From the Times: “Driving Ukrainians Into Putin’s Arms” by Lev Golinkin and the Patrick L. Smith’s “…lies the New York Times wants you to believe about Russia” in SALON

12 Dec


“Driving Ukrainians Into Putin’s Arms” by Lev Golinkin

Again, the Westerner’s inability to understand the difference between nationality and ethnicity…though why this is a mystery to someone named Lev Golinkin — a Russian from eastern Ukraine — escapes me.  It actually seems like he just wants to use it as a rhetorical conceit to build his piece on:

A RECENT United Nations report says that nearly half a million Ukrainians have fled the country since April. The fact that families run from a war zone is heartbreaking but hardly unexpected. The disturbing part lies in the details — of the roughly 454,000 people who had fled Ukraine by the end of October, more than 387,000 went to Russia. Most of those who fled were Russian speakers from the east, but this still raises a sobering question: If this is a conflict between Ukraine and Russia, why did so many Ukrainians choose to cast their lot with the enemy? 


Why is this such a hard idea to understand?  How many separatist movements, how many Yugoslavias do we have to go through?  Only the modern ethnicity-based nation-state conflates the two — citizenship and cultural ethnicity — and if they won’t conflate easy, force them to.  Understand this, for Christ’s sake!  Because you’ll keep getting all these situations wrong till you do.


The piece gets a lot right, finally taking Ukrainian nationalists and the Ukrainian West and Poroshenko to task for their own part in creating the crisis, pointing out that sanctioning Russia is counterproductive if not worse and generally coming pretty close to some of the points I made in my post: “The first two of my cents on Ukraine and Russia…”

Concurrently, Salon puts out an incredibly powerful, gutsy piece by Patrick L. Smith on the whole situation: “These are lies the New York Times wants you to believe about Russia: Our sanctions caused Russia’s downturn. They protect Big Oil, the well-connected, and make the world more dangerous.”

…that, among other things, reiterates my take on the bafflingly dumb commentary of a historian as brilliant as Timothy Snyder:

“Timothy Snyder, the Yale professor whose nitwittery on the Ukraine crisis is simply nonpareil (and praise heaven he has gone quiet), exclaimed some months ago that Putin is threatening to undermine the entire postwar order. I replied in this space the following week, Gee, if only it were so.”

Me on the Jadde:

“Snyder’s history — “of course” — with its suggestion of a straight, uninterrupted historical lineage of “Ukrainian-ness” from Kievan Rus’ to modern Ukraine is just patent bullsh*t, and is one that simply chooses, in the glossing-over-of-breaks-and-ruptures fashion and in the fabricating of false unities that nationalist narratives always engage in, to ignore several fundamental, historical realities…”

See the whole post.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: