Saturday, May 13, 2023

For Ukrainians, Putin’s Invasion is Their Great Fatherland War, a Conflict that has United Them and that They Expect to Win, Albats Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 10 – Despite Russian efforts to undermine Ukrainian morale, Yevgeniya Albats says after a nine-day visit there, “Ukrainian national identity is stronger than ever” and the confidence of Ukrainians that they will eventually win has grown in much the same way it did for Russians following the invasions of Napoleon and Hitler.

            As a result, the independent and now-émigré Russian journalist and commentator says, the Russian invasion has become for them the equivalent of a Great Fatherland War, exactly the opposite outcome that Putin expected and believed he was capable of ensuring would not happen (евгения-альбац-украинцы-уверены-в-победе).

            Russia’s massive attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine have thus proven “counter-productive,” Albats says. They have only strengthened among Ukrainians their commitment to resist the Russian invaders. But in addition, the successes of their military have convinced them that in the end Ukraine and not Russia will win this war.

            Albats makes two other important observations. On the one hand, she says that despite expectations that Ukrainians might be reluctant to talk to her since she is a Russian, she found that most were quite open with her, an indication that Ukrainians if not Russians make a clear distinction between the Kremlin and the Russian people.

            And on the other, the Russian commentator says that the damage Russian forces are inflicting on Ukraine are going to affect “not only the current generation but also the next,” an indication of how Putin’s war is counter-productive in another and far longer-lasting way than many have expected. 

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