Ukraine War Day #277: Apocalypse Tonight!

Dear Readers:

This piece, by reporter Alexander Boyko (Title: Apocalypse In the Dark), paints a very bleak picture of today’s wartime Ukraine, and how much ordinary people are suffering. If, during the years 2014-22 only the residents of the Donbass endured such dangers and deprivations, now everybody has to share in the suffering, even in previously privileged places such as Lvov. Granted, this is a piece of propaganda. Not the lying kind of propaganda, the facts presented are all true. But perhaps the type of propaganda where all is made to seem much more desperate and on a much broader scale… For example, I could pick up a newspaper from my own town and become convinced that it is much too dangerous to walk out into the street, due to the current crime wave. I would be murdered or kidnapped the moment I set foot on the street. And yet, most likely, I could stroll down to the corner store and back, without incident. Perhaps it is that way for many, if not most ordinary Ukrainians as well. And yet I am sure that Boyko is not exaggerating by very much….

Customers in cities like Kiev and Lvov have gotten accustomed to shopping in the dark.

Boyko: Life in the Ukraine is becoming ever more interesting. Either they send you directly to the front; or they kill you or kidnap you right out on the street. Marauders are ransacking abandoned flats, which used to have alarm systems installed. On the dark city streets pedestrians are mugged and murdered, foreigners are at great risk of being kidnapped for ransom. While municipal authorities are pondering how to plan for long-term outages of electricity and heat, the residents are asking themselves: Are there going to be pogroms?

The Ukrainian public are already involved in discussions of the type: If our supermarkets in Kiev and Lvov should be looted by marauders, then what kind of stuff should we grab first? People are advised to go for the cigarettes and samogon [craft, or home-made booze], since those items can always be exchanged for other products. Also moist towelettes, with which many Ukrainians have become accustomed to cleaning themselves [in the absence of running water]. A mere 10 towelettes is enough to clean one’s entire body, although some people have learned to do it with only five. For a home-made toilet [in the absence of flushing water], people recommend taking kitchen-size garbage bags. It is also recommended to grab candles and batteries, and to keep at home enough water to last for 5 days. One may use one’s bathtub and sink to hold the spare water; or perhaps even an aquarium tank, if one is handy.

Collections From the Third Reich

Boyko: I know a guy who lives in Kiev, let’s call him Sergei. (All names have been changed.) For many years he collected antiquities. From the U.S., or auction sites in Europe, or dealers from Russia, he would buy medals, gold coins, honorary weaponry, protective armor of medieval knights. Now this whole collection has turned into a burden for him: What Russians call a suitcase without a handle (чемодан без ручки): Too difficult to lug around, but one regrets throwing it away.

“I’m worried the Russian troops will come, and take this away from me,” the antiquarian confides in the reporter. “You know that in Russia you have to have a license to keep museum weapons in your collection. And who is going to provide me with such a permit? Due to this, I have been forced to slowly sell off my collection, and just for kopecks. Whatever I can’t sell, I will bury somewhere, and then I will leave the country.”

But what about selling his entire collection within Ukraine? It’s complicated. People are very reluctant to spend their foreign currency, which constantly rises in value. People are only buying small things that they can hide in their pockets: coins, jewelry. These things are worth more than gold now, and people can easily sneak them past the border guards when they leave the country. But larger items, especially antiquities, require the assistance of professional smugglers. And they don’t come cheap. And even then, one must worry that Ukrainian or Polish bandits might get tipped off and seize the loot. Romanians as well: Both Poles and Romanians are known for their thieving ways.

yalensis: I can’t help but think about that final scene in Ilf/Petrov’s famous novel “The Little Golden Calf”. In which the hero Ostap Bender is fleeced by Romanian border guards, relieved of all his ikons and jewelry, when he attempts to flee from the Soviet Union.

Boyko asks his acquaintance: What is the state of the Antiquities market in Ukraine nowadays?

