One thing that I keep forgetting to mention and Aseyev’s book reminded me of it is that good-quality food is enormously more expensive in Russia than in Ukraine. I’m not saying that anybody in Russia starves. There’s a lot of food. But it’s mostly cheap, low-quality, imported junk. Real butter, real milk (not the garbage made out of powder with some margarine added to make it look more convincing), real poultry – all of it is eminently available in Russia but it’s so expensive that even very rich Russians are stunned when they come back home from Monaco or the Seychelles.
And in Ukraine it’s a different world. High-quality food is affordable to regular people. It tastes better, it’s healthier. This rift started about 20 years ago and has deepened over the past two decades. You know what else happened 20 years ago? Today’s soldiers were born and their today’s commanders reached puberty. Soldiers never come from the wealthy classes. These are regular boys who have been eating different food in the two countries. The results speak for themselves. One of the things that Ukrainians from the liberated territories keep reporting is that Russian soldiers were unexpectedly short and scrawny. Many seem quite slow intellectually.
Isn’t it maddening that these Russian boys are dying today for the very leadership that couldn’t even be bothered to use the astronomical profits it’s gotten in the past 20 years to get some normal butter into the country? These are people who have been screwed every each way, and they are asking for more.