin claims that the West wants to dismantle Russia, all of it, and, without missing a beat, that Ukraine is Russia (apparently separated from the rest by the West, he implies), he is activating a terror so great that one can only expect all Russians to line up behind him, with just one mind, the mind of war, and then go to war.
This is the essence of the fascist reflex.
And what of these orange strips striated with black. Russian say it has to do with “the Great Patriotic War”. Do they even know how it started? How Russia got involved?
Well, first, Stalin was, de facto, allied with German fascists, for more than two decades (top Soviet fascists were allied to German fascists since 1917, at least). German generals and their tanks trained in the USSR (this explains why they believed they could destroy the USSR, and they may have had, but for the preliminary invasion of Greece and Crete).
Then Russia made its alliance with the Nazis official.
Thus comforted, Russia, still allied with the Nazis, invaded Poland. Then Russia, more allied with the Nazis than ever, send Hitler and his gang of criminals all they needed, including precious oil. Oil that was used to invade Western Europe.
Then Russia attacked, and invaded. Finland. Unfortunately the Finns did not understand well that Finland was Russia. With astounding efficiency, Finns killed many thousands Russians. Officially, the Soviet Union suffered 323,000 casualties. In the end, Stalin, Putin style, annexed some Finnish territory, augmenting once again Russian “hugeness” (Putin), as all good Czars do.
So the orange strip striated with black is ambiguous: does it mean Russia is allied with Nazism again?
Do not expect most Russians to understand the preceding, except as “hatred”. When young Russians are asked about Kalingrad Oblast, all they know is that, during the “Great Patriotic War”, it was “liberated” from the Nazis. They actually thus deduce it was always Russian.
They don’t know it was never Russian. And always Prussian. And sometimes (for three centuries), Polish. All, but never Russian.
And who was Kalinin? One of Stalin’s henchmen, dripping with blood.
And what did Putin put in Kaliningrad? Nuclear missiles, a few minutes flying from Warsaw, Prague, Vienna, Berlin, Hamburg.
In his usual lying ways, Putin said he would put these extremely dangerous Iskander missiles IF the West put a few anti-missile missiles in the West (meant, and only capable of, intercepting a couple of missiles from Iran). The West then abjectly excused itself for ever entertaining such a notion, and said they would never consider it again. Then Putin, satisfied, having got something for nothing, as usual, deployed his nuclear missiles.
The Iskander missiles deployed by Russia are a violated of International Treaties, the Intermediate Range Nuclear Force Treaty signed by Gorbatchev and Reagan, in 1987. The treaty eliminated nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with intermediate ranges, defined as between 500-5,500 km. Reason? Those weapons can strike in a few minutes, their command and control is prone to accident, so are intrinsically destabilizing.
The obsolete predecessors of the Iskanders were ceremoniously destroyed. Iskanders are mobile (impossible to find), they fly low (50 kilometers) at hypersonic speeds (2,100 meters per second), and execute anti-anti-ballistic missiles missiles maneuvers at up to 30 gs (thirty times Earth’s gravity).
In other words, the Iskanders are a monster weapon, in violation of all treaties, and Obama has been watching all this with the distinguished awareness and elegance of a cow watching a train.
One feels Obama should lay on a beach in Hawai’i watching surfs surf. At least we would know where he is at.
No wonder Putin has decided he is a tiger, Obama a cow, and Europe a hunting ground.
The pro-Russian “separatists” in Ukraine shouting:”Russia, Russia, Russia.” are about as intelligent as would have been people in Algeria singing: “France, France, France.”. Actually then, they didn’t. Even the most idiotic fascist colonialist right wing extremists of the French persuasion were shouting:”French Algeria” (Algerie Francaise).
The Ukrainian separatists thus deny the very concept of Ukraine. Why? Because Putin, their master thinker, denies it. So they repeat, like parrots, because their master does not lie, they believe. Putin insists, incessantly, that there is no such a thing as “Ukraine”. It’s all Russia. Apparently all the way to Kaliningrad and beyond. “As one of our Czars said, they are afraid of our hugeness”, he chuckles.
Meanwhile, emboldened by the sort of violation of International Law not even Stalin dared to indulge in, Putin sends his “very professional” fifth columnists, all over Ukraine.