Was at a panel this week on Russian civil society. One speaker was a woman. She presented the grim reality of violence against women in Russia, and talked about a network of 100k+ anti-war women volunteers helping people to safety.
Not one man mentioned her comments. /1
Many of those were presenting complex theories of systematized violence in Russia. How the rule of law failed, but the rule of violence works in Russia. How Putin glorifies violence.
They didn’t see the connection at all /2
May 24 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
A reminder to all my Ukrainian friends today that when Henry Kissinger says something dumb about your country, the correct response is always — and I’m quoting Anthony Bourdain here — “Henry Kissinger can go f*** himself”
Also, let us not forget that before Trump’s first meeting with the Russians in the Oval Office—the one where he gave up classified intel to prove how smart he was but looked like a dimwit—he met with Kissinger who “prepared” him
And like, no one has ever been curious about that?
May 20 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
(Paraphrasing) “In March, we argued the war must lead to Ukraine being free. But actually what we meant was—free within the borders Putin drew for Ukraine. With Putin labeled a war criminal, sure, but still in charge of Russia & talking to the world” /1 nytimes.com/2022/05/19/opi…
“It’s totally not appeasement, guys, to say we should tell Ukraine we won’t arm then forever because we need to get back to business with Moscow” /2
Mar 12 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
Ukraine has in many respects more men/materiel than 17 days ago
Echoes this passage of Clausewitz:
“Every combat is therefore the bloody & destructive measuring of the strength of forces, physical & moral… In combat the loss of moral force is the chief cause of the decision”
Ukrainians are returning from abroad to fight. They have blunted Russian momentum and captured equipment.
Russian forces are deserting, Russians are again fleeing Russia.
This is the time to support Ukraine in full measure, not back off.
Mar 6 • 8 tweets • 4 min read
There is no way back.
If we want the war with Putin to end, we must see why the Ukrainians have defied all expectations, and learn to think as they do.
We must learn to see not only risk, but the opportunities born by taking them.
Perhaps it’s a good time to remind that Russia has been exercising full-scale naval blockades using civilian vessels for many years
Mar 3 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
Why should we not close our eyes to what will happen in Ukraine if we do not act? @TimothyDSnyder gives a powerful reply:
“I have this feeling that every day that Ukrainians resist is giving us another year or another decade of the kind of life we are used to having...
“…Every day that they fight magnifies outwards and gives us a chance to reflect and affirm and to act on our own.”
“Freedom is all about … becoming a personal force yourself…
History is also made by us.” /2
Feb 26 • 14 tweets • 4 min read
Ukrainians fought. They showed they will fight. They showed us all in the first 24 hours that we must support them.
In Georgia today, there was a remarkable display support for Ukraine in the streets of Tbilisi.
Zelensky thanks them: “there are times when citizens are not the govt, but better than the govt.”
It’s important to understand what he means. Short thread /1
Zelensky is fighting to keep Moscow from imposing another puppet leader in Kyiv.
Another leader like Yanukovych, who eroded the work of the Orange Revolution, moving 🇺🇦 by steps away from the westward integration the people wanted, eroding state institutions like the army /2
Feb 25 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Fmr employee of engineer co that resealed Chornobyl twice tells me:
“If that reactor is reopened accidentally or intentionally, the consequences would be monumental for Europe. It is simply the most dangerous site in the world. I hope Russia doesn’t use this to blackmail NATO”/1
Chornobyl reactor 4 has been resealed twice since 1986. It needs to be constantly maintained. The most dangerous site in the world. And Russia decided to fight a war there — and seems to spread conspiracies that Ukrainian forces wanted to blow it up, so RU had to “seize” it /2
Feb 24 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
Note to @CNN friends: A major line of effort from Putin, incl in his declaration of war where he made special note that the ‘spoils of World War II’ still belong to him, is to split members states of NATO from each other. Differentiate new and old. This map helps with that. /1
Before Russia started hostilities against the Georgians in 2008, they evacuated 80%+ of the civilian population of Tskhinvali and claimed the Georgians were responsible for massive civilian casualties (all claims later proven false)
Worth noting: in Georgia, this was done COVERTLY, not overtly, and I wonder at the difference here, whether it is for projection of threat.
(In Georgia, they needed civilians out of way so they wouldn’t clog up Roki tunnel during fighting, very different operational purpose)
Feb 14 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
Re-reading parts of “A Little War That Shook the World” — about the Russia-Georgia war in 2008 — and slightly depressed by how very now this section sounds if you swap out Georgia for Ukraine /1
But the frequency with which we forget that the point of the post Cold War security order is “to protect small states from the predatory behavior of more powerful ones” — we could all do with a refresher on this point /2
Feb 11 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
Really interesting detail in the ASIO 🇦🇺 Annual Threat Assessment about a disrupted foreign interference plot targeting recent election
Lots of specific detail on how whole thing was structured to hide foreign origin and strings, keep targets ignorant /1
What’s so remarkable is that in places like the US where dark money can legally pour into elections — this could describe almost every PAC that is well organized /2
Feb 4 • 8 tweets • 2 min read
Let me say this a dozen different ways, I guess:
The century where everybody took turns negotiating away the futures of the people living between Russia and Germany/W Europe didn’t go so hot.
Don’t be one of the people trying to reboot it into “pragmatism” when it is monstrous.
If you argue for equal rights and freedoms and opportunities for every American, you should be able to support the same for other in other nations fighting for it.
Literally fighting for it — and to protect us and what we have, over here across this big safe ocean.
Jan 28 • 6 tweets • 1 min read
Before Russia invaded Georgia, the Kremlin found a lot of ways to seed the narrative that the war was because Saakashvili was annoying & didn’t listen to the West.
The 2022 reboot is that the war is because Zelensky is annoying & doesn’t listen.
The war is because of Russia. /1
A lot of effort is being made to create division — or the perception of division that will become real division — between the Ukrainian leadership and the allies it needs now, especially in the White House. /2