Carpet bombing Ukraine
Based on feedback and some peyote-fuelled epiphanies on the mountainside at dawn, let me direct your attention to Ukraine24, the official international celebrity-based fundraising platform of Ukraine. Not to be confused with another official war-related government program, Telemarathon, which almost noone watches and The New York Times writes about today1.
Z is on the opening page of Ukraine24 wearing pajamas.
I don’t have great hopes for it becoming a reliable longterm source of funding and procurement freed of the sentimental histrionics and pre-emptive ridicule of any opposing view germane to charitable foundations, many of which popped up after February 24, 2022, to taking grim pleasure responding to every atrocity carried out in the name of rucism, to forming – with a sort of shuddering inevitability – into a lockstep mosh pit in which the most cynical predictions of last fall – about those who would dare to advance a purchasing agenda on the back of inconceivable human tragedy – have become not only true, but somehow above criticism.
Conversely, I expect Ukraine24’s ambassadors to remain free of the gloomy handwringing that characterizes some expert Ukraine pundits, among whom, now and again, a flurry of concern arises over What Must Be Done about whatever bile currently poisons the postings and comment sections of online media. It shouldn’t be in the least surprising that xenophobic idiots and bots driven by bloodlust and malformed patriotism are sharing their opinions every chance they can get. Yes, there is unchecked hate speech. Great crimson swathes of it. Same as it ever was. Let them rant and screed and ‘fisk’ and bleat. As with any echo chamber, no one outside it is listening.
What will be made evident, I hope, is that opposition to fascistic Russia’s campaign against Ukraine is not a reflexive ideological matter, born out of pity, ‘pro-democracy’ sentiment or what color underwear one prefers. It is rather awareness that the world is being sold an alternative bill of goods: one that is apparently having some success convincing people the genocide has everything to do with the the attacks of October 7, or America’s southern border, or, most galling of all, reunifying China by incorporating Taiwain.
As opposed, let’s say, to it being about erasing Ukraine.
In related news, this:
Pity the story hasn’t been picked up before Andriy disappears. And he will.
Andrii Naumov worked at the Prosecutor General's Office and then at the State Agency of Ukraine on Chornobyl Exclusion Zone Management.
In 2018, he became the director of the State Enterprise "Center for Organizational, Technical and Information Support of the Exclusion Zone Management," His work at this enterprise later raised questions for law enforcement.
From 2019 to 2021, Naumov headed the State Security Service of Ukraine’s Main Department of Internal Security under the leadership of Ivan Bakanov. This department is responsible for controlling SBU employees. At the same time, Naumov was involved in a number of journalistic investigations into smuggled imports and corruption schemes at customs. He was also involved in an investigation into the acquisition of luxury property not comparable to the official income of a civil servant.
In October 2020, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy promoted Naumov to the rank of brigadier general. After Russia's full-scale invasion, the president stripped him of this rank and called him a "traitor."
Naumov fled on the eve of Russia's invasion, February 23, 2022 and in the summer of 2022 he was detained in Serbia with undeclared cash - about 600,000 euros and $120,000, as well as two emeralds. A case was opened against him there and he was sent to a pre-trial detention center.
In September 2023, the Serbian court announced the decision in Naumov's money laundering case. By that time, he had almost served his one-year sentence. Subsequently, both the defense and the prosecution filed appeals against the decision.
And some thoughts about forced conscription:
If plumbers and clerks do not join the army, then the enemy army will come to plumbers and clerks. And their pacifist and cyclical position will not save them from labor camps, torture for fun, a bullet in the back of the head, or mobilization again. This has already happened. It is there, behind the line. It's just that few people see it.
Don't be fooled by the relatively flat front. It holds as long as that f**king million who are under extreme pressure holds it. How long will this notional million keep the war going? Six months? Less? And then? And then this million will start to break down. And what about the war? Will it go away? It won't. It's not herpes. It's sarcoma. This does not dissolve.
Infantile optimism went away the year before last.
In other news, yesterday’s attack lasted three or four hours. Russia launched about 100 cruise and ballistic missiles targeting Kyiv and Kharkiv.
Russia’s attacks have killed dozens and wounded hundreds over the last several days.
‘It’s State Propaganda’: Ukrainians Shun TV News as War Drags on. A government-approved news program intended to counter Russian disinformation and boost morale is coming under criticism for painting a rosy picture of the war (The New York Times, January 3, 2024)