There is not much more I can say regarding my feelings about Russia, and its mafia leadership. The facts are clear- it is a terrorist state. It is corrupt. It treats is citizens as subjects. It seeks to conquer and destroy and create havoc. It is the path of Russia for the last 100 years, for hundreds of years. That much should be clear after their actions this week. What is just as clear is that Ukraine will never give up, and my sincere hope is that the US, Europe, and the rest of their supporters will never abandon them.

Russia is a terrorist state

Russia is a terrorist state.

Now, closer to home, I recently caught one sentence by… he must not be named- that is, our own would-be dictator as he announced his intention to run for “president”- I put the word in quotes as his designs on the office have nothing to do with being a president, but more a strongman, a tyrant, a dictator.  The one sentence I did catch in the news, which immediately turned my stomach, was some derogatory line about the US Justice department.  It was in keeping with his “style”; that everyone in our government, all its agencies, should support him fully and blindly, otherwise they are traitors, to be dismissed and forever ostracised by the Party, whatever the definition and proper noun chosen to signify said “party”. Either way it sounded like something said by a 1930’s fascist leader, not a former president of the United States.

As a follow up, from last weekend’s Wall Street Journal, I found nearly the same statement, about the same department. From the article Special Council To Lead Trump Probes. The italics are my own.

Mr. Trump as president repeatedly stated that the attorney general owes a president personal loyalty and should deploy the Justice Department against his political enemies.

That from a US president! Not from Stalin, or Assad, or Kim, or Putin! Our president. If this is not clear evidence of tyrannical designs, and knowing that this is how he went about the business of destroying our country for four long years, grounds for arrest and imprisonment for life in itself, then we as a country are sunk. Food for thought.


At this point my blogs seem to have exhausted themselves… how much more information do any of us need regarding death, destruction, war crimes, and a very uncertain future for all of us? What a world we live in. So for now, some commentary, and more of the day’s news later.

I have asked myself, what is it that holds the world together?  My answer- it is the international, rules-based order that we have tried to create and maintain since World War II. But rule of law, justice, democracy, and liberty are all very fragile, forever balanced on a thin line which, should they cross it, may mean their disappearance for a long time. This is nothing new; mankind has always lived on the edge of a precipice, from our hunter-gatherer days to… today.  The critical difference today is in the level of suffering and destruction that one person can exact from the world by crossing that line.

How do we fight against such a threat? Simple- by doing exactly what we are doing- decisive action, continued pressure, and the unprecedented response of a fairly united world.  But, the world needs to do more- there needs to be more action, more pressure, with more unprecedented responses with every day that dawns.

Psychology will tell us that the use of terror is the most effective way to control a person, a group of people, a country… and a world (this final item, at least in theory.) Terror is being used against us- against Ukraine, and all the people of the world who choose freedom and democracy over tyranny and authoritarianism. Our world has far too many madmen as “leaders”, foremost among them, at present, is of course Russia’s Putin. The level of terror he is responsible for inflicting has truly not been seen since the 1940’s. Our response- the response of the world, has to be commensurate at least, and in truth much stronger and greater to insure order is maintained and to facilitate Putin’s downfall.

But we- the “west,” need help. As I have said in the past, the people of Russia are being held hostage. It is imperative that they stand up to Putin and his followers, do their part in this fight, and become a part of the free world. This will not be easy, there will be suffering and death. But if they do not, all indications are that they will be subject to Stalin, revisited; to a new reign of terror, which means suffering and death. The choice it theirs- stand and fight, or cower and remain oppressed.

In the meantime, as governments continue to pressure Russia, we as individuals must continue to focus on Ukraine, on sending food aid through such organisations as the World Central Kitchen and medical aid through the Ukrainian Red Cross Society to name just two of many options. We must continue pushing corporations and government representatives around the world to keep the pressure on.  We also need to make sure we do not forget about other countries that are in precarious positions, such as Moldova, Bosnia, Kosovo, Serbia, Georgia, and Hungary. These are countries where Russian influence must be checked. These are countries that need our support, countries that are helping Ukrainian refugees and have a desire to become part of the EU and NATO. The rest of Europe, the west, the free and democratic nations of the world must help facilitate these desires if the free world, the precarious world we live in, is to prevail.


