Archive for August, 2014

Bojcun: Peering through the fog of war

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 29, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

in “Peering Through the Fog of War,” Observer Ukraine’s Marco Bojcun provides another solid analysis of the current situation of unannounced war between Russia and Ukraine.

An excerpt:

“If on the one side we heard the apologists of the Kremlin insisting all this is just a Ukrainian civil war without Russian state intervention, from the other side we have had yet another kind of illusory and hopeful thinking: that the Ukrainian government can win the war in the east militarily, that with just a little more firepower the separatists can be defeated. And Russia would have to accept that fact and back off. The illusion in this line of thinking is twofold: first, that for Russia the goals of the war are limited to the subordination of Ukraine; and second, that the outcome of this war will be decided by the balance of brute force on the front.”

The entire article is worth reading.

“Bike Show” agitprop

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 13, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

An Olympics-scale performance staged on August 9 in the Crimean military port of Sevastopol depicted the official Russian version of Ukraine’s Maidan revolution — complete with huge dancing human swastikas, lynchings, burnings, firings of Kalashnikovs, and symbols depicting the US (dollar signs, eagles, the Eye of Providence), the Right Sector, and the Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics.”

Ostensibly organized by Russian biker club “Night Wolves” (Ночные волки) but clearly with a massive budget, the performance was broadcast nationally on the Rossiya-2 (Russia 2) state television network. Rather like Cirque du Soleil staging some Al-Qaedaesque millenarian nightmare, and bringing to mind Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will, it is a disturbing example of what happens when cultural institutions are harnessed in the name of wartime propaganda.

Mat Babiak, editor of the Euromaidan Press web site, provides a detailed analysis (with numerous still photos) here. The original show in its entirety can be viewed on Rossiya-2. The web site for the “Triumphant Bike Show,” which began in Moscow and ended in Sevastopol, is here. For some images of the bikers themselves, see Google’s image database.

While the comments on the Euromaidan site reflect the shock, dismay, and befuddlement of Ukrainian viewers, those on the Russian Twitter feed express the delight of many Russian “patriotic” viewers.

Remnick from Moscow: on Putinism

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 13, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

In his “Letter from Moscow: Watching the Eclipse,” Long-time New Yorker editor David Remnick provides a detailed and informative examination of Putinism and US foreign policy responses to it, with a focus on recent US ambassador Michael McFaul. The article is worth reading in full.

For more on Putinism’s growing role among global conservatives, see John Schindler‘s recent piece “Putinism and the Anti-WEIRD Coalition.”

CSR: Sociological profile of protests

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 2, 2014 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

The Center for Society Research has released its extensive report analyzing protests taking place in Ukraine between November 21 of last year and February 23, 2014. The report, according to its authors,

“is the first attempt to analyze Maidan based on the results of systematic research on protests, repressions and concessions of protesters in Ukraine.”

Read more »

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