The War on Ukraine

1. Read this letter from a young woman inside of Russia. Her despair is not sadder than the Kindergarten getting bombed, but it helps explain why people are resisting Russian rule. Ukrainians’ lives would be like hers except worse.

2. ‘My city’s being shelled, but mum won’t believe me’ With loyalty like this, I don’t understand why Russian state TV is bothering to cover up the shelling. Mum’s personal loyalty to Putin already transcends her love of her own daughter. Is lying itself a flex and a form of psychological warfare against the opposition within Russia?

3. Read on the End of History, and my blog about circular history.

4. Social media changes sieges.

5. President Putin speaks his truth, embraces his identity, and blocks his haters. With a trifecta like that, I have no doubt that he practices self-care. And now people are upset that they can’t get through to rattle him. Now people wonder: why can’t we reason together anymore? Yet, this is what Americans are encouraging each other to do. We are out of practice when it comes to discovering and debating The truth.

Previously I wrote about Americans blocking each other on social media. Now when we want to get through to someone on the other side, we have less channels of communication open. Americans don’t get enough practice seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. We have gotten into a bad habit of curating our sources of information to insulate ourselves from the facts and opinions that would force us to learn or argue with someone who holds a different point of view.

Also, we are seeing many people cut ties with Russians. I understand, initially, why there was a blitz on all Russian people, as we tried to get through the news of what was happening with urgency. However, this next week might be an opportunity to reach out to an economist on the inside of Russia, if you know one. Should they be protesting on the street, instead of checking emails? At this point they have already made their decision. You could start a research project with them about some banal uncontroversial topic. They are going to suffer, regardless of whether they have a foreigner to talk to or not. This opens a channel.

(The faculty at Kyiv School of Economics is probably getting behind on their research. They would probably love it if you would look up their previously published papers. )

The percent of Russians who don’t agree with the war should be a concern to the Kremlin. Most of them will not openly say what they think within the borders of Russia, so it creates uncertainty. On paper, Russia is favored to be able to inflict more casualties, but this aspect of Russian society makes the future hard to model. Any young men who are sent to the front lines will learn what is actually happening from the Russian speakers in Ukraine. How will that affect them?

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