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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.

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.

Parliament calls on the European Union to further isolate Russia internationally, including when it comes to Russia’s membership of international organisations and bodies such as the United Nations Security Council. MEPs also want diplomatic ties with Russia to be reduced, EU contacts with official Russian representatives to be kept to the absolute minimum and Russian state-affiliated institutions in the EU spreading propaganda around the world to be closed and banned.

Against the backdrop of the Kremlin’s escalating acts of terror against Ukrainian civilians, the resolution further calls on EU member states in the Council to swiftly complete its work on a ninth sanctions package against Moscow.

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 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.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine could start the painful process of decolonizing Russia. Much depends on whether Russian intellectuals let go of the ideals of a great Russian people and the friendship of “brotherly” nations. This requires accepting the sovereignty and equality of other countries and cultures and admitting responsibility for the Soviet genocidal colonial past. Decolonizing Russian political discourse and culture will debunk the myth of Russian imperial innocence and victimhood and restore the dignity of the colonized.

We Americans and Europeans are used to thinking of terrorism as something involving fertilizer bombs or improvised weapons, and of terrorists as fringe extremists who operate conspiratorially in irregular gangs. When we speak of state-sponsored terrorism, we are usually talking about clandestine groups that are supported, covertly, by a recognized state, in the way that Iran supports Hezbollah. But Russia’s war in Ukraine blurs the distinction among all of these things—terrorism, state-sponsored terrorism, war crimes—for nothing about the bombing of Serhiivka, or Kremenchuk, or Kharkiv, is surreptitious, conspiratorial, or fringe.

Instead Russia, a legitimate, recognized world power—a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council—is directing constant, repetitive, visible terrorist violence against civilians, many of whom are nowhere near the fighting. The attacks are not errors or accidents. The planes carrying bombs can be tracked on radar screens. Occasionally, Moscow issues denials—the shopping-mall bombing was, like many others, described by Russian state media as “faked”—but no apologies. The Russian army will not punish the murderers. On the contrary, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has already awarded medals to the brigade that committed so many atrocities in the town of Bucha.

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.

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.

For over a decade, Russian society has been bombarded with hardcore, revanchist propaganda. The West did not take note.

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