Friday, May 16, 2014

Window on Eurasia: Ukrainian Davids will Defeat Russian Goliath-Putin, Novodvorskaya Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 16 – Russia has a great deal of boldness and nuclear weapons, but it doesn’t have a Peter the Great, Valeriya Novodvorskaya says.  Instead, it has Vladimir Putin who instead of opening a window to Europe as the tsar did is playing the role of an Old Believer as in the “Khovanshchina” and trying to shut the country off “as a protest against the rich, enlightened and intelligent West.”

            As a result, the Grani commentator says, there is no question that “the Ukrainian David will necessarily defeat” the Russian “Goliath” because Ukrainians know that they must defend themselves and their country in order to secure “a better future without barbed wire and without [another] Terror Famine” (

            “Ukrainian peasants have already on occasion met the Goliaths from the NKVD by withdrawing collectively as entire villages into the woods.  But now they have yet another weapon: The Davids from the Maidan have on their side not only God but also Europe and the United States.”

            No one is going to legitimize “the Donetsk-Palestinian Autonomy,” she says.  The Ukrainians will resist as they have in the past. “Of course, it is no easy thing to shoot at living people, and the peaceful and good Ukrainian Davids are mastering these cruel new rules only with difficulty.” 
            But that is a measure of the qualities of Ukrainians just as it was the measure of the Jews, “the people of the Book,” who also found it hard to fight in the past but have learned that they must do so to save their nation. What the Ukrainians see in Donetsk, the Jews see in the Palestinian terrorists.
            As both peoples understand, Novodvorskaya continues, “war is the absence of a choice: one must either defend one’s own” or suffer defeat at the hands of an enemy.  It will be easier for the Ukrainians than many imagine, she suggests, because “Putin will not start feeding the Palestinian-Donetsk autonomy.”
            As shameless as he and the others in the Kremlin are, sending “humanitarian assistance to bandits carrying automatic weapons” is likely beyond them. 
            But Putin should reflect about more than that. He should recognize that “Michelangelo memorialized David and not Goliath. And sculptors, composers, artists and poets will celebrate the achievements of the Ukrainian Davids.” Novodvorskaya says she does not anticipate pictures with titles like ‘Putin Steals Crimea from Ukraine’ or sculptures like “GRU Agents from Russia Teach the Separatists to Fight to the Death on the Barricades.’”
            On second thought, however, the Grani commentator says, there is one opportunity for the Russian Goliaths to be immortalized: in a Ukrainian museum of the occupation.  Once,” she says, she was “in such a museum in Tallinn. Half of the exhibits were about the German occupation; half about the Soviet.”
            “Now such a museum will be set up in Kyiv” as well, and a picture of Putin as the Goliath of today may find a place in it.

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