“It’s a catastrophe. Somebody just recently dumped onto Ukrainian sites several collections of weapons from the Third Reich; French medieval armor and shields from the era of Louis XIII; all kinds of medieval weaponry. These exhibits are worth hundreds of thousands of Euros. But even in Europe, nobody wants to buy these objects any more.”

People Are Disappearing From Lvov

Boyko continues his interesting conversation with his antiquarian acquaintance, Sergei. He suggests helpfully: “Why not move your collections into a bank vault?”

“The banks could be nationalized at any moment or looted by Nationalists. Besides, it’s getting harder and harder to secure any property, even in banks. For hours at a time there is no electricity, which means the security cameras don’t work either. The streets are full of armed groupings of low-IQ citizenry, so even a bodyguard is not going to help you. Not to mention that you can be stopped and arrested in the blink of an eye. In which case you’d give them anything to get away. For example, [while driving] I was recently stopped randomly at a checkpoint, so [the soldiers] could examine my phone. On my phone they saw a number from the Russian Federation. I don’t even know whose it was, it could have been junk mail or spam. But they almost killed me on the spot. They only let me go when I pointed out to them that the so-called conversation didn’t even last one second. I was shaking all over, knowing that in my car I had an album full of coins worth tens of thousands of dollars.

The goons at the checkpoint didn’t notice Sergei’s coin collection.

Loss of power has engendered outbreaks of criminal activity, not only in the capital of Ukraine, but also in cities such as Lvov, Odessa, and Kharkov.

Another one of reporter Boyko’s acquaintances is “Andrei”, who is a resident of Lvov: “The number of apartment burglaries in Lvov has skyrocketed. It’s gotten to the point where elderly residents are afraid to leave their flat. People are being murdered even for small sums of money, armed drug addicts are extorting pensions from pensioners. There are even cases of children murdering their parents in order to get their modest pension. Sometimes it happens that well-off people simply disappear, and everybody assumes they left for Europe. Throughout the whole of the Ukraine there is a hunt on for foreigners. Even former [foreign] mercenaries are being kidnapped, for the ransom money from their families. And the kidnappers don’t even worry about withdrawing the money [of their victims] from the ATM machines. Sometimes they just walk right up to the ATMs accompanied by an entire, fully-armed Nationalist platoon.”

According to Andrei, the Territorial Defense Units of the Ukrainian army have become criminalized to such a degree that they have begun to divide up Lvov into different criminal regions, after meeting with other organized crime leaders. And these mobsters are not just locals, but also involve the international criminal community. Already back in the 1990’s, all the smuggling routes between Lvov and Poland were set up, and these same routes still function reliably at 100% capacity.

Diplomats’ Cars Carrying Hand Grenades

Andrei: “Back in those days [the 90’s], people trafficked in counterfeit electronics and sneakers, later it was stolen automobiles, and nowadays it’s mostly narcotics and weapons. Weapons especially change hands without any kind of controls. There was this old barn near a neighboring house, where some military guys had built a cache of weapons. Every night cars bearing Polish diplomatic plates would approach the windows leading to the basement, and people would emerge carrying boxes and crates. People say that Ukrainians arms caches are being sold to criminal gangs in Europe for a quarter of their actual value. After passing through the Polish border guards, these weapons make their way to the end-customers in Czechia and Germany.”

All that remains is to hope that the local criminal class, armed to the teeth with grenades and machine guns, has not decided to attack a NATO nuclear base; but will just stick to robbing banks and museums. After all, millions of Ukrainians received the possibility of settling down in Europe, according to their own standards of what constitutes a dignified life. And now it is the turn of Europe and the U.S. to endure these newcomers.

Graeme Biggar

The Ukrainian criminal class (and by the way, it is precisely the Ukrainian criminal class which people in the U.S. and Europe used to call “Russian”) has started to express an interest in heavy weapons; a fact which arouses the unease of an Englishman named Graeme Biggar, who holds the title of Director General of the National Crime Agency. Although he probably gets a lot of jokes about his name, Biggar is serious about combatting organized crime and narco-trafficking. And, according to reporter Boyko, Biggar has expressed his apprehensions that at least some of the grenades and machine guns and so on, provided to the Ukrainian army by Western countries, may wind up in Great Britain, in the hands of criminal gangs and terrorist cells.