We are all aware at this point, we have all seen the images and footage of the war crimes (link reposted from Telegram channel Інтернет Війська України) committed by Russians in the city of Bucha, Irpin, Gostomel, and elsewhere. What more can I say? Putin and the Russian army are now perpetuating crimes against humanity on the citizens of Ukraine, not to mention killing their own soldiers- over 18,000 so far. The world must take action, and it seems to be, according to the live blog at Aljazeera.

A side note is that demonstrations in Georgia in support of Ukraine clearly show that not everyone in all countries occupied by Russia will sit idly by.  Also take note of Bosnia and Kosovo asking for NATO membership out of fear of what the future may hold. My opinion- they should be granted membership, along with Finland and Sweden, immediately. Not too subtle, but then there is nothing subtle in the “tactics” of Russia either.

And let’s not forget, that what is happening in Ukraine is still fresh in the minds of many Bosnians. How quickly we forget the lessons of history.


russian combat losses as of 05 April 2022

Russian combat losses as of 05 April 2022- Putin’s murder of his own citizens.

Here are the latest Russian combat losses from the Telegram channel The Center for Countering Disinformation. Numbers in black show previous day’s totals, red are those added for yesterday. The Ukrainian military is superior in every way to that of Russia, except of course in the sheer numbers of bodies it can throw into the war to be killed. But that is apparently not a concern for Russia.

Russian combat losses as of 04 April, 2022

Russian combat losses as of 04 April, 2022

How to Help
Jim Hicks in his book Lessons From Sarajevo, A War Stories Primer speaks about how war is presented to those not present in it. He addresses the relationship between victim, aggressor, and observer, and how the media so easily inserts the observer into the equation using images, words, and video to elicit a “proper” response, such response dependent on agenda of the outlet of course. Hicks tells us this is nothing new; he cites Walt Whitman’s writing about the Civil War in the United States, and of course there are many earlier examples; we most often label them propaganda. What is new is how quickly we become party to the action, with information shared instantly and constantly, and most importantly the fact that we can take action and not merely maintain the attitude of the observer.

Being an observer, sitting on the sidelines and feeling sorry for the victims is the position most of us take. There are feelings of sympathy, pity, compassion, and shock which perhaps get us to anger, shame, and frustration. We arrive finally at helplessness as a spectator. But we can all become actors. The simplest way is to help feed the survivors of Russian aggression.

The World Central Kitchen posted a video yesterday showing some of the damage in the places they are now reaching inside Ukraine – yes, they are helping to feed people in devastated areas of the country. Donations to the World Central Kitchen help feed Ukrainians who have been under siege for many weeks- this is a positive action that we can all be part of, no matter where we are, or how helpless we feel.

From the Telegraph channel Ищи своих –

Here is the translation:

on the conscription in April – July 2022 of citizens of the Russian Federation for military service and on the dismissal from military service of citizens undergoing military service on conscription
Guided by federal laws of May 31, 1996 No. 61-FZ “On Defense” and of March 28, 1998 No. 53-FZ “On Military Duty and Military Service”, I decided:
1. From April 1 to July 15, 2022, call up for military service citizens of the Russian Federation aged 18 to 27 years who are not in the reserve and are subject in accordance with Federal Law of March 28, 1998 N 53-FZ “On military duty and military service” call for military service, in the amount of 134,500 people.
2. In accordance with the Federal Law of March 28, 1998 N 53-FZ “On Military Duty and Military Service”, the dismissal from military service of soldiers, sailors, sergeants and foremen whose term of military service on conscription has expired.
3. The Government of the Russian Federation, executive authorities of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and draft commissions to ensure the implementation of measures related to the conscription of citizens of the Russian Federation for military service.
4. Federal ministers, heads of federal services and federal agencies to ensure the implementation of the provisions of the Federal Law of March 28, 1998 N 53-FZ “On military duty and military service” in relation to citizens of the Russian Federation who are not in the reserve and are subject to conscription for

The text ends there; only the one page was posted on Telegraph. But it says enough.

As Russia continues to lie, and regroups for more killing- and death of their troops, Ukrainians will still stand firm.

Reposted from Інтернет Війська України (Internet Troops of Ukraine) Telegram channel.

It seems quite clear at this point that Russia is not planning to stop its anachronistic war of conquest and destruction on Ukraine any time soon. In fact, it would appear that bringing the rest of Europe, and perhaps the world into the war has not been ruled out, no matter what the negotiations may look like.

