With Russia hosting the FIFA World Cup this year, I must disclose that I am a huge football fan. [Not really…]
However, I did see this piece in PolitNavigator, by Alexander Gusar, which gives me hope that football can help to end the war in Donbass. And maybe even bring World Peace in general, thus also bringing joy to the hearts of every Miss America contestant.
Recall that the benighted residents of the Donbass region have been subjected — going on years now — to daily bombings and artillery shellings at the hands of the Ukrainian army. The Ukrainian government claims, of course, that they are fighting a war against Russian invaders. Very dilatory and snail-slow invaders since, as I just mentioned, this war has been dragging on for years now, destroying people and infrastructure.
Anyhow, Gusar writes that, this past week, Donbass civilians received a highly welcome respite from the constant barrages and the sounds of war. The reason: Ukrainian soldiers are busy watching the football games on TV.
The accompanying video (in the posted link) features Daniil Viktorovich Bezsonov, Press Secretary for Donetsk Peoples Republic (DPR) Defense Ministry. Bezsonov (whose name in Russian means “Sleepless” — very apt for a DPR citizen) reads a statement, of which here is a translation of the written transcript:
“The government of the Donetsk Peoples Republic increased the bandwidth of television channels transmitting the World Championship Football games. This is so that Ukrainian soldiers can take a break from carrying out the criminal orders of their officers and enjoy the games of all the teams. Residents of the Republic already noticed a decrease in the amount of shellings since the beginning of the tournament and (especially) during the time of the (actual) games. Moreoever, in certain positions [on the frontline] our soldiers confirm the facts, during the time of the games, not only of a decrease in firing [weapons], on the part of the [Ukrainian] militants, but even cries of joy after the victories of the Russian team. We take pleasure (in noting) that not all Ukrainian militants have had their brains washed out by Kievite propaganda. This means that there are still people on the other side with whom we can (eventually) negotiate a peace.”