There will be no miracle. There will be war

zhadan

 

Analysis & Opinion

Article by: Serhiy Zhadan

There will be no miracle

This does not resemble the holidays at all. Despite the Christmas tree in a corner in the kitchen, with a Ukrainian trident on the top. The windows are covered with blankets and there are bags of sand on the stairs in the hallway. The barrack appears sleepy and empty only from the outside. The people inside are fighting for the fourth year, ready for anything. The building itself is located in the center of the village. There is a beauty salon and a second-hand shop on the first floor. A machine gunner stands between the second and third floors and does not let strangers pass. But strangers will not come here in any case. On the “other” side they know perfectly well that Ukrainians soldiers are here. The recent shelling of Novoluhansk reached here as well — a shell flew directly at the barrack but reached the fir tree in front of the building. It cut down the trunk, ricocheted, and smashed into the cars of the military. The traces of the shelling could be seen throughout the entire village — the crumbled asphalt, a broken sign on the playground, a few deep pits in the park. There are also traces of the shelling on the church wall. The windows have been knocked out in the old Khrushchovka buildings. Some have been repaired already with new glass panes but others remain cold black holes. Clearly, there is no one living in many of the apartments. A dirty white curtain flutters in a broken window. It gives the impression of someone surrendering. We walk along the streets, tracing the path of the shelling. The locals do not pay any attention to us –apparently they’re used to it. There is the abandoned  nursery school, the small marketplace. The shiny black earth clings to the soles of our shoes. Last year’s grass is wet and heavy under the December rains. This year will end in two days — the fourth year of the war.

“Look,” a soldier points to a monument. ” See the imprint of a star? We asked the locals to remove it. There was even a ‘Saint George’ ribbon. We said the ribbon could remain, but it had to be repainted blue and yellow. They disagreed and simply removed it. This is in case you’re interested in local attitudes.”

It is interesting to discuss local attitudes with the military. Although their comments must always be taken with caution: not every local will dare to be honest with the military.

” Do they at least understand who shelled them?” we asked an acquaintance when we returned to the barrack kitchen. The acquaintance, a Kharkiv native, is fighting in a volunteer unit, along with her husband.

“A few understand,” she answers, “others are convinced that it is Ukrainians shooting themselves. People are different,” she adds. “The so-called local intelligentsia, the people with higher education support Ukraine. That’s the way it is.”

The past few days it has been quiet in the village. The air trembles only occasionally. “A tank,” someone comments. Nobody pays any special attention to it. The shelling is far away; there is no need to worry. The soldiers gather at the table. Guests have arrived and everyone wants to talk, everyone has something to tell. The intelligence officer relates how they occupied the villages in the “grey zone.” He remembers a farmer with whom they stayed.  After meeting the military on the move, he expressed his support for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. However, he did criticize the volunteer battalions, just in case. When he found out he was dealing with volunteers he became frightened and prepared for the worst. Moreover, the volunteers had confiscated his illegal weapons. He housed the soldiers in the kitchen. “There were stocks of domestic wine on the table. Nine big pots, just imagine!” the intelligence officer says excitedly. When the volunteers left a few weeks later, the farmer was surprised to discover that his supplies of alcohol were intact. I don’t know if it affected his attitude.

Fighting for one’s country

On the way back to Kharkiv we give a ride to one of the fighters. He tells his story during the trip. He is a businessman from Makiivka, and he supported the Maidan. In the spring of 2014, people like him were being sought. He was warned by friends and managed to escape. He abandoned everything he had and moved to Kharkiv. For a long time he tried to make it to the front. “At that time people weren’t mobilizing, not even for money. Well this is why I’m here,” he says of his battalion. “In general, it’s an honor to fight for one’s country. Not every generation has that opportunity,” he adds.

He speaks without any pathos.  It is clear he has pondered all of this for a long time. He speaks Russian, as do all the volunteers we have met here. The people from Kharkiv, Dnipro, the East —in short, they are spending their fourth New Year’s Eve at the front, fighting for their country.

In Bakhmut we begin to notice the New Year’s lights and decorations. That’s the way it is — the holiday ahead, the war remaining behind. Remaining behind is the black heavy soil from unharvested fields. Behind is the cold low sky over the “gray zone.” Behind are the boarded-up windows of the civilian population and the loopholes of the army barracks. Gradually we see more Christmas trees and bright advertising signs. Kharkiv in general is bathed in lights and tinsel. The streets are filled with greetings from the president and the mayor. It is hard to squeeze by in the stores and there is no room in the restaurants. Well not everyone can live through the war. The war tires out, wears out, exhausts. Especially those who have nothing to do with it. Everyone wants peace. Everyone wants shelter. Everyone wants a miracle.

