Kamil Galeev Profile picture
Aug 7 15 tweets 7 min read
Many see NGOs as a bunch of ultra-privileged Westerners focused on satisfying their ego without any regard for the cost they inflict on the people they're supposed to "help". This view is unfair. It's too generalising. But the @amnesty report is playing to the worst stereotypes🧵
To start with, an argument about "Ukrainian forces putting civilians in harm’s way" by defending ignores the objective reality. Which is: it's the Ukrainian retreat that is putting civilians in harm's way. On the Russian occupied territory they'll be subject to unhinged violence
It is the Ukrainian retreat that made the worst atrocities of this war possible. Once the Ukrainian army retreats, civilians are at the mercy of the Russian military & the paramilitary. No wonder that they become victims of indiscriminate violence
Russian record in Ukraine is typical. It's just a common Russian way of waging wars, not much different from what we've seen in Syria or Chechnya. Mariupol shared the fate of Aleppo and Grozny. Ukrainians suffer in Russian hands much like Syrians did novayagazeta.ru/articles/2019/…
The same Wagner mercenary company that turned the torturous execution of a Syrian into their proud symbol is now fighting in Ukraine. Their leader Prigozhin is now touring Russian prisons to recruit new soldiers, reportedly focusing on those jailed for murder or armed robbery
Cut off head and hands of a Ukrainian POW put on stakes in the Russian-occupied Popasna very much resemble the Syrian war scenes. This behaviour is so typical for the Russian military that I have no idea why the world had ignored it before. Good thing they finally noticed
It is not the Ukrainian defence that endangers civilians, it is their retreat. With every new town ceded, more and more civilians remain with no protection against the Russian army and paramilitary. They'll be at their mercy and nobody will come to help

Furthermore, a line between civilians and combatants may be blurry. Russian pro-war journalist reported that in occupied Lisichansk he saw only one young person. Literally all the youth in the city left with the Ukrainian army. Almost all were involved in the territorial defence
I find this Russian Z-activist's testimony highly valuable, especially because Lisichansk he is describing is located in Donbass that Russians are supposed to "liberate". These are the people that @amnesty wants to leave one on one with the Russian army

That's what @amnesty report misses completely: the stance of local population. Russian sources give the picture of the locals' extreme hostility to the invaders and the will to resist. Locals are not necessarily the hapless victims as amnesty would portray them
The war that doesn't put civilians in the harm's way is the rich man's delusion. If you believe in such absurdity you probably never fought against a much stronger invader with a propensity for extreme violence. You probably can't even imagine yourself in such situation
Much of anger against @amnesty and their kind comes from them ignoring objective reality. What is worse, they find a moral high ground in ignoring reality, unaware that their ability to ignore it derives from their position of ultra privilege
Staying in the position of ultra-privilege, being carefully sheltered from the real world consequences of their actions, @amnesty dares to preach to those who face existential risks daily and indeed risk losing everything, should they miscalculate only once
Worst of all, @amnesty has actively endangered the Ukrainian civilians. Russian authorities endorse their messages because it helps them to avoid responsibility for shelling the Ukrainian residential quarters. Amnesty International just gave them the free pass to do so
@amnesty @amnesty report reminds me of the old maxim:

"If you are being raped, just relax and enjoy"

I disagree. I would insist that the victim has the absolute right and in this case even the moral obligation for self defence, whatever the ultra-privileged may preach. End of🧵

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More from @kamilkazani

Aug 8
The visa issue may be complicated.

1. I think security concerns of Finland and even more so, Baltics, are legitimate. Let's be honest, Russia never really recognised independence of the latter. Furthermore, Baltic nations are very much dehumanised in the Russian public discourse
This sermon may be very illustrative. "Misfortunate" Ukraine is described more as a misled little sister who must be disciplined, reformed and put back in line. The priest's stance on Baltics is much harsher:

"What happens with Baltics, you can imagine yourself" tells he
2. Saying all of this, I see a certain contradiction between the moral logic and the pragmatic logic in the visa/residence permit policy. I also see a strong bias towards the former
Read 22 tweets
Aug 6
Kremlin has a problem. Since it didn't declare war, it can't jail the military who just refuse to go to fight to Ukraine. But senior officers can add bad remarks to their personal files. Like this:

"Inclined towards alcohol and drug abuse, towards theft and anal orgies"
Last remark about "anal orgies" is very illustrative. It's not so much about homophobia as a Westerner could presume as about the prison culture. Prison culture permeates society, especially the army, police and state security *far* deeper than foreigners would believe
Prison has very complex sexual code. First and most importantly, *active* homosexualism is okay. It's not even perceived as homosexualism, but as a way to reinforce the social hierarchy. Passive role though is shameful and is reserved for the non-touchable, the "cocks" (петухи)
Read 11 tweets
Aug 2
"Destroyed?" You must be joking. It reinforced Skuratov. President introduced the bill to fire the General Attorney to the Parliament thrice and the Upper House (governors basically) rejected it three times. Skuratov became the Hill-to-die-on for the regional barons
The sauna videotape with escorts made Skuratov a close to sainthood person in the eyes of regional barons. Like if a person is occupying the post of General Attorney of the Russian Federation, he's probably doing lots of crimes. And Kremlin would publish them, if he committed any
The fact that they come up with such crap as the sauna videotape shows he's 100% clean. And a 100% clean official would be fired because he's exposing corruption of Yeltsin's family (which barons wanted to drown and make a scapegoat for all the ills of the country)
Read 4 tweets
Aug 2
When Kremlin tried to destroy Nemtsov's reputation by publishing his affairs that was so bad move, so lacking the basic awareness of a culture it was operating in, that I unironically suspect it was the idea of American consultants on Putin's service

Kremlin used to employ many
"Publish all his affairs with tons of married and unmarried women and he's done" sounds very plausible to someone from the inner America. It had the opposite effect in Russia. Hooking up with so many women while holding *no power*? That was basically pro-Nemtsov propaganda
Paradoxically it may sound, the only time Russia got (somewhat) close to the American sexual politics culture was in the late USSR. Under Brezhnev, the private life of the Party members indeed became a public matter, somewhat resembling of America Image
Read 6 tweets
Aug 2
Russia is not Puritan. It doesn't hold politicians to the same sexual standards as America. Putin's infidelity didn't reduce his support for a bit. Nemtsov's flamboyance might have actually boosted his reputation. Affairs with (more or less) adult women can't hurt your image here
But the photoshoots like this can
Context for the photo. In 2006 Putin came out to the group of kids having an excursion around Kremlin. He approached a boy Nikita, asked him several questions, put his T-shirt up and kissed him in a belly. Then he quickly walked a way

That impressed many

Read 9 tweets
Aug 2
You see, nuances of your background and record play a big role in an established system, which is relatively static. Nice CV, correct ancestry, social polish, that's all your social capital

But in the time of crisis all this capital can lose its value and very quickly
A crisis is always a Jubilee and in 1917 Russia went through a massive crisis. Social capital lost its value. Very quickly nobody cared if you were a prince, or if you have a nice French accent, or how close you were to the Court. Social capital lost its value, just like money
This works both ways though. Savings are annihilated, and debts too. Positive social capital is annihilated, and negative, too. You must keep this in mind to get why revolutions get so much popular support, even if life "objectively" becomes worse (it usually does)
Read 7 tweets

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