Live with us the European dream

Once more, Mrs. Ursula Vonderleyen has managed to chill her audience with her eloquent words: “We all know that Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective. We want them to live with us the European dream.” These two sentences were, in my opinion, the key ones in the speech she, literally wrapped in the colours of the Ukrainian flag, gave at a news conference in Brussels on June 17th. Both sentences I deem worthy of some thoughts.

“We all know that Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective”, she pathetically said. Well — to begin with, I find it a bit odd -and somewhat enigmatic too- her picking of the word ‘perspective’. This detail got me a bit baffled. Why ‘perspective’ instead of, let’s say, ‘ideals’ or ‘values’, which would’ve seemed more appropriate and grandiose for the occasion? As I understand, words in political speech are carefully chosen so they transmit very particular meanings and shades; therefore, if Ursula said ‘perspective’, perspective she meant and not something else. But whatever be the hue she wanted to tint her sentence with, it comes to me so subtle and hard to guess that I’m not feeling capable of successfully undertake the task of guessing; so I won’t even try.

In any case, what I think important to focus on is the following: if ‘we all’ Europeans ‘know’ that Ukrainians are ready to die for our perspective, then you can bet we know a lot more than they themselves do. I thought -alongside with so many other people, I’m sure- that Ukrainians were dying to defend -what they consider- their territory from -what they consider- an ilegitimate invasion. Dying, by the way, quite reluctantly and not so ‘readily’ as Vonderleyen fantasizes. I know for a fact that, except for the extreme nationalists, Ukrainian soldiers in general don’t want to fight this fratricidal war (neither do the Russians, by the way). A high proportion of the Ukrainian population has some sort of relatives in Russia, and killing each other isn’t to anyone’s taste.

But to get back on track, I don’t know out of where the Vonderleyen gets this idea according to which what drives the Ukrainians to die so readily is ‘the European perspective’ and not the defence of their country. Of course it can’t be denied that west-Ukrainians are enthusiastic Europeanists, but there is a very wide gap between this zeal and welcoming death on behalf of Europe or its perspective; most of all taking into account that Ukraine’s effective admission in the EU will take years or decades… supposing there’s any Ukraine left by then, that is. Thus, I’m certain that more than one Ukrainian has been extremely surprised to learn that they are fighting for Germany, France or Italy, but not for Ukraine! How’s that? Well, I suppose the reader will agree with me that, much more likely, what the woman in blue and yellow did was tell an insincere but rosy piece of rubbish in order to encourage the Union member estates to cheerfully -and as insincerely- embrace Ukraine’s candidacy to the club. It seems obvious that, for her, the goal justifies the nonsense.

As for the second sentence: “We want them to live with us the European dream”, we can say quite as much, since that plural (‘we’) implies that all -or at least a huge majority of- Europeans are looking forward to taking Ukraine in; which constitutes an overly inaccurate assumption or a rather unacceptable generalization. I’m still to see a poll throughout all the member estates evidencing a majority and unequivocal desire, on our part, for that country to join the Union. Who has ever authorised Vonderleyen to speak for all of us? When did that happen? Besides, any adequately informed person knows that, as of today’s Ukraine, its EU membership would mean a disastrous -if not fatal- economical burden for the rest of present members; and if ‘us the people’ were to be consulted in referendum, someone might get quite surprised — or not?

Still, the irony of that literary chef d’oeuvre by Mrs. Ursula lies in the fact that, in her belief that she was uttering yet another rosy and memorable piece of rhetoric meant to get stamped in our consciences, she actually didn’t even suspect to what point her words were true — except that their meaning was the opposite of the intended one. Firstly, because Ukraine is so far away from entering the EU, that its citizens may indeed call it a dream; and an almost unreachable one, for that matter. But mostly because, albeit the European Union might, if you like, be a lovely, edifying and even well-meant project, endorsing the highest values and harbouring the most elevated social and economical aspirations for its citizens (virtues which I’m personally not ready to grant it), in fact it’s getting increasingly difficult for an increasing part of the world population not to realize that, in truth, this Europe is nothing but a dream; a dream which is, besides, turning for many of its citizens into a real nightmare. If this is what we want the Ukrainians to ‘live with us’, I’m afraid we can’t truthfully say that we love them.

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Let’s castrate the Russians

A couple of months after the special military operation in Ukraine begun, one of my most trustworthy Russian contacts (who, by the way, generally dislikes Vladimir Putin) told me the following, shocking story:

“Yesterday I was talking with a doctor who works in a military hospital not far from here, to where some of our soldiers, that had been captured in the Donbass, were recently brought back after being liberated by our troops. It was a group of around thirty young men, aged 23 to 29. You know… they had all been castrated while in captivity; and not by the Ukrainian military -who, like our servicemen, took an oath- but by the militias of the nationalist brigades, whom the Ukrainian government has legalized and now cannot control any longer. These militias behave like terrorists, disguise as civilians -being therefore very difficult to spot among the population- hide behind children and enjoy cruelty.”

