Volodymyr Yermolenko Profile picture
Sep 5 6 tweets 1 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Ukrainians who lived through Russian occupation or escaped from Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine tell us some repetitive stories. Some clear patterns.

1. Often people are not allowed to leave their villages. Supplies (incl. food supplies) are often cut 1/6
2. Russia doesn't bring Russian law, but brings lawlessness. People lose their rights - even those who sympathize with Russia. Your house can be taken by someone else; your car can be confiscated; you can be abducted, nobody would investitage. 2/6
3. Lots of people who are missing. We don't know whether they are alive or not. Family members of these people are often forced to keep silent, violence will be applied to them as well. 3/6
4. If you live for months without food supplies (shops are closed, you cannot leave your village), you can only rely on your land, domestic animals and what you have in your personal food savings. Ukrainian peasants usually have a lot - at least they can survive 4/6
5. Some patterns - like not letting people leave their villages for months - remind of Holodomor, the Stalin's artificial famine in 1932-1933. Clearly these practices "live" in the minds and practices of the Russian soldiers and commanders 5/6
6. Tortures are applied widely. Esp. tortures with electric current. The Russian torturers call it "a call to putin". So they themselves acknowledge that the acts of cruelty should bear putin's name 6/6

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More from @yermolenko_v

Jun 7
There is again a talk “we don’t know who did it, maybe Russians, maybe Ukrainians”, which reminds of a info fog after the downing of MH17, and whole events in 2014. Therefore, a short thread from me, about evil 1/
All what is happening today, repeats what happened before in the Russian / Soviet empire, with the same logic. It’s the logic of the scorched land. Neglect to people, nature, ecosystems. Yes, this is in the heart of Russian totalitarian legacy for centuries 2/
During WWII the Red Army blew up the DniproGES dam in Zaporizzhia, flooding the city and its outskirts. Later it blew up the central parts of Kyiv, including Khershatyk street. All this - with no regret to the land it was leaving behind 3/
Read 5 tweets
Feb 24
One year of the full-scale war, 9 years of the Russian invasion in total. Some thoughts and feelings about this. A thread 1/9
1. War is not an abstract word. It has names, bodies, memories, geographies. Read and watch human stories, don't think only of "geopolitics", maps, territories. There are always people and their lives 2/9
2. Democracies are stronger than autocracies. Democracy is not only about institutions or free election, it's about grassroots solidarity and power of individuals and groups. "Who if not me", that's the key question people in a democraric political culture ask themselves 3/9
Read 9 tweets
Oct 27, 2022
putin is really funny. One more quote: he said that during Cold war nobody thought of "canceling" others' culture. - i will tell you a simple thing: in Kyiv during Cold war you had no chance to get a book from a modern German, French or American philosopher. 1/4
You had to go to Moscow, to a special place in a library called "spetskhran" (special storage). And there, if you had relevant permission, you could get some Western books for a couple of hours. That's what my father did, how he started reading German philosophers of 1970s 2/4
So when putin said there was no "canceling" of Western culture in the Soviet Union, that's bullshit. Western culture was banned, and present only in underground. The further you were from Moscow, the more banned it was 3/4
Read 4 tweets
Oct 10, 2022
Let's make some clarifications. A thread

1. Russians want (always wanted) to ban Ukrainians from using their language in Ukraine. Ukrainians do NOT want to ban Russians from using Russian language in Russia
2. Moreover: Ukrainians are ok with Russians speaking Russian in their daily life in Ukraine and even with Ukrainians speaking Russian in their daily life. What they want is to help Ukrainian language and culture rise from centuries of oppression
3. Russians claim they are a minority in Ukraine which should be protected. In fact, after centuries of imperial domination Russian politics/language/culture has become a majority in Ukraine and suppressed local culture. Defining themselves as minority is an imperial hypocrisy
Read 9 tweets
Sep 22, 2022
Zelenskyi's speech at @UN was a speech about morality. This is the key thing to understand. Ukraine wants to liberate its lands bcs Russian occupation brings mass killings like in Bucha, Izyum and many more. It's not about lands / resources, it's about human lives 1/4
Ukrainians want punishment for Russia not bcs we want revenge but bcs unpunished crime leads a new cycle of crimes. Today's crimes are consequences of the endless repititions of the previous Soviet/Russian crimes, never fully brought to justice. Justice is key word 2/4
Finally: Ukraine wants security guarantees to avoid future atrocities. Russian atrocities are not bcs of NATO enlargement but bcs NATO did NOT enlarge too far, to include Ukraine, and this left a security vacuum. Security vacuum encourages Russian impunity 3/4
Read 4 tweets
Aug 10, 2022
War is when your friends die. When you see this breathless cruelty of death. You remember talks with this brave young man, a talented scientist, now he's gone. Or a woman who cares about her rose garden, and you thought of her as the kindest person on earth. She's gone too 1/4
When we say that this war gets the best people, it's not a metaphor. Best people, the kindest, the bravest, the most empathetic, go to the frontline as volunteers and do not come back 2/4
You sometimes ask yourself whether you are worth their sacrifice. Of course not. Whether this earth is worth their sacrifice. Not sure 3/4
Read 4 tweets

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