But there will be no miracle. There will be war. And the only way we can survive it is together — the easterners, the westerners, the military, and the civilians. Regardless of attitudes.

Serhiy Zhadan — Ukrainian poet, writer, translator, activist

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
Source: Radio Svoboda

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  • RedSquareMaidan

    Heroyam Slava!

  • Ihor Dawydiak

    “There will be no miracle”. How true. From his kremlin cave, the dictatorial, diminutive dormouse squeaked his orders that Ukraine must be crushed, its spirit for independence destroyed with this leading to the restoration of a revived Russian “Mordor”. So why did Putin, the fool’s idea of a fool, fail? That should be self explanatory.

  • zorbatheturk

    Gotta fight for a state free of RuSSian influence forever.

    • Dale Davies

      When this current dustup is resolved, the people of Ukraine and their government will need to be ever vigilent for a future aggression. Any peoples going to invade Europe have passed through Ukraine and left devastation in their wake. Any peoples from Europe on their way to invade eastern countries have left devastation in their wake also. That explains the Ukrainian peoples willingness to assist eachother for trying to get by alone in those circumstances none would survive!

      • zorbatheturk

        As I have stated the geopolitical cancer that is the RuSSia is a holdover from the 19th century and needs to be dismantled, the key factor in which will be an independent Republic of Siberia which at 10 million km2 will be the largest country in the world and a treasure trove of natural resources which Moscow and the Krumlin will no longer be able to rape.

        • Dale Davies

          I an agree with that. I think the only way Ukraine will stop this Pootlerstan action will be an extreme covert counter offensive on a somewhat massive scale.

          • zorbatheturk

            Bigger or smaller than Operation Barbarossa?

          • Dale Davies

            Operation Barbarossa does not qualify as a covert operation. It was somewhat massive though.
            What I refer to is a covert and subversive operation that is highly tactical in nature. Pootlerstan is a large country with military bases spread all over. Much of Operation Barbarossa involved infantry and artillery units on either side hammering eachother in poor weather. The Nazis also had to deal with the Prypat Marshes. This is the type warfare I refer to as “shooting the feet”. Not really effective. The little guys (privates and corporals) are the ones to suffer the worst and have the least bearing on the outcome of the dustup. I have spoken of dealing with the head previously and it is not the navy term I refer to. Looking at my previous posts will explain my thoughts on the how to.

          • zorbatheturk

            Ukraine needs its own James Bond franchise.

          • Dale Davies

            Kind of. What I am thinking is about 5,000 men and women with high tech specialist weapons. When a neurosurgeon operates on a brain, he does not use a sledge hammer and axe. He uses a scalple or tiny lazar. This is the type thinking that is required for planning. You cut out the cancers in the Russia government brain! Timing is critical!

          • zorbatheturk

            RuSSians are more likely to understand a sledgehammer coming down on their hollow skulls than a laser scalpel, but I get your point, I truly do!

          • Dale Davies

            They may understand but ineffectual on zombies.
            I could explain more but Pee-Wee Pootie’s komrades are watching. Explain more and they would be waiting. Remember; extreme subversive and covert! There are still too many the Pootlerstan sympathizers in the AFU and Verkhovna Rada. It would require talking to the people on the front lines that put their lives on the line daily. Also vets that were injured would be a good source. Talk to 100 asking for 5 names they would trust with their life in the AFU leadership and the Rada. Then talky up the names and the five that are mentioned most, you talk to. Even then you do not reveal too much all at once because you do not want the media to catch wind, or God forbid the Rada decides a discussion needs to take place. If that were to happen you may as well discuss you plans in the Duma!

          • zorbatheturk

            RuSSians will only change once there is no more vodka on their store shelves.

          • Dale Davies

            Let the zombies riot!

          • zorbatheturk

            When the zombie apocalypse world tour arrives, first stop will be RuSSia.

          • Dale Davies

            YUP!

            Just for giggles I tweeted the Buffoon Tycoon about a comment that came on twitter. He was doing his usual blowing sunshine up his posterior regarding being a genius, a very stable genius. My reply was that he may be a genius and I have previously met two genius’ and both had one foot in the genius door but the other was firmly stuck in tbe nuthouse door. I guess we will see how the toilet flushes on that one. :–)))

          • zorbatheturk

            May have to use the 25th amendment to remove the Trumpkov. He is mentally unfit for the office, as well as being in Putin’s pocket. Bad news.

