Today we went out to celebrate the International Women’s Day which is a big holiday in our culture. Of course, at the restaurant there were TVs on every wall, and I was stuck right in front of the CNN coverage of the war in Ukraine, which didn’t do any wonders for my digestion.
This was the first time I saw any US coverage of the war, and all I have to say is, people, I beg you, don’t blame Ukrainians for the failings of your news channels. The MSM were garbage long before the invasion. This isn’t on Ukraine.
I’m glad, at least, that I can get news from directly on the ground and report them here on the blog.
It’s pretty unbelievable that, with all the resources it has, journalism in the US is such exceptional garbage.
Russia doesn’t want to confess the real numbers of its soldiers who died in the war. So how to explain the high death count?
Of course, they blame it on COVID and COVID-related heart disease. Everybody’s favorite excuse for an inconvenient death count. An unexpected wave of COVID is an excuse for another lockdown. What’s not to like?
I can no longer play Russian Wordle because it has that nasty, utterly meaningless flag at the top of the page. (One of the reasons why Russia is this way is that it was never fully formed as a nation-state. The flag, the anthem, the two-headed eagle evoke no emotional attachment from the people.)
So I switched to Ukrainian Wordle. It immediately defeated me by offering as its first riddle the word “kebab.” It’s the Great Lent, so I’m trying hard not to think about kebabs. Plus, when I left Ukraine, there were no kebabs, so how am I supposed to know it’s now a word?
Also, I did some research on contemporary Ukrainian literature last night and. . . yeesh. It’s not good. Obviously, people have other things on their minds but, sadly, the Ukrainian literature hasn’t recovered yet from the destruction wrought on it by the USSR.
There is a great Ukrainian novel titled The Cathedral (1968) by Oles Honchar, which marks a symbolic ending to the twentieth century in Ukrainian letters. Throughout the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, there was nothing. I mean, people published stuff but it’s not what Ukrainian literature can be.
The Cathedral is a great novel, by the way. It’s about people in a small village in Soviet Ukraine trying to protect from demolition a historic cathedral. They are no longer allowed to worship or even think about worship, but they want to save at least the building itself. The novel was written in the USSR, so you can imagine how angry the censors were. The only thing that saved the author was that he was a decorated hero of WWII. You can read it in English here.
And here is the real-life cathedral the novel is based on:
Like the cathedral in the novel, it was erected without a single iron nail. It took the architect, Yakym Pohribniak, from 1772 to 1781, to create this masterpiece. And by the way, the very first church he built was located near Kharkiv because that’s where he was from. The church was destroyed in the late 1930s by the Stalin regime.
I have no idea how I started with kebabs and rambled all the way to this beautiful cathedral. But it’s good to have something that’s not all death and devastation in the thread, so please enjoy another view of the Holy Trinity Cathedral near Dnipro:
This is the interior of the cathedral today, and it’s very different from what it was like during the Soviet era when it was used to store cow feed:
Like in Honchar’s novel, the residents of the town rose up to defend the cathedral from demolition in the 1960s. And they prevailed.
When very liberal residents of NYC, San Francisco or LA whine endlessly on social media about high crime rates and mask mandates in their cities, do you feel compassion?
If so, you are a much, much better person than I am. All I feel is annoyance. Because these policies were created by the politicians they voted for and will vote for again. And they’ll loudly and insistently declare that anybody who doesn’t vote as they do is a Nazi. At some point, you’ve got to wonder, if they hate these policies so much, why don’t they vote differently? And why don’t they leave? These are usually people who have the means to go someplace else. Of course, when they do leave, they tend to vote for the same policies they escaped from, and the rot spreads elsewhere.
I feel the same annoyance for the Russian anti-war people. It’s been 23 years! Why didn’t they leave? The borders were wide open. And some did leave. Went to Ukraine after 2014. Those people I do respect. But the rest. . . honestly, I don’t have any more patience for them.
Russia left the Geneva Convention in 2019 and now feels justification in doing what it will to civilians in Ukraine.
300,000 people are being held hostage in the surrounded city of Mariupol. There’s no electricity or drinking water. A child already died of dehydration. The moment people try to leave through “a humanitarian corridor,” Russians start shelling them.
In Europe in the 21st century, 300,000 people are dying of hunger, thirst, and cold. The only reason these civilians are being slowly killed is their ethnicity. There used to be a word to describe this kind of thing. What is it? Never again? Or something else?