What Putin Fears Most
https://www.journalofdemocracy.org/articles/what-putin-fears-most/, posted 15 Feb by peter in fascism opinion politics russia toread war
Russian president Vladimir Putin wants you to believe that NATO is responsible for his February 24 invasion of Ukraine—that rounds of NATO enlargement made Russia insecure, forcing Putin to lash out. This argument has two key flaws. First, NATO has been a variable and not a constant source of tension between Russia and the West. Moscow has in the past acknowledged Ukraine’s right to join NATO; the Kremlin’s complaints about the alliance spike in a clear pattern after democratic breakthroughs in the post-Soviet space. This highlights a second flaw: Since Putin fears democracy and the threat that it poses to his regime, and not expanded NATO membership, taking the latter off the table will not quell his insecurity. His declared goal of the invasion, the “denazification” of Ukraine, is a code for his real aim: antidemocratic regime change.
George Orwell’s 1940 Review of Mein Kampf
https://bookmarks.reviews/george-orwells-1940-review-of-mein-kampf/, posted 4 Feb by peter in fascism history literature war
But Hitler could not have succeeded against his many rivals if it had not been for the attraction of his own personality, which one can feel even in the clumsy writing of Mein Kampf, and which is no doubt overwhelming when one hears his speeches … The fact is that there is something deeply appealing about him. One feels it again when one sees his photographs—and I recommend especially the photograph at the beginning of Hurst and Blackett’s edition, which shows Hitler in his early Brownshirt days. It is a pathetic, dog-like face, the face of a man suffering under intolerable wrongs. In a rather more manly way it reproduces the expression of innumerable pictures of Christ crucified, and there is little doubt that that is how Hitler sees himself. The initial, personal cause of his grievance against the universe can only be guessed at; but at any rate the grievance is here. He is the martyr, the victim, Prometheus chained to the rock, the self-sacrificing hero who fights single-handed against impossible odds. If he were killing a mouse he would know how to make it seem like a dragon. One feels, as with Napoleon, that he is fighting against destiny, that he can’t win, and yet that he somehow deserves to.
Isn't it a good thing that we at this moment no longer have dictators in Europe who see themselves as martyrs and victims and engage in pointless wars against impossible odds?
A Russian graveyard reveals Wagner’s prisoner army
https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/ukraine-crisis-russia-graves-wagner/, posted 27 Jan by peter in fascism law russia ukraine war
There were around 200 graves at the site on the outskirts of Bakinskaya village in Krasnodar region when Reuters visited in late January. The news agency matched the names of at least 39 of the dead here and at three other nearby cemeteries to Russian court records, publicly available databases and social media accounts. Reuters also spoke to family, friends and lawyers of some of the dead.
Many of the men buried at Bakinskaya were convicts who were recruited by Wagner last year after its founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin, promised a pardon if prisoners survived six months at the front, this reporting showed. They included a contract killer, murderers, career criminals and people with alcohol problems.
Potemkin GDP: Vladimir Milov on why Russia’s “soothing” economic indicators are not to be trusted
https://theins.ru/en/opinion/vladimir-milov/258158, posted 15 Jan by peter in fascism finance opinion propaganda russia war
Summing up the economic results of the year, many Russian economists say that “everything is not so bad”, referring to the usual indicators, such as GDP of the rates of unemployment, inflation or exchange of the ruble. Judging by these, “GDP has declined less than expected,” unemployment and inflation are virtually nonexistent, and the ruble has “stabilized,” but does this really mean that the country is not in economic crisis? Vladimir Milov explains why these indicators are irrelevant at a time of war, the crisis is already in full swing (even if the average citizen cannot see it yet), and the payback for Putin's military ambitions will be dire for Russians.