          • Dale Davies

            He was not qualified to be inaugurated due to his total lack of diplomacy and deal with foreign governments. Since then he has become more erratic. He seems to think he can sit in the chair of the POTUS and run things like on The Apprentice. NOT!!

          • zorbatheturk

            Early onset dementia, possibly. I think his brain is overheating trying to keep track of his own lies.

          • Dale Davies

            That and he can not tollerate any opposition from anyone. His ego says he is the Supreme Commander.

          • zorbatheturk

            Trump is a textbook example of narcissistic personality disorder, NPD.

  • rayfin3

    Depressing account. As an American, I thought that the Ukrainian volunteers had been incorporated into official military structures. Are these volunteers helping or hindering the resolution process? Who controls them?

    • Микола Данчук

      As an American you should know that volunteers where the backbone of your revolution with England.
      But hell what do I know about your history?

      • rayfin3

        Why such anger? Yes, as a proto-state (before gaining independence) volunteers played a crucial role in defeating the British (although some, like George Washington, questioned the value of the militia).

        One might presume that after 3+ years of fighting, Ukrainian patriots would see the logic of donning an official Ukrainian military uniform to ensure greater unity of command and coordination of effort. As it is, the continued presence of volunteers on the front-lines suggests that some Ukrainians don’t trust the central authorities. Why should the US or any other Western country provide support when there’s no guarantee that it will reach the target?

        • Микола Данчук

          Yet Andrew Jackson (as well as the majority of Commanders in the War of 1812) were highly dependent on volunteers and/or militias of a young nation. But you are the expert, no?

          The same could be said of Afghanistan and Iraq, would you not agree?
          Why did the US and other countries sign agreements (guarantees) with Ukraine which haven’t reached the target?
          It may be that there are many Ukrainians that have little trust in many authorities.

          • Dale Davies

            Please elaborate on which agreements and guarantees you reference? Thank you.

          • Dale Davies

            I take it you are refering to the Budapest Memorandum. Unfortunately for Ukraine, the way it is written, each of the three countries that signed along with Ukraine guarranteed to honour the soveriegn borders of Ukraine and not attack or violate those borders. The USA and the UK have not violated those borders or attacked Ukraine. There is no direct guarantee to protect Ukraine in the event another country violates the border or attacks. The fact that the Russia is a cosignee makes no difference in that regard. It DOES mean the Russia has been “a bad kitty”! The talking bobbleheads from the Russia have presented a number of “excuses” from Yanukobytch invited aid from the Russia to control the “coup” to protecting poor defensless Russian speakers. All BS!
            It would have been good for Ukraine if the UK and the USA along with other supportive countries had stepped up to the plate much more forcefully right from the start!

          • http://www.rodgerolsen.com rodgerolsen

            More problems. The memorandum could not and did not guarantee that regions of Ukraine would not exercise their right of secession. The right belongs to them, not foreign powers. It only addresses foreign intervention, not internal strife
            Even worse, the Memorandum is NOT a treaty, and was not ratified by any government. It is just a statement of intent, not a binding agreement. In order to get Russia to sign the memorandum, we made several promises about not expanding NATO and not stationing weapons in former soviet republics. Since we had absolutely no intention of keeping our word, we didn’t want anything in a binding treaty.

            The US did, of course, step up to the plate. We supported the coup and now support the most unpopular, corrupt and incompetent government the Ukraine has ever seen. Without our billions flowing into the illegal government in Kiev, they would have been out of office and the war would have been over years ago.

          • Dale Davies

            Your statement the Budapest is not binding and was not ratified is not exactly correct. It was not ratified by vote in any parliament. But stated right in the document it states it becomes legal and binding the moment it was signed.
            Regarding the right to secession could apply to Krim due to autonomy granted to the region. I do not know about any previous referundums regarding secession and joining the Russia. I know the Russia had personnel performing subversive duties for at least 10 years prior to the outbreak of the Maidan protest. The “little green men” appeared and occupied government properties two weeks prior to the referundum determined illegal by a vast majority vote in the UN.
            The “little green men” subsequently turned up in Donbas. Yes there is local militia personel in Donetsk and Luhansk. They were t

          • http://www.rodgerolsen.com rodgerolsen

            Sorry, the statement is correct. Unless a treaty is ratified it is NOT binding. You can’t make it binding by saying so in a non-binding document any more than you can prove the bible is the word of God by saying so in the bible.
            In addition to the fact that we, as a nation, babble about “democracy” and “self determination” endlessly, pretend to honor it, defend it and even kill for it, there is also precedent set by us.
            When we implemented the theft of Kosovo from Serbia, we insisted that the UN recognize the right of a region to secede from it’s parent without the permission of the parent country, the UN, or even the Pope. We just didn’t think the precedent would apply anywhere we lost the vote. It turns out that we only believe in that “democracy” [email protected] when the vote goes our way.
            However, not only our pretend belief in self determination, but the precedent we set in Kosovo makes any UN vote on the legality of the succession moot.

