Little Mountain Dog.
News Items Weekend Edition.
1. Land Corridor.
Russian commander said Friday that Moscow wants to take “full control” of eastern and southern Ukraine, in part so it could have a path to neighboring Moldova — raising fears that the nearly two-month war could spill outside of Ukrainian borders.
The comments from Rustam Minnekayev, deputy commander of Russia’s Central Military District, seemed to hint that the Kremlin — which has been stymied in its bid to take over the Ukrainian capital — still wants to conquer wide swaths of its neighbor’s land, and potentially threaten the nations that lie beyond. They drew swift condemnation from Moldova, where residents have worried since the beginning of the war they could be next in the Kremlin’s crosshairs.
Mr. Minnekayev said capturing Ukraine’s east and south would create a “land corridor” to the Crimean Peninsula — which the Kremlin annexed in 2014 — and give Moscow influence over “vital objects of the Ukrainian economy,” according to the Russia state media outlet Tass. It would also provide “another way out to Transnistria,” Minnekayev said, referring to a thin strip of land that runs along Moldova’s border with Ukraine that functions as a separate nation, though it is not recognized as such, even by Russia.
Minnekayev’s comments came at the end of another grim week in Ukraine — particularly in the eastern Donbas region, where Kremlin forces have refocused their fire in recent days. The devastated southern port city of Mariupol remained under siege, with Russia vowing to trap remaining Ukrainian forces that have been holed up in a steel plant there. (Source: washingtonpost.com)
2. Russian Fascism.
The aggressor in this war keeps trying to push back toward a past as it never happened, toward nonsensical and necrophiliac accounts of history. Russia must conquer Ukraine, Vladimir Putin says, because of a baptism a thousand years ago, or because of bloodshed during World War II. But Russian myths of empire cannot contain the imagination of the Ukrainian victims of a new war. National identity is about living people, and the values and the futures they imagine and choose. A nation exists insofar as it makes new things, and a national language lives by making new words.
The new word “рашизм” (rough translation: ‘ruscism” or Russian fascism) is a useful conceptualization of Putin’s worldview. Far more than Western analysts, Ukrainians have noticed the Russian tilt toward fascism in the last decade. Undistracted by Putin’s operational deployment of genocide talk, they have seen fascist practices in Russia: the cults of the leader and of the dead, the corporatist state, the mythical past, the censorship, the conspiracy theories, the centralized propaganda and now the war of destruction. Even as we rightly debate how applicable the term is to Western figures and parties, we have tended to overlook the central example of fascism’s revival, which is the Putin regime in the Russian Federation. Read the rest. (Source: Timothy Snyder, nytimes.com)