There was an article posted on Russian media last week called “What Russia Should Do In Ukraine,” by Timofei Sergeitsev. The piece caused a great outrage among Ukrainians, and got great support in Russia.
It tells, in no uncertain terms, that Ukraine has no right to exist as a sovereign state, that it’s filled by blood-thirsty Nazis who need to be eliminated, and that at least one generation of the Russian terror should pass, before it’s considered “denazified.”
I understand that this article is a weapon. It’s a weapon of terror; it’s threatening the people of Ukraine, and it’s intensifying the feeling of “us against the whole world”, the imperial elitism, the “we’re a nation chosen to save the world” complex. It’s replacing the inferiority complex the Russian people have felt for so long after the Soviet Union failed and has shown that they were, in fact, poor, oppressed and deceived.
It’s way better to be a chosen nation than being fooled by your own government. Of course, the Soviet government was never selected by the people — well, except in 1917, when they “voted” for it via the revolution — but after that there was no choice, no voting, no elections. Still, it was hard to part with this dogma when the Soviet Union broke, and it seems that many people never gave up the hope of getting the empire back.
And now they’re fighting for the chance to do that.
The level of atrocity, of senseless cruelty, is what makes people fight for breath. I have been following one writer on Facebook for a long time. Her name is Iryna Govorukha and she’s a writer who authored a lot of books. Since the war started, she’s been speaking with the witnesses who managed to survive in Ukraine and writing their stories on Facebook. One story, told by a grandmother from Bucha, haunts me. It tells about an old woman who lost her grandson, and her old husband too. The grandson was killed by the Russians because he was sending data about their locations to Ukrainian military forces. Before being killed, he was tortured and mutilated. The grandfather was killed when he went to the Russians with the grandmother to ask for his grandson — he was still alive at the time but held captive. They didn’t like that the old man came wearing camouflage pants, so they shot him.
The old woman got the mutilated body of her grandson after Bucha was retaken by Ukrainians. They found him, together with a lot of other dead bodies. He was missing fingers and reproductive organs. She screamed for two days, then she went and cooked borscht and sat waiting. The old man and the grandson would come home soon.
I can’t tell this story better than its author, and she tells it in a few short sentences of a Facebook post that packs together many other stories, told by the survivors. Some of them only in a few words, which are even more haunting because they are told in an ordinary way, as if someone was just reiterating the events of the day.
An outlet for the pain
Wars are fruitful soil for the writers, for the artists, because they can express the pain they see and feel in something tangible. They pour it into their stories, their songs, their pictures.
The best works of art are often created by people who were in a lot of pain. I know this state too. It’s when people tell themselves, ” can’t change this, and I can’t live with this pain, because it’s eating me from the inside. I must find an outlet.”
And they do.
But let’s talk about the Russian plans for Ukraine again. Although it’s not something that a person of sound mind would read, one needs to do it to know the enemy.
“However, in addition to the top level people, a significant part of the masses, which are passive Nazis, accomplices of Nazism, are also guilty. They supported and indulged Nazi power. The just punishment for this part of the population is possible only as bearing the inevitable hardships of a just war against the Nazi system, conducted with the utmost care and discretion in relation to civilians.”Timofei Sergeitsev in “What Russia Should Do In Ukraine”
So you see, the civilians of Ukraine should be punished by “bearing the inevitable hardships of a just war.”
Which means — your houses will be bombed and burned and looted, your kids and grandkids and mothers and grandmothers killed or raped or raped and then killed, because you deserve it. And you deserve it because you hate Russia and therefore need to be punished.
Oh, and the “utmost care and discretion” is I suppose something that the butchers in Bucha overlooked? Or rather, something put into this sentence as an afterthought, to appease the “liberal” minority of Russians who still have some human feelings left? Either way, it wasn’t something they applied in Bucha, Irpin, Mariupol, Izium.
No one is safe
The Western bloggers and influencers are posting a lot of articles now about how the last thing US needs now is helping Ukraine. And I get it. They don’t want to get dragged into a war and an economical collapse. But Ukraine is fighting against the country that has three times its population. If Ukraine falls, then what?…
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.
It’s a partial translation of what Martin Niemöller said, but he was saying it about the German Nazis of WW2.
I can’t help thinking though that the German Nazis at least owned their crimes. The Russian imperial Nazis don’t. Every crime they commit, they attribute to the Ukrainian military. Only today, there was an attack on the Kramatorsk train station, where a lot of civilians tried to evacuate. Russia immediately claimed that it was Ukrainian forces who did it.
They kill, they rape, they torture, they mutilate. And then they lie at will, without batting an eye.
If the great America thinks that the ocean is too big an obstacle for the crazy imperial ambitions, it’s wrong. It wasn’t an obstacle before, and if Russia gets its way with Ukraine, then eats up the EU, what’s going to be left?
They will come for you.
And there will be no one left to protect you.
About the author:
Maryna is a software developer from Ukraine who now lives in Germany. Maryna also writes a programming blog to share her knowledge. She sometimes speaks at conferences, though being an introvert, writing comes more naturally. She says she’s not a professional writer but writing is something she likes, “and I think I can do it pretty well.”