What about West Papua? It’s our Ukraine
The Ukraine War is a warning to us all

Yes, the fog of war has descended

Vladimir Putin -
Under Vladimir Putin, the Soviet state has returned, complete with its underlying kleptocratic economic culture and entirely stripped of any benevolent parts it might have had 


MOSCOW - The BBC world service has reported new press restrictions in Russia, including 15 years jail for those who breach them.

The official Kremlin narrative is the only permitted one.

I agree with those who say that the Soviet state has returned, complete with its underlying kleptocratic economic culture, though entirely stripped of any of its benevolent parts.

It is now nakedly totalitarian.

I pity the poor Russians who are plainly not vested in the conflict or the political system.

They include no less than 6,000 Russian architects who have signed a document objecting to the invasion.

I guess they can look forward to some CPD [Compulsory Professional Development] tutorials on jail design.

There are a couple of recent articles in the Australian press which are reliable

There is this personal account, Memories of a homeland that stands united’  by Sasha Petrova.

While this article, Putin is not Russia. He is a despot on borrowed time’ by Robert Horvath, offers a more nuanced perspective.

This latter piece is very good. And if you have the time, watch the famous Navalny video, Putin’s Palace, mentioned in the article.

It was the most popular video on YouTube in Russia last year and the first 15 minutes are truly shocking.

Perhaps on the one hand you can hold all Russians to account for this invasion, but the truth is they are now in a Soviet state and the possibility of pushback is negligible.

It was deeply ironic that, a few days before we flew out of Moscow, we went on a guided tour of the Gulag Museum, a short tram-ride away from our flat.

Established by the state, its message was even grimmer than I’d imagined it could be.

I fear the only long term outcome of the Ukraine War is Russia’s accelerating demise.

Russia’s GDP, the total market value of its goods and services, is about the same as Australia’s, yet its population is six times larger.

This means that productivity per person is one sixth of that in Australia.

Rather than investing in its well educated people. Russia blows its dough on its military and on manufacturing absurd nationalistic historical mash-ups to demonise ‘the West’.

Yet anyone who visits Moscow realises it is in every way a part of that West. 

This ridiculous nationalism is sharpened and deployed for adventures like the current one in Ukraine.

BFor a nation whose contemporary self-estimation is based so much on its endurance against the Nazis and victory in the Great Patriotic War (World War II), it is ironic to discover that its current adventure mimics the very trajectory of that same enemy.

The crisis will leave a pariah-state legacy for years, if not decades, in which prosperity has plummeted and very likely the nation dissolves into internal conflict, like the Russian Civil War of 1917-23.

Or perhaps it will be forced into perpetual penury following the weaning of the rest of the world away from its current fossil fuel addiction.

I feel sad for ordinary Russians. Almost all those I encountered were utterly charming – even, with one exception, the border control officers.

It’s not the fault of the people that they have awakened in a 2.0 reboot of Soviet Russia.

One observer has claimed that the war and the underlying juvenile nationalist twaddle is a desperate distraction to conceal Putin’s gross mismanagement of the Russian economy by a bunch of greedy rent-seeking kleptocrats.

Former US president Barack Obama observed that Russia’s only exports are gas and guns. You can add misery to the list now.

Until recently, many people around the globe feared an impending American civil war.

But suddenly one in Russia looks increasingly likely.

The only way to prevent this, I believe, rests in the hands of Russians themselves – to toss out Putin and his despicable cronies albeit at great personal risk.

AThey would then need to nationalise all the assets that have been stolen to pay war reparations to Ukraine and rejoin the rest of the world.

It is the case that most Russians aspire to build a truly democratic economy suited to the 21st century, not the 19th.

For Russians and the rest of the world a ‘sphere of influence’ assembled around that kind of leadership would be genuinely compelling.


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Lindsay F Bond

Phil Fitzpatrick wrote of 'taking out Putin'. My take is that an Aussie invite could have been sent for a BBQ, say at a beach in Melbourne.

Humanity must have these light moments as well as its momentous moments. But to a serious moment.

In March 1941, when it became clear that the advance of the Japanese army through Asia would be hard to stop, Tatsuo Kawai became Japan's first ambassador to Australia.

In July 1941, Kawai was invited by prime minister John Curtin to his family at Cottesloe in Perth.

Curtin, who became Australia's prime minister three months later in October, was condemned by political opponents and the press for hosting Kawai.

Kawai's personal papers reveal that the two discussed the possibility of a peace arrangement between Australia and Japan.

The two men met again at parliament house in Canberra only 10 days before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, which brought the USA into World War II.

Kawai responded to Curtin’s concern about war saying, ‘I’m afraid the momentum is too great.’

Before returning to Japan in 1942, Kawai sent Curtin a simple signed farewell card with the letters ‘PPC’ (presenting parting compliments).


Lindsay F Bond

Not only viewing fog of war pessimistically;
seeing light shining most gloriously.


Paraphrased: Marina Ovsyannikova, the [Russian] state TV employee who staged an anti-war protest during a live bulletin in Moscow, said:

"My anti-war decision. I made this decision by myself because I don’t like Russia starting this invasion."

Marina "has been fined 30,000 roubles [nearly K1,000] under Russia's protest laws" and might face a sentence of 15 years in prison.

Pestilence is too nice a word for the crop of 'put downs' by the regime under Putin.

Regime without worthy helmsman reign
Russians wither because they won't deign
Ruthless ply they a course unjust
Routinely claiming war their must.
Roguery reject, thus resist feign.

..... and whether or not we won't see Lindsay's like again - KJ

Lindsay F Bond

Arise all longing for leadership with humanity most worthy.

Part of a push against Putin is rushing to the use of emoji.


Who was Pushkin? Writer, poet, part African. and prominent.


At Pushkin Square, Moscow, the McDonalds shop is said to be a most crowded place.


Lindsay F Bond

Again of the West's reasons, lessons to learn
agasp its own lessening, causing much churn.
Agreed apprehension, slow show of its spurn
afraid its cohesion conditions each return.
Abuse in abundance, it’s retorts partly stern
abrades abhorrence, numbs neuronic pattern
amid nobbled knuckles while plighted people burn.
Ambit objective, enrichments to govern
ashened lands looting. New clear lessons to learn?

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