The Ukrainian underworld, meanwhile, has bigger fish to fry: They are already busy driving out other criminals throughout Europe, taking over whole swathes of mob-type businesses such as prostitution, narcotics and gun-running. But in this, they are forced to compete with other non-native criminals from Africa and Asia. At stake are huge profits, and it’s only a matter of time before Western “heavy weapons” start falling into the hands of extremists and terrorists. There may come a time when the “civilized” world begins to associate the word de-Ukrainization with the word de-criminalization.

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41 Responses to Ukraine War Day #277: Apocalypse Tonight!

  1. yalensis says:

    FIRST! comment to my own post.

    Whatever one thinks of the Ukrainian people, one may still admire their courage and endurance in the face of this adversity. For example, Zelensky’s wife Elena declared that the Ukrainian people are prepared to live without food, water, light and electricity, for at least 2-3 years. If, at the end of that ordeal, they be guaranteed membership in the EU.
    [Dumb question: why would EU even want to accept such a basket case with no money or economy of its own? I mean, aren’t the members of this exclusive club supposed to actually bring something to the table? Ukraine used to have a lot of good stuff, but it’s all gone now.]

    Anyhow, Mrs. Zelenskaya claims that a poll was conducted [probably around her well-lit and cozy-warm kitchen], and that, according to this poll, over 90% of the respondents responded just so: We are willing to go on living like animals for a couple of years, if only we can subsequently be accepted into the EU. I wonder how many Ukrainians still see the EU as a kind of door prize which one receives: Somebody waves a magic wand and bingo! one is suddenly well-off, has a great job and house and car, with all the trimmings…. Just like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BM says:

      Ha ha! If the EU even still exists in two years time, existing members will be jostling amongst each other who can get out first. If more than 50% of members have not yet either left or declared their intention to leave that will be a miracle.

      Like

  2. BM says:

    I rather suspect that while there is undoubtedly an element of truth in much of Boyko’s claims, my suspicion is that he has heavily hyped it up not just as propaganda but far more so as clickbait. These days fake news is highly profitable. The more scandalous and outragious it is made to appear, the more clickbait profits it generates. This is why you need to be more selective in what you read and what you take seriously.

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    • yalensis says:

      Boyko’s account jibes with many other things I have been reading. About the Russian systematic destruction of the Ukrainian energy grid, and about what happens when the lights go out for days at a time. You don’t think this sort of thing would happen in any American or Canadian city as well?

      Liked by 2 people

  3. peter moritz says:

    “Anyhow, Mrs. Zelenskaya claims” that should tell you everything about her statement’s truth value, which rather quickly tends towards 0.

    “There may come a time when the “civilized” world”…… in the west ceases to exist. Think MAD MAX, but happening in European Cities instead of the Outback…

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    • yalensis says:

      That article was more for comic relief. Commenters to the Russian story invoked references to “Let them eat cake”. In the RT version of the story (which I didn’t bother to link), the commenters were much more vicious against Mrs. Zelenskaya. She is clearly an air-head.

      Like

      • In light* of the possible food shortages, maybe the Russian commenters should be saying “Let them NOT eat cake.”

        *I suppose it’s technically impossible to use the phrase “in light of” for anything in Ukraine during those hours when the sun is not shining…

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        • yalensis says:

          Ironically, in addition to all their other misfortunes, I read that Ukrainians are running out of bread. So maybe they literally will have to eat cake instead of bread. But it would have to be the kind of cake you buy already cooked and wrapped. Like American Tastee-Kakes ?

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          • peter moritz says:

            Here is helmers newest post, telling what is in store for Ukraine. No, not occupation, the wet dream of the western propagandists, but implementing what Putin said Russia wanted to achieve in Ukraine, however limiting it in scope, which really seems achievable without full mobilization.

