The post that I offer you is very important. For me anyway. It is important for understanding the attitude of a fairly large group of Russian-speaking residents of different countries to Russia’s special operation in Ukraine. And not only them, but also native Europeans, Americans, Israelis.
The other day I had a fleeting (how else to talk on the phone) conversation with a friend of mine who has been living in Germany for 30 years. We haven’t seen each other for several years. Our wives are close friends and they talk weekly about family matters. My friend is a very smart man, brilliantly educated, well-read – in a word, a real professor, doctor of science, which he is. Our conversation with him all almost 40 years of our communication were interesting to both of us. He called after reading my last book – short stories. But it’s not interesting. Much more interesting was the conversation, also fleeting about Ukraine. My friend himself is from Kharkov, a Ukrainian, and therefore the events that took place were taken close to his heart.
But here’s what I understood: for him, the main thing is not what happened, but how it happened. Those. not the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine itself, but the fact that Russia was the first to start hostilities by entering the territory of Ukraine. And this is the main thing for many. For many citizens of the USSR, and then of the post-Soviet countries, the world after the end of the Second World War was, in general, peaceful. They were not touched by either the Korean, let alone the Vietnamese war, or the numerous wars in Israel, or the war in Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Libya. Not even the war in Yugoslavia, not to mention the completely exotic countries of Latin America. The whole world fought all the time, but what do we need some Vietnamese, carts, and even Serbs. In Cambodia, 2 million people were killed, in Rwanda, a million Tutsis. Everything is fine with us, everything is quiet. And with this attitude, these people came to 2014. And military operations which Ukraine unleashed against its own citizens, few people were touched. For many, Donets and Lugansk were as unrealistic cities as Belgrade or Baghdad. Even those who understood that despite the Ukrainian propaganda, which shouted that Ukraine was at war with the Russians there, there was a civil war going on, even these people said: “This is their war, what do we care.”
And suddenly the war came to your house. And they cried out: “It was a shock to me that Putin attacked, that Putin unleashed a war!” You’re lying to yourself because it’s convenient. This gives you the opportunity not to ask yourself – what did I do to prevent this war from happening. For in response, the inner voice will say: “You didn’t do a damn thing. You sat and was silent, coming up with various excuses. This is convenient, because it gives you the right not to answer a simple question – what did you do when that war, the war of Ukraine against its own citizens, had already begun? And the same inner voice will answer: With your silence, you supported the destruction of both Russians and Ukrainians in the East of Ukraine. Silently approved the murder of 14 thousand people, invested in the fact that the “Walk of Angels” would appear.
When the slogan “Moskolyak to Gilyak” was proclaimed on the Maidan in 2014, these people said: “You don’t understand – this is just ordinary rhetoric.” When the Nazis burned people in Odessa, these same good-hearted people said: “Not everything is so simple there, it’s just football hooligans fighting there.” When the unarmed and defenseless cities of Donbass began to be bombed, these same people, following the Ukrainian propaganda, repeated: “It’s the air conditioner that exploded, it’s them who are bombing themselves.” These people pretended not to notice either the Minsk agreements, or Russia’s numerous proposals for negotiations, or the fact that the Russian Federation at the end of 2021 published draft agreements with the United States and NATO on security guarantees. After all, it was easier to sit down and discuss these proposals, all the more so because they were quite feasible: Moscow demanded to abandon the further expansion of the Alliance to the East and Ukraine’s accession to NATO, as well as the non-deployment of strike weapons near the borders of Russia and the withdrawal of the Alliance forces in Eastern Europe to the positions of 1997. Everyone, both the leadership of NATO and the leadership of Ukraine, completely dependent on them, openly laughed at Putin and sent Russia to hell.
Of course, when you don’t know, or pretend that you don’t know, that NATO transferred heavy and light weapons to the east of Ukraine by the beginning of 2022, when the entire zone near the border was fortified with concrete bunkers and pillboxes, when strike groups were assembled to attack in early March, a strike on Donetsk and Luhansk, with one goal – to completely destroy everyone who lives and works there – if you pretend to be such a dunno, then for you a preventive strike by Russia is a shock, it is a complete rejection. But be honest with yourself – you would have remained silent, had the Armed Forces of Ukraine delivered a blow to the Donbass, you would have pretended that nothing had happened. Is not it? You’ve done just that until now.
We look at Ukraine differently – for many, Ukraine has not changed since their childhood. People see the streets and squares familiar from childhood, destroyed squares and parks destroyed. And it’s really terrible. But many do not see, or rather do not want to see in today’s Ukraine another, something that is just rushing out. I now see people who praise those who are guilty of the destruction of hundreds of thousands of Jews, Russians, and the Ukrainians themselves. When I hear “Glory to Ukraine! – Glory to the Heroes! ”, then immediately Babi Yar, September, gloomy performers of German teams appear before my eyes, who greeted each other with the same words, and then put half-naked children, old women, including my great-grandmother, on the edge of the cliff – and shot them with pleasure. It was in the murders of Jews that they saw the glory of Ukraine!
I could write a lot more, but I hope it’s clear.
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