Drumbeats category archive
Me, I think Putin sees himself more as Peter than as Joe.
I also think he expected the people of Ukraine to welcome him, not to resist him.
He was wrong on both counts.
Der Spiegel offers a long and detailed analysis of what’s currently happening as regards the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
I commend it to your attention.
Der Spiegel interviews British historian Antony Beevor about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
It is a fascinating read. Beevor sees many echoes of Russia’s imperial past (and echoes of previous military miscalculations) in what is happening right now. Here’s one exchange:
DER SPIEGEL: As of 1941, German troops had invaded the Soviet Union, devastated large parts of Eastern Europe and perpetrated horrific massacres. Is the self-imposed task of fighting National Socialism – both the real manifestation in the past and the fictitious one in Ukraine – another parallel between Stalin and Putin? In your book “Berlin,” you concluded that because of that mission, the Red Army “could behave entirely as it liked, both personally and politically.”
Beevor: Putin’s distorted mindset, obsessed with the triumphant war against Nazism, has turned everything inside out. Isn’t it a great propaganda task to liberate the enemy of Nazism? Putin and his ideologues grotesquely depict the Ukrainians as born-again Nazis who need to be eliminated and re-educated, as the utterly manic article in RIA Novosti by Timofei Sergeitsev describes. The role of liberator from Nazism did indeed give the Red Army the idea that it could behave as it wanted both personally and politically. It was a notion of superiority. Rights of conquest meant not only imposing a Soviet regime on neighboring states. It also involved the comprehensive looting of the country as a form of reparation, and the idea that what Ilya Ehrenburg called “the blonde witch” – German women and girls – should pay for their menfolk’s crimes in the Russian motherland.
Ukraine is a major exporter of grain.
Der Spiegel takes an in-depth look at the implications of Putin’s war for the world’s food supply. It is disquieting.
The grain produced by the region’s fertile soil is vital for the global food system. In combination with Russia, whose exports have also collapsed as a result of sanctions, Ukraine covers around 30 percent of the world’s wheat exports and roughly 15 percent of corn and barley exports. And the two countries are responsible for fully two-thirds of all global exports of sunflower oil. According to one study, the two countries produce around 12 percent of all calories consumed in the world.
Now that a significant share of this supply has vanished from the tightly woven global market, it has created a shockwave that can be felt in many areas of the world . . . .
The Arizona Republic’s E. J. Montini tries to remember, just what was the word for providing aid and comfort to an enemy?
At the Arizona Republic, E. J. Montini comments on the Republicans who are supporting Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine. A snippet:
I bet he would if they were Democrats.
*A reference to Congresswoman Liz Cheney’s characterizing the Republicans who voted against sanctions against Russia as the “Putin wing” of the Republican Party.
Behavioral economist Lionel Page explores how propaganda works. A tiny little snippet from a very long article:
*Hence the success of Fox News.
A bayonet is not a scalpel.
On the battlefield, there is no such thing as a “surgical strike,” despite what the mongers of war would have you believe.
In the Portland Press-Herald, Bill Nemitz reminds us that history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.*
*As Mark Twain said.