            It is not a pretty picture for Ukraine, and no one will stop this unless NATO would participate fully on the Ukrainian side, which it really does not have a stomach for, considering how the western populations seem to change their tune vs. Ukraine.

            It also tells what is behind the Kharkov and Kherson strategic retreats: the depopulation of those areas.

            http://johnhelmer.net/ukraine-armistice-how-the-udz-of-2023-will-separate-the-armies-like-the-korean-dmz-of-1953/

            “The Kherson manoeuvre….the electric war campaign which has followed*; and the cutoff of troops, arms and supplies by train from Kiev to the eastern front… foreshadow how the military are preparing to establish the Ukrainian Demilitarized Zone (UDZ)

            “In the northern sector – that’s from Kramatorsk and Slovyansk to Kharkov, then northwestward to Sumy and Chernigov – these are garrisons and staging areas of hate on or near to Russia’s borders; they will not be spared. It’s lights out for them. They made their decision in February-March and during the pull-back last spring. The shelling, sabotage, and other attacks on Bryansk, Belgorod and Kursk have qualified them for de-electrification, de-population, and de-nazification.”

            The Ukrainian demilitarized zone (UDZ) will be up to one hundred kilometres in depth, depending on the range of the US and NATO missile and artillery weapons deployed on the Kiev side of the Dnieper. On the ground inside the UDZ there may be no electricity, no people, nothing except for the means to monitor and enforce the terms of the armistice.”

            And the tactics to achieve that goal:

            “Military source: “The maps speak for themselves. The РЕЙД will consist of several heavy armoured spearheads with the objective of occupying and destroying enemy logistical hubs and transportation routes as well as any infrastructure. This will include whatever remains of the Ukrainian electrical grid in the target zone. Once the destruction of these targets has been completed, the remnants of the infrastructure will be mined, and the area planted with sensing devices. The armies will then begin a rapid, staged withdrawal behind Russian lines where the process of fortification and entrenchment has already begun.””

            Which will all be followed up by:

            “Bridges, roads, railroads, marshalling yards, rolling stock, airfields, fuel storage and dispensaries, electrical substations, transmission and communications towers, central offices, warehouses, laydown areas, agricultural equipment – anything that could possibly be used to support the Ukrainian-NATO effort east of the zone’s western border will be destroyed.”

            It is not a pretty picture, but one necessitated by the incompetence, arrogance, intransigence, hypocrisie and false intelligence by NATO and its supporters. A dark future, self-inflicted by Nationalism based on a fascist ideology, and furthered by the goal to destroy western European and Russian relationships as much as possible.

            This was always the fear of the USA, a Eurasian competitor that would without difficulty restrain the Geopolitical goals of dominance by the USA, it having been relegated to being one player among many.

            Like

  4. mtnforge says:

    i think it is important to truly grasp an underlying insidious truth of all this, that all are victims in some way as all good folks just simply do not have it in them to do such things that all involved in all these terrible things are converged in some way, that it is come to the point there can be no quarter no mercy for what is behind all this, that it all, all the subversion all the undermining all the suffering all the turmoil all the tribulations all the hate all the envy all the violence all the pillaging all the filthy lucre all the destruction all the river of blood all the death all the pogrom all the terror all the reprisal all the cleansing all the genocide all the Warr all its almost incomprehensible scale all its scope all its hidden conspiracy all its institutional order all who do IT’s bidding, all the minions, all the ignorance all the contempt all the hate all the envy all serves a purpose to one.

    Like

  5. S Brennan says:

    Omnipresent voice:
    – Did somebody mention being “fleeced by Romanian”?

    Y replying in a thought bubble:
    – I know Brennan’s going to comment right about…now

    Ironically, on cue, Brennan chimes in:
    – And speaking of being “fleeced by Romanians” consider the curious case of Romania after switching sides during WWI after observing who was going to win the conflict…Romania managed to convince the clueless Wilsonian diplomats that Romania would remain an ever loyal ally to the US if borders were redrawn in such a way as to give Romania large parts of Hungary and other neighboring countries.

