- Mar 6, 2019
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
Was it inevitable? A short history of Russia’s war on Ukraine (Guardian) "To understand the tragedy of this war, it is worth going back beyond the last few weeks and months, and even beyond Vladimir Putin", by Keith Gessen
It's a long but balanced read that explains the machinations and missteps that have brought us to this conflict.For three months everyone argued about whether there would be a war, whether Vladimir Putin was bluffing or serious. Some of the Russia experts who had long told people to take it easy were now telling people to get worried. Others, who had long criticised Putin, said that he was just trying to draw attention to himself, that it was all for show. Among the analysts, there was a debate between the troop watchers and the TV watchers. The troop watchers saw the massive concentration of Russian forces at the border and in Crimea and warned of invasion. The TV watchers said that Russian TV was not ramping up war hysteria, as it usually does before a Russian invasion, and that this meant there would be no war.
That everyone was wrong did not prevent everyone from immediately claiming that, in fact, they’d been right. Russia experts who had been arguing for years that Putin was a bloody tyrant rushed forth to claim vindication, for he had undoubtedly become what they had claimed he was all along. Russia experts who had been arguing for years that we needed to heed Putin’s warnings could also claim vindication (though more quietly) because Putin had finally acted on those warnings. As usual, officials from US presidential administrations of yore were trotted out on TV as talking heads, dispensing their wisdom and accepting no responsibility, as if they had not all contributed, in one way or another, to the catastrophe.