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Gender: Male
Hometown: NY
Member since: Tue Dec 30, 2003, 12:41 AM
Number of posts: 38,812

Journal Archives

Dover Air Force flights deliver 'hope' to Ukraine

Posted by BeyondGeography | Sun May 1, 2022, 08:46 AM (3 replies)

Small Car - Marvin Pontiac

Posted by BeyondGeography | Sun May 1, 2022, 02:06 AM (2 replies)

Kirby: 'It's hard to look at' what Putin is doing

Posted by BeyondGeography | Fri Apr 29, 2022, 10:36 PM (2 replies)

Yes. Next question.

Posted by BeyondGeography | Fri Apr 29, 2022, 10:55 AM (11 replies)

Mark Hertling explains why he remains bullish on Ukraine's chances

Long thread, familiar themes. The Ukrainian military has its act together, the Russian side is shambolic:

Posted by BeyondGeography | Mon Apr 25, 2022, 11:27 AM (2 replies)

Do you think the world hates Russia?

Posted by BeyondGeography | Mon Apr 25, 2022, 07:16 AM (4 replies)

Alexander Vindman on Ukraine: 'Germany's position is irrational.' - DW News

Posted by BeyondGeography | Sun Apr 24, 2022, 07:33 AM (3 replies)

The War Has Unleashed a New Ukrainian Word: 'Ruscism' (Russian Fascism)

The City Council of Mariupol, Ukraine, was trying to make a point about mass death. Their city had been hit hardest by the Russian invasion, and thousands of corpses lay amid the rubble after weeks of urban warfare. After the revelation of Russian atrocities in Bucha and other cities in northern Ukraine, the elected representatives of the port city wished to remind the world that the scale of killing in the south was still higher. In dry and sober language, they described the fates of Mariupol residents. Occasionally, though, emotion slipped through: In passing, the council members referred to the Russian perpetrators by a term of condemnation that every Ukrainian knows, though it is not yet in the dictionaries and cannot (yet) be said in English: “рашизм.”

As Russian troops withdrew from the Kyiv region, and photographs of the corpses of murdered civilians appeared in media, Ukrainians expressed their horror and condemnation with this same word. As I read about Irpin, about Bucha, about Trostyanets, of the bodies crushed by tanks, of the bicyclists shot on the street, of the desecrated corpses, there it was, “рашизм,” again and again, in comments sections, in social media, even in the official pronouncements of the Ukrainian state. As Russia renews its attempt to destroy the Ukrainian state with its Easter offensive in the Donbas, Ukrainians will keep using this new word.

Grasping its meaning requires crossing differences in alphabet and pronunciation, thinking our way into the experience of a bilingual society at war with a fascist empire. “Pашизм” sounds like “fascism,” but with an “r” sound instead of an “f” at the beginning; it means, roughly, “Russian fascism.” The aggressor in this war keeps trying to push back toward a past as it never happened, toward nonsensical and necrophiliac accounts of history. Russia must conquer Ukraine, Vladimir Putin says, because of a baptism a thousand years ago, or because of bloodshed during World War II. But Russian myths of empire cannot contain the imagination of the Ukrainian victims of a new war. National identity is about living people, and the values and the futures they imagine and choose. A nation exists insofar as it makes new things, and a national language lives by making new words.

The new word “рашизм” is a useful conceptualization of Putin’s worldview. Far more than Western analysts, Ukrainians have noticed the Russian tilt toward fascism in the last decade. Undistracted by Putin’s operational deployment of genocide talk, they have seen fascist practices in Russia: the cults of the leader and of the dead, the corporatist state, the mythical past, the censorship, the conspiracy theories, the centralized propaganda and now the war of destruction. Even as we rightly debate how applicable the term is to Western figures and parties, we have tended to overlook the central example of fascism’s revival, which is the Putin regime in the Russian Federation.

More at https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/22/magazine/ruscism-ukraine-russia-war.html
Posted by BeyondGeography | Sun Apr 24, 2022, 12:19 AM (3 replies)

Putin has ignited a new anti-colonial struggle. This time, Moscow is the target

History is teetering on an edge. No one knows which way it will go. Maybe the Russian empire, the last and most terrible of the European empires, will fall. Or maybe it will absorb the hit and survive as it has survived and expanded since the 17th century. You’d be a fool to bet against it. The graveyards of Eurasia are full of those who did. And yet the breathtaking heroism of the Ukrainian resistance and the insane self-delusion of the Putinist regime are allowing Russia’s opponents from Syria to Central Asia, and from Georgia to Moldova, to ask that most revolutionary of questions: “What if?” What if the empire falls? What if structures that have endured and enslaved for centuries can be blown apart like the creaking trucks in a Russian munitions convoy?

…To Belarus’s exiled opposition, Ukraine’s war is their war and a Ukrainian victory would open up the prospect of radical change across territories Russia intimidates and controls. The Ukrainian war has made clear, if clarity were needed, how Russian nationalists view eastern Slavs with the impertinence to reject them. Russian official media explained that Ukrainians (and by extension) Belarusians were really Russians. If they rejected Russian identity and said they had their own cultures and histories that existed before the Russian empire, they proved only that they were “Nazis”. No form of human life could be lower. The Russian state had a duty to kill them or send them to labour camps; to take their children from them and crush their country and their culture.

When I spoke last week to Tsikhanouskaya’s senior adviser Franak Viačorka, in exile in Poland, he said revolution was the only viable option now. He spoke the language of an officer in an underground war rather than a politician trying to negotiate a settlement. The Lukashenko regime was the “collaborationist state”. The activists who sabotaged Belarusian railway lines, to stop Russian troops and armour reaching Ukraine, were “resistance cells”. Even in Soviet times Moscow “recognised the existence of Belarus and Ukrainian nations”, Viačorka said. Putin was bringing a “new form of fascism” that denied their very being. The Belarusian opposition was fighting it with covert action. It was attempting to drive the army away from its subservience to Lukashenko and Putin. In Belarus, as in so many other countries, hope depended on a Ukrainian victory offering the “chance to get out of Russian sphere of influence”.

…For all that, there is in the air, if not optimism, then a plausible question. What if the partial collapse of the Russian empire in the 1990s is followed by decisive defeat in the 2020s? What if the whole rotten structure falls?

Posted by BeyondGeography | Sat Apr 23, 2022, 11:52 PM (3 replies)

Putin's German puppet asks who poisoned Navalny

A long-ish feature on Schroeder filled with the usual self-justifications, but the reporter slips this little bit in toward the end:

…But to Mr. Putin’s critics, Mr. Schröder is the epitome of a craven class of Western politicians who enable Mr. Putin by financing and legitimizing the Kremlin.

After Mr. Putin’s main domestic rival, Aleksei A. Navalny, was poisoned in 2020 in what the German government, among others, said appeared to be a state-sponsored assassination attempt, Mr. Schröder publicly played down the matter in the German news media.

Asked about it in the interviews, he noted that Mr. Navalny had been convicted in Russia. Last month, Mr. Navalny was sentenced to nine years in a penal colony after being found guilty by a Russian court of large-scale fraud and contempt. I pointed out that he had been poisoned. “Yes, but by whom?” Mr. Schröder replied.

Posted by BeyondGeography | Sat Apr 23, 2022, 03:53 PM (2 replies)
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