“It was easy for Russians to push the war off to the edge of their minds, but now it has come home to them.” Russian-American journalist and author Julia Ioffe talks to New Lines’ Amie Ferris-Rotman about Putin’s mobilization and the future of Russia.
Not everyone in the West believes Putin’s war in Ukraine is bad. Kyiv’s counteroffensive created alternative theories.
No Estonian needs to be told what occupation is like or what it does to a nation. None requires a tutorial about what Josef Stalin did to their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents in 1941 and 1949, or to be reminded of those events’ gruesome parallel to what Putin is today doing to Ukrainian families. Kallas’ mother, for instance, spent a good portion of her childhood in Siberian exile, after the Soviets deported her via cattle car at only six months old with her mother and grandmother.
Since the end of February, Putin appears determined to push ahead with plans in the far north. “Taking into account all kinds of external restrictions and sanctions pressure,” Putin said, “special attention must be paid to all projects and plans related to the Arctic. Not to postpone them … but instead, we must respond to attempts to curb our development with maximum increase of the work rate on both current and upcoming tasks.”
“What it appears to be is a disingenuous attempt to use the Buffalo shooting to undermine support for arming Ukraine, sending aid to Ukraine and helping them to defend themselves against Russian aggression,” behavioral scientist and disinformation researcher Caroline Orr tells New Lines Magazine.
For decades, the West has pioneered “stabilocracy” in the Balkans, a pernicious brand of diplomacy that prefers agreement to reform. That diplomacy was exported to their relations with Kremlin — with the extreme, bloody conclusion being the war in Ukraine.
Militant far-right social media channels have peddled what they call Slavic unity, pushing memes of three ancient Slavic “Bogatyr” warriors of the steppe depicted as beefy bikers on steroids. Another — arguably more aesthetic — meme appears on “trad” blogs, representing the “triune people” with nymph-like “Slavic sisters.”