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Everything you know about Ukraine is wrong  by Mark Ames

(Pando Daily) Feb. 24, 2014 - Although I'm deep into the reporting of my next story about the Silicon Valley Techtopus, it's hard for me not to get distracted by events in Ukraine and Russia.

I haven't lived in that part of the world since the Kremlin ran me out of town, so I'm not going to pretend that I know as much as those on the ground there. Still, I've been driven nuts by the avalanche of overconfident ignorance that stands for analysis or commentary on the wild events there. A lethal ignorance, a virtuous ignorance.

Virtuous ignorance about world affairs used to be the exclusive domain of neo-con pundits, but now it's everywhere, especially rampant on the counter-consensus side -- nominally my own side, but an increasingly shitty side to be on.

Nearly everyone here in the US tries to frame and reify Ukraine's dynamic to fit America-centric spats. As such, Ukraine's problems are little more than a propaganda proxy war where our own political fights are transferred to Ukraine's and Russia's context, warping the truth to score domestic spat points. That's nothing new, of course, but it's still jarring to watch how the "new media" counter-consensus is warping and misrepresenting reality in Ukraine about as crudely as the neocons and neoliberals used to warp and Americanize the political realities there back when I first started my Moscow newspaper, The eXile. So, yes, I wanted to comment on a few simplifications/misconceptions about Ukraine today.

The unlikely life and sudden death of The eXile, Russia's angriest newspaper

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 26th, 2014 at 04:43:46 PM EST
Everything you know about Ukraine is wrong | PandoDaily

1. The protesters are not "virtuous anti-Putin freedom fighters," nor are they "Nazis and US puppets"

In fact, the people who are protesting or supporting the protesters are first and foremost sick of their shitty lives in a shitty country they want to make better--a country where their fates are controlled by a tiny handful of nihilistic oligarchs and Kremlin overlords, and their political frontmen. It's first and foremost a desire to gain some control over their fate. Anger at Kremlin power over Ukraine is not necessarily anti-Russian--although the further west you go in Ukraine, the more this does become about nationalism, and the further east you go--including Crimea and Odessa--the more the politics are a fearful reaction against west-Ukraine nationalism.

Obvious for most of us around here, but worth repeating.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Mar 1st, 2014 at 07:24:01 AM EST
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