Let’s for a moment forget about the second half of this story, since it might, arguably, be somewhat subjective — or at least we don’t know, in principle, how accurately depicts the average behaviour and tactics of the Ukrainian nationalist brigades. But as to the main atrocious point, I deem it an indisputable fact; and the image of those thirty young prisoners, barbarously maimed by their captors, was so disgusting to me that, for some weeks, I tried -unsuccessfully- to expel it from my mind.

Later on, by sheer chance, on the internet I stumbled upon the stark remarks that Grennadiy Druzenko, manager of a war-zone mobile hospital in eastern Ukraine, had made to an interviewer of Ukraine-24 TV channel around the same date when the story I’ve just mentioned took place. In Druzenko’s own words, he had given his doctors “very strict orders to castrate all [captured Russian] men, because they are cockroaches, not people.” And though he, afterwards, tried to take his words back saying that his hospital “saves lives, period”, the connection between my friend’s story and Druzenko’s statement was straightforward, and the inference unavoidable: facts talk by themselves, evidencing that such practice has been carried out and strongly suggesting that the castration of Russian soldiers is, indeed, not wholly unusual among Ukrainian nationalists. This brutality not only constitutes a blatant war crime, but also says volumes about the racial cleansing inherent to their ‘ideology’. Castrated individuals, you see, cannot procreate.

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Fridges, economics and artifice

I’m learning so much with the Donbass war! And I want to share with my readers three of the most groundbreaking pieces of knowledge I’m acquiring thanks to the Western approach to that conflict.

The first one is connected with kitchen appliances. Quite recently, we’ve read in some news outlets that, according to Ukrainian sources, Russians are using electronic chips from dishwashers and refrigerators for their military equipment. Allegedly, due to the economic sanctions imposed on their country by the collective West, they’re running short of semiconductors and other electronic parts, thus needing to resort to any and every such component they can get hold of, including domestic appliances, in order to build or repair their weaponry.

I knew Russians had a name for low-cost making things out of scrap, but assembling arms with household junk is definitely quite a feat. I can envision their military searching civilians’ homes, tearing washing machines open, grabbing the chips and shipping them over to the missile factories so their army can hit the Ukrainians. This is amazing. I no longer wonder how the USSR, despite its meagre means, was able to lead the space race for some time.

The second one involves economics. Continue reading “Fridges, economics and artifice”

Nazism is unrepeatable

(Image from

As far as I understand, Nazism was the unique combination of a who, a where and a when: Adolf Hitler and the post-WWI Germany. One person, one country and one time. Outside of those three elements there can be neither Nazis nor Nazism. None at all. The way this term is described on the Brittanica leaves no room but to conclude that Nazism is unrepeatable: it died alongside its leader and the disappearance of the precise historical circumstances under which it aroused. Not even in Germany can ‘linger’ any Nazism, since Hitler and the 1930’s are very long gone. Therefore, talking about today’s Nazis is as silly as talking about today’s Aztecs, Huns or Vikings.

Now; someone could argue: “But Marxism was also the fruit of one person, country and time, yet it still exists.” Well, I don’t think so. First, because Marxism wasn’t as intimately espoused to Marx as Nazism was to Hitler. Second, because it was basically an economic theory meant not just for Russia, but susceptible of (and aspiring to) be exported to many other nations in due time, whereas Nazism was by definition limited to a particular country and race. Third, because in the world of today, even in China or North Korea, real Marxism is outdated and totally unfeasible (supposing it was ever feasible at all). Contemporary citizens who call themselves Marxists don’t probably know what they’re talking about.

Continue reading “Nazism is unrepeatable”

Whites move and… win?

On a recent talk show I heard, participants were talking about an issue I’ve been thinking myself of for a few weeks now: What’s Putin’s plan if and after Russia attains its military goals in Ukraine? Seen Biden & Associates’ resolute will to keep fueling the conflict until the last Ukrainian soldier, when and how can the Kremlin put an end to the hostilities? How do they extricate themselves from this war?

This seems like a difficult dilemma, and those guys at the talk show were elaborating on the very same reasons and arguments I had been considering. Of course, noone in the West knows what’s on Putin’s head. Maybe we can have an idea of what were his goals when the special operation on the Donbass was launched: liberate the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics, secure those territories as a Russian-friendly “buffer zone” and, somehow, force Kiev’s government to agree on Ukraine never becoming a NATO ally. But things, apparently, are not going that way. Perhaps -and only perhaps– Putin, underestimating his enemies’ drive, counted on a faster occupation of LPR and DPR, and on a reasonably early capitulation of the Ukrainian troops; perhaps, too, the folks at the Kremlin miscalculated USEurope’s staunch, unwavering and unlimited support -military and economical- of Zelenski’s regime. Whatever it be, in view of how the warlike events are unfolding, it’s reasonable to assume that, along the past weeks, there must have been changes in Russia’s schemes; but we can only wild-guess about them.

To this end, let’s put ourselves in a relatively pushy scenario: Continue reading “Whites move and… win?”