A number of facts become clear if we consider another European war as Putin’s goal. First, Putin is clearly beyond delusional, perhaps completely insane at this point. Anyone who would attempt to bring another total war to Europe and the world cannot be in their right mind.

Next, at this point only a few countries still side with Russia- Syria, which is really no longer a country, but a war zone; North Korea… nothing more to say there; and Belarus, which, if escalation continues will become nothing more than another front in Putin’s war- a landscape of leveled buildings, destroyed armor, and death. Depend upon it, Belarus in Putin’s eyes is not a country, but a front for taking his war against… whatever his demented mind tells him he is fighting against, a step further. Fortunately, not everyone in Belarus supports Russia- there are many there who understand what Russia is trying to do, and support Ukraine.

I have to believe that the majority of Russians do not want to be in a war against the country of Ukraine let alone the entire world. How does either of these benefit the average Russian? Not at all. (An Aljazeera article from 10 March, 2022 declares rising antiwar sentiment in Russia.) The only reason for this war against Ukraine is to satisfy Putin’s ego, to fulfill his delusional dream of a Greater Russia. There are so many holes in this prospect- the fact that this is the 21st century and not the 18th or 19th is a place to start. Wars for territorial conquest and of such a scale are a thing of the past (at least we thought they were) and no sane world leader would begin to think in engaging in conquest of a continent. We are back to insanity.

That this is a lost proposition in the first place is a given. Millions may die, if that is what Putin pushes this world into, and most of those will be Russians. In no way will Russia “win”, in no way will Putin’s goal be realised.

Recent history is one of the biggest factors that Putin has failed to examine. He rails constantly about how the collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century. Aside from the fact that the Soviet Union was a doctrinal illusion and  failed experiment from the beginning, and that Greater Russia went out with the czars and all other empires, recent history is even more important. A deciding factor in the collapse of the Soviet Union was its war in Afghanistan in the 1980’s. War caused the public to doubt its leadership. The suffering of the Russian people reached a point, finally, after many years of war, where they had had enough. And that was after decades of authoritarian rule.  Recent generations of Russians have lived a different life, and have seen and felt freedom. They will not stand for this in the end. It is only a matter of time before the Russian people give us Putin’s head on a pike. And good riddance. Please make this happen soon!

Putin is insane. There is no other explanation.



UPDATE- 24 February, 2022- The Russian invasion of Ukraine is underway. WWIII in the making… Putin said he would not invade. He also said he would not use nuclear weapons. Our nuclear shields had better be up, as a madman is on the loose and he is capable of anything.


Original Post- 23 February, 2022
The imaginary lines are being crossed. Our greatest fears are being realised, at least those of us that grew up in the 1980’s. I keep having visions of Ronald Reagan, and the fears of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction for the uninitiated- the doctrine that if nuclear war begins, no matter who starts it, both sides will end up completely destroyed.)

Why do I bring up MAD? For those of us who caught the blurb recently, Biden and Putin discussed nuclear war and agreed that neither would “push the button.”  Curious, that meeting, and agreement. Out of nowhere it seemed to me. And then, the “Ukraine crisis” begins in earnest.

And where are we really… the Supreme Soviet still controls all (Putin and the oligarchs), the cult of personality still rules, the KGB still enforces their will upon the people (now FSB- headed by the one and only Putin under Boris Yeltsin), the nomenklatura and apparatchiks still fill the proper posts, the proletariat are still poor and downtrodden, agitprop still fills the airwaves and newspapers (oligarch/ “state”-owned) and in our era even more damaging are the hundreds of millions of cell phones and computers fed with it, history is still revised with facts disappearing down the memory hole, and now the Terror may never have happened- again (so much for reconciliation).

The work of the party is sacred.

The west is the enemy, with only one purpose- to destroy the great empire.

From the czar to the Bolsheviks, to Lenin and Stalin, to a very brief and failed attempt at freedom, and back to the czar. History continues to repeat itself, and it seems that we continue to be oblivious to that fact. What must be realised by all is this- Putin is living in some long- gone century, dreaming; the Russian Empire is an anachronism. This is the 21st century and freedom, liberty, and democracy will prevail.

Let us hope that the taste of freedom that so many have had, more so in Ukraine than many other places in the former Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries, will make it impossible for totalitarianism to succeed in its latest plot. Sit tight, as the future proves to be interesting.