Russians Accuse Ukraine of Nazism — But Look at How Russian Propagandists Talk
https://www.thebulwark.com/russians-accuse-ukraine-of-nazism-but-look-at-how-russian-propagandists-talk/, posted 28 Oct by peter in fascism propaganda russia ukraine war
The reality is that right now, an enormous amount of essentially fascist and in some cases downright Nazi-like rhetoric is emanating from the Kremlin propaganda mill—and, in even more extreme form, from Russian nationalists and war hawks who think the current leadership is too soft.
The Kremlin’s written instructions to propagandists tell a story of desperation, failure, and frictions with the media
https://meduza.io/en/feature/2022/10/12/you-don-t-cover-up-disfigured-corpses-by-saying-something-positive, posted 14 Oct by peter in fascism propaganda russia ukraine war
The Russian President’s Office regularly sends detailed written instructions to state-controlled media, telling them exactly how to cover daily events in the country. Over the past six months of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin’s publicity efforts were increasingly criticized by people who supposedly take their cues from those memos — the propagandists themselves. The Russian media are, of course, prohibited from calling the war a “war” and must instead always minimize it as merely a “special military operation.” But there is a lot more to how the Kremlin strives to limit and shape the information that reaches mass audiences. Meduza’s special correspondent Andrey Pertsev has pored over six months’ worth of the close-to-daily instructions — the so-called “metodichkas” — sent by the Kremlin to propagandist journalists, editors, and bloggers. It turned out that these documents speak volumes about current events — and Vladimir Putin’s attempts to maintain a grip on public opinion.
Why do Russians support the war against Ukraine?
https://meduza.io/en/feature/2022/05/03/feeling-around-for-something-human, posted Jul '22 by peter in fascism propaganda russia toread ukraine
For many decades, everyone had been asking if Germans in 1939 really didn’t understand what was going on. We’ve wondered how an entire nation, all of those regular people, decided to go along with total insanity. It occurred to me that today, we’re in a position to answer this question.
My friend Alisa, a sociologist whose name has been changed, and I started walking around Moscow and asking random people how they felt about the war in Ukraine. We thought that what was going on was so insane, everyone must have questions about it. Half of the people we asked refused to talk to us. The other half were usually open to fairly in-depth conversations. Later, I talked to people in the Kaluga and Kostroma regions. We conducted over 50 interviews in total. They are not intended to be representative. We just wanted to get some sense of what was going through people’s heads. To enter into the darkness and feel around for something human.
Deadly Mariupol theatre strike ‘a clear war crime’
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2022/06/ukraine-deadly-mariupol-theatre-strike-a-clear-war-crime-by-russian-forces-new-investigation/, posted Jul '22 by peter in fascism russia ukraine war
An extensive investigation by Amnesty International has concluded that Russian military forces committed a war crime when they struck the Mariupol drama theatre in Ukraine in March, killing at least [a] dozen people and likely many more.
In a new report, ‘Children’: The Attack on the Donetsk Regional Academic Drama Theatre in Mariupol, Ukraine, the organization documents how the Russian military likely deliberately targeted the theatre despite knowing hundreds of civilians were sheltering there on 16 March, making the attack a clear war crime.
‘Comrade Hitler’ and Other Russian Fantasies
https://www.stopfake.org/en/comrade-hitler-and-other-russian-fantasies/, posted Jul '22 by peter in fascism literature propaganda russia ukraine war
For over a decade, Russian society has been bombarded with hardcore, revanchist propaganda. The West did not take note.
Russia-Ukraine War: What the West Gets Wrong About Russian President Vladimir Putin
https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/06/01/putin-war-ukraine-west-misconceptions/, posted Jun '22 by peter in fascism opinion propaganda russia ukraine war
For the moment, both Russia and the West appear to believe that their counterpart is doomed and that time is on their side. Putin dreams about the West suffering from political upheaval, whereas the West dreams about Putin being removed, overthrown, or dropping dead from one of many diseases he is regularly rumored to be suffering. No one is right. At the end of the day, a deal between Russia and Ukraine is only possible as an extension of an agreement between Russia and the West or as a result of the collapse of Putin’s regime. And that gives you an idea of how long the war could last: years, at best.