Friday, December 19, 2014

Russia's radical nationalists in eastern Ukraine

Listen if you can to this 30 minute BBC radio 'Crossing Continents' podcast about the weirdo extremist Russian separatists currently fighting in Eastern Ukraine

"The Knights of New Russia

Russian support for the separatists in eastern Ukraine doesn't all come directly from the Kremlin. The rebellion there may be stoked, and armed, by Vladimir Putin - but it's also become a personal cause for young Russian volunteers recruited by a variety of nationalist and far-right groups. Many say they're motivated by their Orthodox faith - and their dream to restore Novorossiya, or New Russia, the territory which encompassed eastern Ukraine under the Tsarist Empire. 

Passionate members of re-enactment societies, they've spent their weekends reliving Russia's historic battles. But now they're fighting - and sometimes dying - for real, in what they see as a test of their own, and Russia's, "manhood". Tim Whewell has gained rare access to the weird, shadowy world of Russia's radical nationalists. He travels with volunteers from the grand old imperial capital, St Petersburg, to the chaotic, muddy battlefields of eastern Ukraine - and reveals a movement whose leaders have become increasingly influential in Putin's Russia - but is now in danger of becoming an embarrassment to the Kremlin."

p.s. Russians will have followed Putin's grand presser with interest...would have gone out to do their Christmas shopping and quickly come back down to earth as they faced the grim reality that the price of everything is continuing to go up, including sought after Euros and Dollars, and their future is far from certain...

My forebears used to tell me in Soviet times, even under Stalin, when citizens grumbled and complained to one another about shortages, the price of consumer goods and how terrible life had become, often someone would chip in "здесь не Америка" ...[what do you expect]...'this is not America'. 

Maybe this is the reason for Putin's hatred of the west...deep inside he knows "здесь не Америка" 

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