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Or maybe it’s a different American TikTok legionnaire wandering around the outskirts of Kyiv. There are lots of them. Sheikh Mansur Battalion fighters are the real deal.
Almost no one understands - and certainly not Mad Max - the scale of what is happening.
Instinctively, politicians in the United States and Europe are trying to figure out how Russia’s further invasion is likely to pan out. They think mistakenly that there will be time to adapt, course correct and eventually grow accustomed whatever the result is. In fact, we are smack dab in the middle of a catastrophe of such magnitude that there is no long-term development scenario. Not one. Anyone who thinks there is plenty of time to think the mess through should have their head examined.
We are at stage five of a four-stage disaster management response.
Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova on March 24, 2022 accused Russia of forcibly displacing, that is deporting, hundreds of thousands of Ukainians and funneling them to “filtration camps” in Russia before re-settling them east of the Urals. Sound familiar? It should.
Even worse, foreign media are reiterating Moscow’s justification for committing this war crime without pointing out to their readers that what the Kremlin says is complete bullshit.
c/o Nebi and Cara at Associated Press:
Since at least 2015, I have unsuccessfully argued that using terms like rebels, separatists, breakaway regions and insurrection to describe Russia’s invasion of Ukraine serves no purpose of diplomacy or journalistic balance. It is a failure to serve the public interest. Russia’s war against Ukraine should be described as what it is: an armed conflict instigated and sustained by Russia’s armed intervention.
To imply that there has been any acts of self-determination by shell-shocked refugees from Mariupol, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Sumy, Berdiansk or from any besieged city of Ukraine to seek refuge in Russia contradicts the highest available organized expressions of international law. If editors, journalists, politicians and pundits decide to regurgitate Kremlin talking points, then, at least, they should explain why.
So, don’t be like Nebi and Cara and their editors.
In other news, Timothy Snyder wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post worth reading.
And London-based practicing philosopher Vladimir Pastukhov yesterday shared his thoughts about the catastrophe on YouTube. Leonid, meanwhile, is taking a breather from the mess, but promised to talk about it again in a couple of weeks.
Last item: Andy. Kramer’s beat these daze is the counteroffensive around Kyiv: wanna-be Det-A, DEVGRU guys wandering around the capital’s northwestern suburbs blowing stuff up, making 30-second videos and posting them to the Internet.
My advice is to ignore Andy. Time better spent digesting Violetta’s Battle for Moshchun (Krynytsia) reportage. This is the very same village where I lost my silver-framed custom-made NYC eyeglasses in a deep swimming hole during the very hot summer of 1991. I woke up the next morning under a tree in Kyiv.