    The kicker here is, the racists that comprised Wilson’s cadre were impressed with Romania’s racial disparagement of it’s neighbors and promises of eternal fidelity and awarded them vast lands. The kicker of course is, the Romanians having acquired the lands felt no obligation to keep their word so…when Hitler rose to power they were immediately attracted to the man…as they had been to Wilson.

    Oddly, Hitler was also attracted to the eugenics popularized by Woodrow Wilson.

    Omnipresent voice:
    – I knew I shouldn’t have mentioned being “fleeced by Romanian”?

    Y replying in a thought bubble: – “I don’t think Brennan’s going to ever stop ranting about Romania’s history of betrayal or….Wilson’s racism…there’s just something about traitors & racists that gets Irish blood boiling”

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Y replying in a thought bubble: Hm… Brennan is right to keep reminding us of Romania’s history of perfidy. And of Wilson’s racism. Not to mention Wilson’s perfidy and Romania’s racism.

      Don’t even get me started on what the Romanian Nationalists did to their Jewish citizens (ordinary working people, men, women and children) a couple of weeks before Hitler’s Anschluss. In places like Kishinev and Odessa. I mean, it wasn’t enough for the Romanians to simply kill people they considered subhumans. No, they had to capture them, bind them, torture and rape them for days, check the history books, these are historical facts…

      Keep on boiling, Irish blood!

      Like

      • S Brennan says:

        Most humorous & apropos reply Y…were it not for the great tragedy unfolding upon our globe, the whole affair would be the stuff of Euripides.

        And I say that as somebody who played “the Guard” in Antigone; in spite of it’s diminutive namesake, it’s the 3rd largest role in the play. FYI, I played “The Guard” as an ordinary blue-collar-working-man who offered a satirical gallows humor to his tenuous circumstances…and there was much to work with in Euripides telling of the tale.

        My interpretation of “the Guard” in Antigone was much to my directors dismay but…to the crowd’s surprise and amusement. Comedic relief does not diminish tragedy, it heightens it, see Dr. Strangelove. That said, the play, as a whole, was panned by media critics but, my “original” interpretation of “the Guard’s” role was widely praised by a prominent city paper critic.

        Regardless of my director’s wishes, I think I correctly channeled Euripides intentions as to my character’s role in the play. I hope to meet Euripides [and many others] on the other side and at long last know if I hit the nail or, my thumb…may all my sins be forgiven.

        Anyhow, after being chewed out for a performance that won the audience and media critics but failed to win my director/lead actors recognition I knew this was not my path, instead, I learned science and never painted my face again.

        Without humor, life’s darkest moments are not worth veneration. Satan’s minions reserve their greatest hate for those who rebuke them with satirical contempt and from child to adult, I welcome evil’s hate.

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          S Brennan, my respect for you has surged even higher, knowing that you were a successful actor who portrayed The Guard in Antigone! Deep down inside, I always wanted to be in the theater, but alas that destiny was never mine. I didn’t actually crave to be an actor, more like a director, but maybe giving myself a small role in each play. The closest I ever came was directing a family production (with my siblings) of Julius Caesar, for the benefit of our parents.

          Due to the smallness of the troupe, each of us had to take on multiple roles. My brother was both Brutus and Cassius at the same time. My sister was both Calpurnia and Portia. I was both Caesar AND Antony, so I was forced to orate over my own coffin!

          Like

        • Which “Antigone” were you in, Comrade Brennan? The play of Euripides only survives in fragments. No one could produce the whole thing. Of course, we all know the version of Sophocles. There’s also a French play by Jean Anouilh, which features a guard as prominent character. I only know that one in translation. I believe it was composed during the Nazi occupation of France.

          Like

          • S Brennan says:

            Most excellent Y, although I have been working long hours of late and can be a bit tardy in my replies, my greatest respect to your work here ! BTW, your next post on the Gold Star Mothers was greatly appreciated.

