2 thoughts on “30 kilometers from the Ukrainian – Russian border

  1. Minutemen says:

    “Ukrainians Are Defending the Values Americans Claim to Hold” (George Packer, The Atlantic Magazine Oct 2022 issue) https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/10/ukraine-invasion-civilian-volunteers-survival/671241/

    …The word Ukrainians use for all this spontaneous activity is self-organization.
    “I think self-organization comes from an idea of community which is very deep in our culture,” Volodymyr Yermolenko, a philosopher and journalist, told me. “In Ukrainian we call it hromada. The idea is that politics is about horizontal relations between people and not about vertical relations of power.” He traced the political concept to a circle of 19th-century intellectuals in Kyiv, and the spirit of community even further back, to the self-governing Cossacks of the 17th-century steppe.
    …From the first hours of the Russian invasion self-organization characterized the response. Towns and villages spontaneously set up what Ukrainians call “block posts,” manned by armed civilians in Territorial Defense units.
    …Serhiy Danylov, a researcher who spent years working in Kherson, told me. “The Russians asked the same questions of the activists they arrested: ‘Who is the organizer? Who is paying for all this? Who is behind it?’ They didn’t believe in spontaneous protest and self-organization.”
    Later, when the war shifted to an artillery duel in the east, where Russia flattened entire towns and Ukrainian forces were badly outmatched, self-organization was less effective. But the Russian invasion has elevated the idea of hromada from local communities to the whole country. By killing Ukrainians regardless of their region or language or politics, Russia is helping forge Ukraine into something it’s never been—a national community.”

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