Many people take the emotional but incorrect statements that Putin is a tyrant and a dictator seriously. They imagine some sort of a Stalinist system in Russia. But none of this is true.
As we saw earlier today, the Russian journalist who protested on national TV was fined $280. I’m guessing the fine would be higher if she disrupted a government broadcast in the US. It’s really not that big of a punishment.
None of the protesters in Russia face death. There’s no GULAG. Even Navalny (who is in jail on corruption charges) never claimed that anybody beat or tortured him. He’s tweeting up a storm daily.
The level of government coercion and restrictions on free speech in Russia is somewhere at the level of Canada during the trucker protest. Unpleasant, undemocratic, deplorable but not remotely Stalinesque. There are no firing squads, no labor camps, no mass graves – or any graves – of dissidents.
The reason so few Russians protest isn’t because they are terrorized. It’s because, at best, they have no objections. And at worst, they are very happy with what’s happening. If that sounds difficult to believe, remember what we’ve all seen in the past 2 years. Remember people massively embracing the clearly insane idea of “social distancing”? Took under a week for this particular mass psychosis to take hold. No GULAG necessary. No Papa Doc Duvalier sending his goons to terrorize anybody. Imagine what could be done in 20 years. In 30. In 40.
People like to trust authority. Not everybody but the majority does. And they especially like to trust authority when it tells them flattering things. No terror necessary.
Just so you understand how the Russian army operates. Russians occupied the Chernobayevo airport near Kherson. Brought a whole batallion or whatever you call it of helicopters there. The Ukrainian artillery hit the batallion. Destroyed 42 Russian helicopters.
What did the Russians do in response? They brought more helicopters, military vehicles, and a bunch of infantry. . . to the same airport. The Ukrainian artillery blasted them to smithereens.
What did the Russians do next?
Yes, they brought more equipment and personnel to the same airport. What did the Ukrainians do? Blasted them for the third time.
The third time was today. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.
Will there be a fourth time? Because why not, right?
People keep saying Ukraine is corrupt. Yes, it is. However, in Ukraine before the war the president and members of the cabinet would go on TV regularly and journalists would make beef stew out of them, attacking, criticizing, roasting them like suckling pigs over a fire pit. You wouldn’t get anything past these journalists, a real free press.
Now contrast this with Biden’s infrequent snoozefests of pressers. Look at the pathetic unanimity of US and Canadian journalism. Is that not corruption? Is what we’ve seen throughout COVID not corruption? Let’s start saying “corrupt Canada” and “corrupt US.” That would be braver than dunking on Ukraine which, absolutely, is corrupt but hardly alone in the world in terms of corruption.
The Prime Ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia are traveling to Kiev.
OK, Biden is ancient. But Trudeau, Macron, Sánchez and even Johnson aren’t. Where are they?
Of course, now everybody went, “who’s Sánchez?” And that’s precisely why Spain still isn’t “real Europe.” It isn’t about what happened in 1542 anymore. It’s about vapid, passive behavior today.
I heard Trudeau is hugely into traveling. Well, now is a great time. Mr Trudeau, you could chip away at your reputation as an irredeemable pussy if you traveled to Ukraine. Or are you only brave when you fight your own unarmed citizens?