            Like

          • S Brennan says:

            Flammeusgladius,

            You are my better, clearly your intellectual superiority shows through your every vowel and consonant that you uttered in your most incisive banter. This is clear, as I know not the answer, yes…yes, I could look it up and banter back as is the fad these days but, I have just spent the last 12 hours trying to bring an engineering design to life and your question is tiresome. As I said, I left the life of a thespian long ago and …without any regrets. So, with that said, “nymph in thy orisons, be all my sins forgiven”.

            Like

            • A Danish Duelist Croaks in Technicolor, with a Script by Jean Anouilh

              “Heaven make thee free of it!”

              Ouch! Though I was assured these blades were bated,
              Blood has been duly shed – and look: it’s mine!
              I fear some vast catastrophe is fated
              Beyond the pedantry of my design.
              The bootless facts I thought I had in line
              Abandon me, disloyal Danish curs.
              A mortal shudder travels up my spine—
              Or so my brain, unhappy now, infers.
              At times, when death approaches, conscience stirs—
              And why should I be different at this point?
              Do I hear angels, Heaven’s ministers,
              Singing that I must shortly blow this joint?
              Then, by the wisdom of unstatued Lenin,
              Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Brennan!

              T.R.

              Like

          • yalensis says:

            Flammeus, wait till you get a load of my post today (it will be up in around an hour or so!)
            S Brennan’s mention of Antigone inspired me to riff on that theme. Speaking on his behalf, which I don’t have the right to do, I am guessing it was the Sophocles version that he appeared in back in his thespian days. I found this English translation, where Creon’s Guard makes his big entrance, and I can certainly see the comic potential for the actor’s interpretation.
            If you read classical Greek, I found that too, miracle of the internet.

            [Enter a guard, coming towards the palace.]

            GUARD

            My lord, I can’t say I’ve come out of breath
            by running here, making my feet move fast.
            Many times I stopped to think things over—
            and then I’d turn around, retrace my steps.
            My mind was saying many things to me, 260
            “You fool, why go to where you know for sure
            your punishment awaits?”—“And now, poor man,
            why are you hesitating yet again?
            If Creon finds this out from someone else, [230]
            how will you escape being hurt?” Such matters
            kept my mind preoccupied. And so I went,
            slowly and reluctantly, and thus made
            a short road turn into a lengthy one.
            But then the view that I should come to you
            won out. If what I have to say is nothing, 270
            I’ll say it nonetheless. For I’ve come here
            clinging to the hope that I’ll not suffer
            anything that’s not part of my destiny.

            Like

            • Yes, Yalensis. My Greek is much better than my Russian. I have the Theban plays of Sophocles in hard copy — though I maintain an eccentric preference for the “Oedipus at Colonus” over the other two. I rejoice in the apotheosis of the magnificent sinner.

              Like

              • yalensis says:

                Flammeus, I had only one semester of Classical Greek in college. (I needed it to fulfill a requirement for my Minor degree in comparative Indo-European morphology). I had just enough to learn the alphabet and be able to read some basic stuff. But I always vowed I would go back to it someday and learn more.

                As someone trained in Scientific Linguistics, I maintain that the Greek alphabet is possibly the most perfect alphabet ever invented, 100% phonemic, and quite easy to learn. One can start reading right away, even if one does not understand what one is reading! The verbs are a bitch, but that is usually the case.

                Like

      • cornellencar says:

        First, the Jewish population was pushed down the throat of Romanians in second half of 19th century by Austrians, as a condition of recognizing the unification of Moldova and Wallachia in the Kingdom of Romania.

        The Jewish population rapidly got involved in opening pubs in countriside and providing land management services to big landlords: thus, the last and largest peasent revolt in Europe happened in Romania in 1907, with 11000 peasants killed, sparked by the abusive practices of said Jews, who considered the Romanian peasants subhumans and good for exploitation.

        Despite all this, the Romanian Jews suffered little in Romania (in comparison). At maybe less than 10K dead, compare this with the rest of europe under Germans. And in Odessa (which was occupied Russian territory), that massacre was sparked by the partisan activities of many Jewish Soviets.

        There is always the other side of the story that gets pushed in the dark, to create a narrative.

