May 10th, 2014


(no subject)

To listen to the Russian foreign ministry or watch Russian television in recent weeks is to get a picture of a Ukraine riven between Soviet nostalgics in the east pining for 1970s Mother Russia and terrified of antisemitic fascists from Kiev and the those in the west who long for a Europe of the 1930s.

The caricature has been assiduously cultivated to manufacture ethnic, linguistic and cultural tensions between east and west which may have been latent but were quite manageable under responsible political leadership.

Slobodan Milosevic performed precisely this trick in the 1990s in Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, and Kosovo. It is in this respect – the calculated manufacture of tension, hatred, and conflict – that Ukraine now resembles Bosnia, although there are ample differences.