Telegram Chronicles — Day 11
(Originally posted on Facebook on March 6, 2022)
I believe we’re entering the 12th day of the war.
BBC News-Russia reports that in the town of Irpin (outside of Kyiv), Russian military shot at the residents trying to evacuate, murdering at least one family (including two children). Also, Kharkiv continues to be bombed. A 24-story apartment building’s been hit today. One of the university buildings in the city is on fire. Meanwhile, Mediazone reports that the evacuation from the town of Mariupol has been once again prevented by the Russian military.
Some food for thought: According to BBC News — Russia, Ukraine has asked the west for either a no-fly zone over its territory (NATO has refused, fearing a direct confrontation with Russia) or for a certain model of East-European warplane that’s common there. Slovakia and Bulgaria apparently refused, basically saying they don’t have enough themselves. Poland said it might, but only if America reimburses it with its warplanes.
Anti-war protests took place all over Russia today (also, in Kazakhstan). BBC News — Russia reports that over 4,000 has been detained. Meduza reports 4,400 detained across 56 cities. 12,700 since the beginning of the war. The police subject the detained to extreme violence — from brutal beatings to tasing. Nor does it take much to be arrested. In Krasnoyarsk, a woman’s been brought to court for writing “No War” in the snow. In a village near Kostroma, a Russian priest has been arrested for calling for peace in his sermon. And the repercussions don’t end with mere beatings and fines. Currently, about 14 students from St. Petersburg State University who’ve been detained for participating in protests are expected to be kicked out of the university.
Meanwhile, companies are leaving Russia in droves, or limiting their services. Just today: Netflix, TikTok, Spotify, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, ApplePay and GooglePlay. A whole bunch of European and American fashion designers. Also, Nvidia — the maker of graphics cards. Unfortunately, these actions aren’t likely to affect those in power, the oligarchs or Putin’s government. Instead, turning off Visa and Mastercard will probably hurt the most vulnerable, as well as those who are currently trying to leave the country. There’s already much talk of the global Internet going away in Russia. Only those with VPN can access Facebook. What will happen when people can’t access news?
And speaking of those who are leaving: Anton Dolin, a movie critic I’ve been following for many years, has left Russia. He said that it’s not possible to live in the country, no matter how beloved, where you’re not allowed to speak. Even before he left, the door to his apartment has been marked with a giant letter Z — a signature of the forces who are conducting the so-called “special operation” in Ukraine. (Because it’s not “war,” you’re not allowed to say “war.” It’s a “special operation.” You know, like that classic work of Russian literature — Special Operation and Peace.)
Also, among those who left is director Kantemir Balagov. His stunning recent movie Beanpole (“Дылда”), is a great reminder of what wars do to people. It’s a hard movie to watch, but worth it. I believe you can rent/stream it on Amazon Prime.