Justice? As I have said again and again, it is an illusion. Our “democracy” has become an abortion. For four long years, and more slowly, more insidiously for many more years and decades before that, it has been steadily destroyed, trampled on, chipped away, thrown in the trash bit by bit. But more damage has been done in these last four years than throughout the history of our country, overt destruction of what my country stands for. But this is the nature of political systems including democracy; all democracies eventually degrade into tyranny. Just the way it is. Now back to the present day.

Do we live in the United States, or am I confusing my country with the so many countries in the middle east, the Caucuses, the Balkans, or maybe Ukraine, Belarus, or some other eastern European Russian satellite playground? Trump clearly emulates Putin, the dictator of Russia for those who don’t recognise the name. Both suffer from serious mental incapacities, megalomania, delusions of grandeur, etc. and so on, and pass that suffering on to us, the citizens who they purportedly work for.

Make America great again… ha! Destroy America and make us the laughing stock of the world. This is the sad reality of the state of the greatest nation in the world, the leader of the free world, the scion of democracy. America as we knew it is gone. We will never recover from Trump.

And speaking of Donald Trump (inserting opinion here), he should be taken away in a straight jacket at the very least, at best in handcuffs for a few life sentences for treason, sedition, fraud, deceit, and countless criminal actions he has committed. Not to mention incompetence and stupidity… if only Americans valued intelligence, logic, foresight, leadership, and strength the way they do television, Mc Donald’s, and beer. But we are far beyond that. At least with justice served, Trump in handcuffs being led out of the white house, filmed and broadcast live around the world, we will feel like there is still some semblance of democracy left. It won’t happen though, because our “leaders” are spineless, and thereby complicit, afraid to upset their own positions in the illusion. Nothing more can be said about that. Get ready for the next four years… we haven’t seen anything yet.

As part of my research into the Balkans and more specifically the Bosnian war- the causes, implications for the future, and the present situation there, there is always so much additional information that relates to and informs that research. A recently published book titled Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz, by Omer Bartov, is one of those sources. Bartov begins with a brief description of his family’s history in the town and builds from there using interviews, letters, diaries, and archives to give the reader a very clear picture of the persecution and suffering of the residents, and the pathological perspectives of the perpetrators.

Another painful account of murder and genocide, the book focuses and the now Ukrainian town of Buczacz, mainly from 1900 onward through World War II.  I have read many books on the Holocaust, World War II, the Soviet Union, Armenia, and the war in Bosnia and the Balkans. But for me the poignancy in Bartov’s book is its focus on this single town, and how the perpetration of torture, murder, and genocide switched hands, but continued unabated, with whichever conquering army was in control of the region. No matter if Ukrainians or Poles were in charge carrying out their nationalistic agendas, there was murder and genocide, with Jews always a target. And once the Nazis marched in, they found ready perpetrators within all three “ethnic” groups in the town, with Poles and Ukrainians working alongside the Nazis, and complicit Jews aiding in the roundup, incarceration, and delivery of mostly Jewish residents of Buczacz for murder.

The “normalisation of murder”, its acceptance as an everyday occurrence, as part of life, is perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the book. Bartov’s book is full of quotes directly from sources, relating the exact words and feelings of the murderers, giving eye-witness accounts from perpetrators, “bystanders”, and surviving victims. Equally disturbing is the almost festive atmosphere of the action by German army officers, and to a lesser degree others complicit in the genocide, who were in charge in the town. They were joined by their families, children, and parents in some cases, all of whom were witness to the brutal, daily violence at times taking place at random on the city streets, in broad daylight, in front of passersby. The town became their playground, with anything they wanted at their fingertips. Anyone who questioned them would be immediately killed without a second thought.

The perpetration of genocide in Buczacz, and how it so many residents became complicit, was recreated in Bosnia 50 years later. The actions of those in the early 1940’s in the Ukraine appear almost as a blueprint for the 1990’s. Pitting one “ethnic” group against another; using ethnic, religious, and socio-economic differences; highlighting, elaborating, and in many cases revising history and past injustices; and finally rewarding the murderers with power, and spoils- the houses, possessions, and property of the murdered. This was the formula used by the Nazis in Buczacz and by Milosevic and the Serbs, and eventually the Croatians, in Bosnia.

Bartov’s book is disturbing; there is no way around it.  But, as I paraphrase so often, “if we do not study history, we are condemned to repeat it.” Unfortunately for so many we DO forget too quickly. Hopefully this book will help make a create a more indelible memory of history that must never be forgotten.