        Like

        • S Brennan says:

          Oh…and an anti-semite too…so what’s not to like?

          Like

          • cornellencar says:

            Anti semite? For describing a forceful act? Having to accept a massive influx of an alien population with different habits, language, and beliefs? Yeah, right. As if.

            Like

        • yalensis says:

          Most of the Jews massacred in Kishinev by the Romanians, were just ordinary people: farmers, bakers, cobblers, that sort of thing. The pogromists didn’t bother to check if somebody was the manager for a big estate. They didn’t discriminate according to job description.
          Plus, the Romanian pogromists were excessively cruel. They were so cruel that even the German Nazis were shocked by their cruelty. If they wanted to just kill people to make them gone, they could have done that; just kill people quickly. No people, no problem.

          Instead, they kept people alive and tortured them for days. They were particularly cruel with women. I’d like to hear how anybody justifies raping women and children. Oh, maybe they worked for a big landowner? Or they were partisans?

          Like

          • cornellencar says:

            There were no Jewish farmers to begin with. As with Odessa, Kisinev was also riddled with partisans, many Jews.

            However, the atrocities can not be excused. And comparing the several thousands killed by Romanians with the utter genocidal Germans (in the 5 million killed via industrial means, there were quite a percentage killed in a horrible matter) and making Romanians look the worst of is really the height of delusion and hypocrisy. Go away with this nonsense.

            Like

    • cornellencar says:

      I call bullshit on all this nonsense about Romania. If memory serves me right, Germany entered in the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which, among others, allowed USSR to reoccupy Bassarabia (rep of moldova). Not only that, but allowed through the Vienna Diktat for Hungary to occupy North Western Transylvania, and some good massacring of Romanians by Hungarians plus Jewish deportation to death camps. Simon Weil was from northern Maramures in Romania. The only thing Germany was interested was in Romanian oil.

      Countries don’t have friends, but interests, and with Germany being treasonous twice against Romania, and forcing it to join the war in the east, I say Romania turning against Germany was well deserved blowback, not treason.

      Like

      • S Brennan says:

        “I call bullshit…if memory serves me right”

        Like all people who claim “memory” of things recently googled to confirm personal bias, you don’t have the historical context right and secondly…oh..why bother with another internet bullshitter calling “bullshit” on a long thread just to call undeserved attention to themselves. Keep researching, I am sure you will soon have “total recall” of memories that confirm all your biases.

        Like

    • cornellencar says:

      Your account about Romania’s actions in WWI are dead wrong. First, it never switched sides. It entered the war in July 196 after driving a hard bargain, especially in getting support from the south (an allied intervention in Greece to pin down Bulgarian, Turkish and German forces).

      However, attacked from south, west and north, ultimately it retreated in Moldova. In 1917 retrained and stabilized the front, with the battles in august 1917 being the biggest battles in 1917 of WWI.
      Nevertheless, the Russian revolution and the retreat of the Russian contingent forced Romania into a disastrous armistice at the end of 1917 beginning of 1918.

      And of course the allies did not keep their promise to land in Greece.

      At the beginning of Nov 1918, Romania entered the fray again. With the Austro-Hungarian empire in disarray, Romania occupied Transylvania and then when the communist revolution took hold in Budapest, ended up occupying Hungary and Budapest in 1919.

      The terms of peace were drafted on the battlefield and a popular plebiscite in Transylvania in Dec 1, 1918, established the popular will of union of Transylvania with Romania. No permission from the “Great Powers” was required.

      As for the Romanians attraction to Hitler, that is a myth. After forcing Romania to relinquish NW Transylvania to Hungary and Bassarabia to USSR, I cannot see how Romania and Romanians could have been in thrall with Hitler. And at the first opportunity they switched sides, of course. And anyone criticizing Romania for being treacherous in double-crossing HITLER, that person needs to be consulted, since the assumption is that Hitler was a honorable person with a just cause…

      Like

  6. Daniel Rich says:

    In most cases, there’s no honor amongst thieves, so I don’t expect anything remotely principled amongst these mondain muggers to materialize.