            The Russian personnel moved in before the secession vote because the government of Crimea knew that the rioters from the Maidan were on the way to Crimea for a repeat performance. They asked the Russians to provide personnel from their existing manpower in Crimea to guard the train stations, bus stations and border crossings to keep the rioters out. They intercepted several busloads and train loads of potential rioters and sent them back to Kiev.

            The were Russian personnel already in Crimea, working at the request of the government of Crimea, without insignia because they were functioning as police, not soldiers, and didn’t want to give the impression that a war had broken out.

          • gmab

            RTroll!

          • http://www.rodgerolsen.com rodgerolsen

            Feel better now. Every time one of you morons realizes that he is obviously dead wrong, you chant the magic mantra “troll”. Don’t fool nobody, but you learn really slowly.

          • gmab

            (Does)n’t fool (any)body (grammar rule- 2 negatives a no-no). You learn very (not really) slowly. Talk about Morons. Hope that helps people understand you better next time. .
            I’ve read the same RT BS word for word for 4 years. If you’d shown some originality or facts, my comment may have been different.

          • Dale Davies

            Is The Budapest Memorandum a treaty or a binding memorandum regarding nuclear nonproliferation? Seems to me it was all tied to nuclear arms nonproliferation. When the CCCP failed, there was a lot of nuclear weapons installed on Ukraine soil that could have been a major risk had special interest groups got their hands on them. The concern was possible acquesition by terrorist groups. The Budapest Memorandum allowed/required personnel from the Russia access to those weapons with the intent to dismantle and remove the from Ukraine soil. Ukraine’s worry was threats by nuclear powers, thus the memorandum.
            You can not speak of internal civil war in Ukraine when the Russia citizen of Moscow and “retired” military intelligence officer, Igor Girkin has admitted to initiating the invasion in Krim and Donbas. He complained to bosses in Moscow that he

          • rodgerolsen

            Girkin didn’t “admit” anything. He “claimed” and he “bragged”. Like Navalny, he is the darling of western press, but he’s pretty much a nobody with an expanded ego and unrealistic opinion of his importance. He is not the darling of the Russians or anyone else.
            The rebel army was and is 30,000 strong and the resistance started the day the Ukrainians fired on their own citizens, long before Girkin showed up to take credit. There was no “local militia personnel”. The rebels had a well organized army of 30,000 trained soldiers within weeks of the commencement of hostilities.
            Despite his firm belief in his own self importance, Girkin’s role was peripheral and fleeting.

        • Dale Davies

          If I understand correctly, the volunteer battalions initially organized while the AFU were in disarray with the defections and poor equipement. They provided some of the strongest opposition to the Pootlerstan. Now the volunteers battalions are integrated into the AFU. That does not mean they operate independantly or are totally intermixed. There is also conscript personnel and contract personnel. Each unit will have personnel rotations for R&R time off.

          • rayfin3

            Thanks for the info. I’m just wondering why some in the US believe that helping Ukraine retain its territorial integrity is a vital American national interest, particularly when it appears that many Ukrainians themselves could care less what happens in these separatist regions.

            I’m strongly against providing offensive military equipment to the Ukrainian military. Who knows where it will end up? At the end of the day, Russia cares more about the fate of Ukraine (and is willing to sacrifice much to retain this influence) than either the US or the EU. That’s the grim truth that Ukraine must accept.

