Category Archives: Ukraine

New MH17 footage (shot by Russian seperatists) discovered

An Australian news company has released footage they uncovered that was taken soon after the crash… Read the captions (or listen is you understand Russisn) and the implications may be as clear to. You as they are to me… 

Click here

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Filed under Eastern Europe, Ukraine

Orwell on Fascism

In the article I referenced yesterday, the author quotes George Orwell. Orwell wrote about Hitler and Fascism in the context of his review of Mein Kampf. Consider these words:

Fascism is psychologically far sounder than any hedonistic conception of life… Whereas socialism, and even capitalism in a more grudging way, have said to people “I offer you a good time,” Hitler has said to them, “I offer you struggle, danger, and death,” and as a result a whole nation flings itself at his feet… We ought not to undermine it’s emotional appeal.

When I read this I immediately thought of Putin sounding a similar call to his people as they take on so many of their neighbors over the years , the most significant being the current war with Ukraine.

Yet last week he was welcomed in Budapest as an economic savior of sorts. Of course the Hungarian PM is sometimes prone to such speech himself isn’t he?

There is a warning against such nationalism in Nicholas Wolterstorff’s Until Justice and Peace Embrace:

Idolatrous nationalism is not healthful; it is intensely poisonous. When a nation suffers from nationalism unchecked, the life of his members is twisted and distorted, and the nation becomes a menace among nations because it accepts no standards for international peace and justice.

Be very careful that your love of country does not become an idol that takes your attention away from God’s sovereign rule of the universe which should include your heart and mind.

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Filed under being a disciple, culture, culture > disciple making, Ukraine

Obama, Merkel and Putin seen through a lens from 20 years ago

In a discussion of civilization 20* years ago, Samuel Huntington said the following:

… Russia,…, has been a torn country for several centuries…

Russia’s relations with Western civilization have evolved through four phases. In the first phase, which lasted down to the reign of Peter the great, Kievan Rus and Muscovy existed separately from the West and had little contact with Western European societies. Russian civilization developed as an offspring of Byzantine civilization and then for two hundred years, from the mid thirteenth to the mid-fifteenth centuries, Russia was under Mongol suzerainty. Russia had no or little exposure to the defining historical phenomena off of Western civilization: Roman Catholicism, feudalism, the Renaissance, the Reformation, overseas expansion and colonization, the enlightenment, and the emergence of the nation state. Seven of the eight previously identified distinctive features of Western civilization-religion, languages, separation of church and state, rule of law, social pluralism, representative bodies, individualism-were almost totally absent from the Russian experience. The only possible exception is the Classical legacy, which, however, came to Russia via Byzantium and hence was quite different from that which came to the west directly from Rome. Russian civilization was a product of its indigenous roots in Kievan Rus and Muscovy, substantial Byzantine impact, and prolonged Mongol rule. These influences shaped a society and a culture which had little resemblance to those developed in Western Europe under the influence of a very different forces. (p. 139-140)

As of 1995 the future of liberal democracy in Russia and other Orthodox republics was uncertain. In addition, as the Russians stop behaving like Marxists and began behaving like Russians, the gap between Russia and the West broadened. … A Western democrat could carry on an intellectual debate with a Soviet Marxist. It would be impossible for him to do that with a Russian orthodox nationalist. (p. 142)

Think on these when you hear Obama and Merkel talk about “negotiations” with Putin.

From: The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order by Samuel P. Huntington, 1996, Simon and Schuster.)

* When I first posted this I had indicated 30 years and then realized my math was off. I am operating on the assumption that Huntington did his writing in 1995 and published and 1996.

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Filed under culture, definitions, Eastern Europe, Ukraine

Looking back since the wall crumbled

David Brooks on progress in Eastern Europe since the Iron Curtain crumbled. Herein he discusses the difference between failing an successful states economically and politically. READ the article that describes where things are still crumbling.

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Filed under Eastern Europe, shifts, things Central European, Ukraine

Analysis of situation in Ukraine and Russia

has been posted by The Economist and helps to make some things clear during this period of quiet, CLICK HERE

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Important Articles

David Brooks: “Putin and ISIS are not threats to American national security, narrowly defined. They are threats to our civilizational order.” Read more HERE

David Frum on Russia’s invasion HERE

The Economist on NATO getting its purpose back in focus. Read HERE.

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Filed under culture, shifts, things Central European, Ukraine

New Russia – what Putin really wants

So the name ‘New Russia’ is back in the news as NovoCzar Vladimir the KGB agent gets ‘interviewed’ by a lake in Russia. In said interview Putin called again for Kyiv to negotiate with the terrorists and mercenaries he has facilitated in Ukraine.

This ‘New Russia’ idea is an old one dating from Czarist days (appropriate for the NovoCzar Vladimir don’t you think?). You can read about the ‘New Russia’ here, be sure to scroll down in the ‘History’ section to see the 1921 Soviet poster that proclaims “Donbass is the heart of Russia” which says a lot.

So shortly after Czar Vladimir called the area ‘New Russia’ a Kremlin spokesman back pedaled to ‘clarify’ what the Soviet Premier, oh, sorry, the Russian president said.

Meanwhile, the EU has appointed a new foreign policy chief from Italy (yes, Italy) who was originally opposed by many of the eastern EU nations because she may be soft on Russia.

Please pray for Ukraine.

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Filed under culture, Eastern Europe, shifts, Ukraine