THE RATTLE OF SOVIET SKELETONS
Living in Ukraine, particularly since the poorly disguised Russian invasion began last April, has taught me a lot of what the Soviet Union must have been like.
Petty gangsters and vain nobodies are elevated to positions of power and status. When their Russian handlers disapprove of them, they are murdered in the street (like “Batman”), or simply vanish. Some have reappeared in Moscow doing interviews with Russian media.
Early in the Crimean invasion, a Tartar activist, Reshat Ametov, was kidnapped and his body was found covered with signs of torture. He died a painful, horrible death.
Early in the invasion of Donbas, a local, pro-Ukrainian politician, Volodymyr Rybak, was kidnapped and his body found covered with signs of torture. The reason they lead with such savagery is spelled out in Lenin’s infamous 1918 hand-written hanging order: “Do it in such a fashion that for hundreds of kilometres around the people might see, tremble.”
Civil society is actively dismantled. A distant acquaintance of mine, a petite girl who works in a bookstore and organizes literary events was followed for three days when she went home to Crimea. The agent waited for her outside her home and followed unassumingly throughout the day. I guess for Russia, she was a person of influence and they wanted to let her know they were watching.
Propaganda leads reality in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. There is a cynical joke here that if a bunch of Russian journalists show up and turn on their cameras, get ready, because something is about to explode.
Included in the online instruction manual of Pavel Gubarev was the instruction, “Don’t pass up any opportunity to engage in some atrocity that can be blamed on the junta’s fighters.” I’ve collected these stories as evidence that Russia has been doing everything it can to create civilian massacres which can be blamed on Kyiv.