As someone who traveled around the world for many years, I do not consider myself to be “Russian” or “American” or Asian or European or whatever. I like to think of myself as a human being. Just that. Just like you.
I love different people and different cultures all over the world, but I hate politics, politicians, and patriotism. Politicians lie, cheat, and hurt people- all over the world. Politics and patriotism divide people.
Some people have been asking me, “as a ‘Russian’ and ‘American’”, what I think about the war in Ukraine.
I don’t have much to say other than it’s an atrocity.
I think war, in general, is an atrocity.
War is the absolute most wasteful use of human lives and resources- ever. It shows that we, humans, are incapable of solving problems on a global scale. It shows that we resort to the most primitive measures: fighting. Exactly what we teach our children not to do.
So far, here are a few things that piss me off about this war:
• Thousands of humans have been killed.
• Millions of humans have been displaced; their cities, homes, and lives have been ruined.
• Bombs continue to be thrown in residential areas, even at hospitals, schools, theaters, airports, and places where civilians are seeking shelter.
• As always, normal people that gain absolutely nothing from this power struggle are the ones who suffer the most. Those who gain anything (-if there is anything to gain from this) will hardly suffer at all.
• Men between the ages of 18 and 60 are not allowed to leave Ukraine- this should be as much a human rights violation as throwing bombs at civilians. No one should ever be forced to risk their own lives to fight for this or that nation. If they choose to fight, fine. If not, let them leave.
• Speaking of that, in Russia, 18-year-old boys are forced to serve in the army- forced against their own will. And now they are forced to kill and die for some douchebag politicians.
• People in Russia are getting arrested for protesting against the war.
• People in Russia are getting arrested just for saying “war” or for holding a blank sign that says nothing.
• Russia does not even call this a war, but a “special military intervention” and its media shows no pictures of the reality of this war, almost nothing about the millions of refugees that have fled Ukraine, and almost nothing about the death and destruction they’ve caused. Russian media and schools have been banned from referring to the war as an “invasion”, “attack”, or “war” and those who spread “fake news” about the war can get up to 15 years in prison.
• People in Russia are fleeing because they are scared of their own government.
• People in Ukraine are terrified because they are getting bombed.
• Poor people around the world will suffer because of this war. Many developing countries depend on Russia and Ukraine for wheat imports (among other imports). Rising prices of food, fuel, and fertilizer can devastate countries that are already struggling.
This is the reality of war. It is barbaric and inhumane. It is the most inefficient and stupid way to solve problems.
No sane ordinary humans want war. Not Ukrainians, nor the Russians. The only people that ever benefit from wars are the few rich and powerful motherfuckers at the top. And that’s what ordinary people die for.
To me, that is a sure sign of a flawed system.
War, I’d say, is a consequence of the structure of our society. Billions of humans are divided into many different tribes and are taught that they are different from one another; some tribes are friends, some are enemies. They are also taught that they should aim to get more and more- more stuff, more money, more power. This trade-based society gives a handful of powerful people the means to do that. They gain more and more wealth and power, then they exploit this power, using ordinary people as pawns to get what they want.
This trade-based society also pushes people to create and sell more weapons, rather than to look for a peaceful solution to problem solving. As a species, we should be ashamed that we have enough nuclear weapons to bring our own selves to extinction. What an idiocracy…
If we ever want a peaceful, intelligent society, we have to see ourselves as one human species. We have to organize ourselves in a way that puts humans (all humans) and the environment first. Not profit, not selling weapons, not taking territories, not trading this for that, not gaining power.
I know that we’ll probably never get there, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk about it.
Photos from https://www.aljazeera.com/