Miscellaneous readings on the Russia / Ukraine conflict – 27.2.22

The readings below have a range of perspectives on the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine. They’ve been picked as part of the process of trying to understand exactly what’s behind this conflict. It’s also about trying to get a handle on what people on the ground in both Russia and the Ukraine are thinking and doing about the situation they find themselves in.

Dave – the editor

Timeline: Euromaidan, the original “Ukraine Crisis” – Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | February 24, 2022

The historical, political and ethnic divisions in Ukraine go back decades, if not centuries, but we don’t have the space for that kind of deep-dive. For now, we’ll be keeping it to three simple parts: The fall of Viktor Yanukovych, the Crimean referendum, and the ensuing civil war which puts the region in a direct path to the events of today.

Much like our 30 Facts on Covid, this piece is intended as a quick reference guide to help get friends and family up to speed on the recent history of Ukraine, a handy index of contemporary sources, or a refresher course for those who’ve forgotten the details.

What’s really going on in Ukraine – Johan Eddebo | OffGuardian | February 25, 2022

What’s now Ukraine was really never outside of “Russian” hegemony and culture since the 1000s, and was formally a part of the Russian Empire since the 18th century.

This is not to say that Russia prima facie “has a right” to the territory in any legal or moral sense, my point here is just that they in many ways are intimately connected, and until very recently actually were part of the same political entity.

The peace that could have been – Tim Black | Spiked | February 26, 2022

Yet it’s also necessary to step back and ask ourselves how it came to this. How is it possible that, 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Europe is witness to this grim parody of the Cold War? Many will be content to blame Putin alone. They will say, as they have done at least since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, that this is all down to Putin’s attempt to revive the ‘Soviet empire’. A last desperate attempt to ‘renegotiate the end of the Cold War’ on the part of an ageing dictator, dreaming desperately of a grand, heroic legacy.

Russian anarchists against the Putin regime’s war with Ukraine – Source: Avtonom | Freedom | February 24, 2022

Against the backdrop of a full-scale military operation that began this morning, it is important to note that the Russians do not need this shameful war and there is some opposition in the country against it. Given the strictly authoritarian nature of the Russian regime, these actions should be commended. Over the past few days, dozens of anti-war protests have been held in various cities of Russia – mostly in the form of single pickets. And although under Russian law this form of action does not require notification, most of the picketers who came out were detained.

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