Poem about Stalin

Somebody wrote a poem in Russian that I translated. Today is the anniversary of Stalin’s death, and the poem commemorates that.

Stalin died today. He died of shame

Because he has been bested at his own game.

Too Fragile

“Moral panic over Ukraine” and “emotional manipulation” are the right’s “we are all in this together” and “mostly peaceful protests.”

What’s really funny is that the exact same people who mocked the left for being incapable of accepting that death from natural causes exists are now in the exact same kind of denial that violent death exists.

We are caught between people who are too fragile to accept that aerosolized particles can travel around a mask and people who are too fragile to accept that wars happen no matter how pouty it makes you. One side denies physical nature, while the other denies human nature. Both sides think that chanting mantras at reality will change the reality.


In the Ukrainian city of Kherson that has been occupied by Russian troops, crowds of people are coming out to protest the invasion. “We are not afraid!” they chant.

This is in the village of Novopskov:

People on the news call Novopskov “a city” but the population was about 8,000 before the war. You can imagine what it is now. It looks like everybody who’s left in the village has come out.

In the meantime, a few minutes ago, we got news that a Chechen batallion took control of a psychiatric hospital in Borodyanka and is holding the patients hostage. Again, very typical. Chechen troops specialize in population intimidation tactics where they take little kids, moms with newborn babies, or ill people hostage.

Failure to Notice

Thousands of people were supposed to be evacuated through a green corridor. There was supposed to be a ceasefire. Once the civilians started crossing over, Russians intensified the shelling of the green corridor. Evacuation didn’t happen.

This is exactly how it was in 2014. If the world noticed back then, we wouldn’t be here right now.

Nation and Anti-nation

Ukrainian soldiers have added to the traditional greeting of “Glory to Ukraine” a new line which rhymes in English, too:

Glory to the nation and fuck the Russian Federation.

Note the use of the word ‘nation’ which offers a contrast with Putin’s efforts dating back many years to cancel the word “Russian” and substitute it with “a citizen of the Russian Federation.” (It’s one word in Russian and doesn’t sound clunky.)

People who say that Putin is a nationalist are. . . very, very confused. In Ukraine, the nation-state is fighting against whatever comes next. To understand how these Putin-Trudeaus think, try to eliminate the word “country” from your way of thinking. There are no countries for these people. “But he’s destroying Russia’s economy.” “But this are Canadian citizens he’s calling fascists and terrorists.” There’s no Russia and no Canadian citizens in this way of thinking. These are all annoying imagined communities with arbitrarily drawn borders and stupidly entitled masses that bleat about rights and democracy, and wave meaningless flags.