    What I do know, is that it’s the ordinary citizens that face the brunt of this vicious onslaught on their simple lives. Throughout history, it’s always been them that carried the crucifix of collateral damage to the gates of hell and back.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Well said, Daniel. Being an ordinary person myself, living an ordinary life, I completely identify with ordinary people of any country, including Ukrainians, living through this kind of horror.
      From time to time, throughout my ordinary life, I have had a small taste of what it means to lose social services and public utilities; for example, there was one winter when my town lost power (due to an ice storm) for 10 whole days. There was no electricity nor heat, and I had to endure that. Miraculously, my flat still had hot water, I know not how, apparently that was on a different boiler or generator, or whatever. Whatever goes on in the boiler room is beyond my comprehension.
      I think sometimes that we need to return to the rugged ways of our pioneer ancestors, and re-learn how to live like that, otherwise how are we going to survive when the real apocalypse comes?

      Like

      • Daniel Rich says:

        @ yalensis,

        I live a rather spartan lifestyle. No heating and cooling in my apartment [it’s there, but I don’t use it. When it’s hot I open a window and a door [and hopeful there’s some wind to help me out] and when it gets cold, I dress up.

        When I lived in Thailand, on Koh Pagnang, there were several electrical outages a month, so living with candlelight was kind of normal. Nevertheless, where I was, there were only 2 seasons: a hot and a wet one. The only thing you had to worry about was, “Am I going to wear a T-shirt today, or not?”

        I agree though, we’ve unlearned a lot of things and what will happen when the light goes out?

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          Daniel, I admire your Spartan lifestyle! I wish everybody was like you, then we wouldn’t have all these problems with climate change and so on. Too many humans on the planet, if you ask me, and we all make too much mess!

          Like

          • Daniel Rich says:

            Living life on this planet brings with it a responsibility: treat this place like you treat your own home. I like my home to clean and neat. I like my home to be a place for others to visit and lay their heads to rest. To eat. To be silent To feel at home. Still, I don’t claim to be right. I just claim me to be me. That’s all. ‘Live and let live.’ Carpe Diem.

            Like

  7. peter says:

    Yalensis….what do you know about the propination system in these lands around 15-16th century….sobering post today…

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Hi, Peter, I had to google “propination”, but now I get what you are asking.
      The answer is I don’t know if the Polish pans extended those laws to this territory. I only know a tiny bit about the alcohol system in Russian history, and how Peter the Great allegedly received huge revenues from his monopoly of vodka sold in inns, etc. There is a certain faction of Russian historians/patriots who allege that Russians, prior to Peter, only drank milder drinks like mead, and that vodka was invented in order to get the peasants drunk and fatten Peter’s coffins.
      I don’t know if that is true or not, but there is this old Russian folk song (collected by antiquarian Kirsha Danilov), it’s sort of like the Russian equivalent of that song in Carmina Burana, about everybody drinking in the tavern. In this song, the peasant ends up selling everything he has for booze, including even his clothes, leaving him naked in the end. Literary scholars say this may be an allusion to the Russian propination laws of that Petrine time.


      А и горе, горе, гореваньице
      А и горе, горе, гореваньице!
      А и в горе жить — некручинну быть,
      Нагому ходить — не стыдитися,
      А и денег нету — перед деньгами,
      Появилась гривна — перед злыми дни!
      Не бывать плешатому кудрявому,

      Не бывать гулящему богатому,
      Не отростить дерева суховерхаго,
      Не откормить коня сухопараго,
      Не утешити дитя без матери,
      Не скроить атласу без мастера!
      А горе, горе, гореваньице!
      А и лыком горе подпоясалось,
      Мочалами ноги изопутаны!
      А я от горя в темны леса —
      А горе прежде век зашел;
      А я от горя в почестный пир —
      А горе зашел, впереди сидит;
      А я от горя на царев кабак —
      А горе встречает, уже пиво тащит!
      Как я нагь-то стал, насмеялся он…

      Like

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