Our brains are constantly constructing a set of predictions for what's going to happen next. How will the situation in Ukraine change? Whose information should we trust?
It’s flabbergasting to compare stories by war-adjacent Russophiles versus what Ukrainians actually experienced nine years ago as we attempt to minimize the error between bullshit narratives and what, in fact, is taking place now.
Two wordy whatevers appearing the same day come to mind: Senior Ukrainian officials fear counterattack may not live up to hype (The Washington Post, May 5, 2023) and As Putin Bides His Time, Ukraine Faces a Ticking Clock (The New York Times, May 5, 2023). Isabelle and Andrew, Ukraine bureau chiefs, respectively, are on the bylines. Six co-authors, two contributors, all non- Ukrainians.
Lets compare nut graphs:
Perhaps the most galling bit about the WAPO article is that its authors want us to believe that 15% or so of Ukraine’s territory shaded red represents areas “held by Russian-backed separatists since 2014.”
If you were reporting then on the bloody mess from Moscow, maybe, but not in reality, because Russian-backed separatists never existed. Rinse, repeat.
The misleading label was adopted by dumbass jornos and regurgitated en masse, including by ISW warbloggers, who at the time adopted Kremlin messaging and narratives deliberately1. They are the same jackasses who in 2021 wanted us to believe Putin was operating within the bounds of rationality2.
If you take seriously that it’s important to first correct inaccurate reports about the start of the war nine years ago, there’s no reason to believe today’s views about the bloody mess will be less warped.
We are allowed us to offload aspects of the war in memory from these wacko articles. Always best to disregard news from foreign flaks suffering from imposter syndrome and think tanks worried about hand-waving3.
The Kremlin’s irregular army. Ukrainian separatist order of battle. (Institute for the Study of War. (September 17, 2017)