          • Dale Davies

            Part of this goes back to 1994 and the signing of the Budapest Memorandum regarding nuclear arms control and reduction. Stated in this agreement signed between Ukraine, the Russia, the UK and the USA are terms for Ukraine to give up claim to CCCP nuclear arms left in Ukraine at the failure and breakup of the CCCP. The Russia, the UK and the USA gave Ukraine guarantees to never threaten Ukraine with nuclear or other weapons. They also gave guarantees to never violate the soveriegn territorial borders of Ukraine. The Russia has invaded Ukraine. Pee-Wee Pootie HAS threatened the use of nuclear weapons when he said “it is not wise to annoy a major nuclear armed nation.”
            Compared to the Russia, Ukraine is much smaller and due to residual CCCP corruption Ukraine has been held back. In 2009 I was told by locals that the EU had sent development funds for roads and other infrastructure. That money would/should have provided jobs where the money could disperse through the economy. Instead the corrupt oligarchs (name or title for rich bastards) embezzeled the funds. This is where western governments became involved after the invasion of Krim and Donbas. Ukraine was illprepared to protect itself. Now it is not only the USA involved here.
            The Ukrainian citizens do care about the Donbas region. There is about 1.75 million IDP’s spread around Ukraine. They have difficulty finding housing and jobs. That is partly because the more western Ukrainians are less inclined to be pro Russia. Through the last few hundred years they have been more rebellious to the Russian influence. The east has had more intense domination by the Russia and has suffered genocide and deportation to Siberia of the local people. The Russia then relocated citizens from regions of the Russia. Individual language, song and dance and religion were suppressed and replaced with standards that fit the CCCP vision of how things should function.
            I understand your stance against lethal offensive military materiels. We at this time are talking only of lethal defensive arms. You must understand the Russia has been supplying their forces active in east Ukraine some of their latest materiels when needed. Those “humanitarian convoys” are actually transporting replacement munitions to their militias and active Russian military personnel. This is using up old stock close to its “best before date” so it is replaced with new design mayeriels.
            In both Ukraine and Syria personnel of the Russia armed forces are rotated into active duty and out to gain operational experience. The big question thete is FOR WHAT REASON?!
            Pee-Wee Pootie has stated he thinks the worst geopolitical catastrophy in modern time was the failure and breakup of the CCCP. His and the KGB actions in wesyern countries give indication he/they may be planning to do like in the 1950’s and 1960’s when the CCCP invaded European countries and absorbed them into their MIRe.

          • http://www.rodgerolsen.com rodgerolsen

            Same response, so what? Why is anything that happens in Ukraine any of our business? They are a failed nation with a long history of corruption and rebellion, but why is that any of our business?

          • Dale Davies

            If anything in Ukraine is not “any of our business” then go spend some time on the crapper and contemplate visiting a bingo hall.
            I would not call Ukraine a failed nation. They are trying and with embedded soviet systems and personalities driving the same corruption rife in the Russia, just makes it more difficult. With a bit more time and positive influence they can be successful!
            Your statement “a failed nation with a long history of corruption and rebellion” pegs you as a Pootpet minion. Go wash your nose. The brown is showing and it is not a tan.

          • http://www.rodgerolsen.com rodgerolsen

            You wouldn’t call Ukraine a failed nation, but you are both biased and ignorant and live in a fantasy world.
            They are so broke they couldn’t pay cash for a pack of bubblegum. They live off handouts from the IMF (US). They have alienated and lost control of large segments of the country, Their two national pastimes are corruption and blaming the Russians for all their problems.
            They are largely controlled by the Nazi battalions who do torchlight parades about once a week, displaying Swastka’s and jackboot marching.
            They have so little control over their entire country that the militias, not the government declared and enforced a blockade of the Donbas region a few months ago and the central government was powerless to stop them.
            95% of the men drafted for the military simply refuse to show up for induction and there is nothing they can do about it because 92% of the population hates the government.
            No income, no control, no cohesion, no authority. That is the very definition of a failed state.
            And their problems are still none of our business.

          • http://www.rodgerolsen.com rodgerolsen

            Sorry, why is anything about Ukraine a “vital American interest”? We don’t share a border, a history, a common culture, or anything else with them and they are half a world away. Why is anything that happens there any of our business?

          • gmab

            You seem to make it your business. LOL You & your team mate are not Americans nor a Scandanavian but ruski trolls with passable English. After almost 4 years of war & massive headlines you still focus on RT news that’s 3 yrs old. Get a life.

          • http://www.rodgerolsen.com rodgerolsen

            Sorry, why is anything about Ukraine a “vital American interest”? We
            don’t share a border, a history, a common culture, or anything else with
            them and they are half a world away. Why is anything that happens there
            any of our business?

          • http://www.rodgerolsen.com rodgerolsen

            No, the Nazi battalions were the only semi-effective fighting force Ukraine had, since the regular army has refused to kill Ukrainians for us. They were, and are, too incompetent to stand up to a well armed group of girl scouts, but they are driven by Nazi beliefs and total racial hatred for the Russians, so they are happy to shell civilians from a safe distance.
            Ukraine agreed, as part of the Minsk agreements, to disband the militias, but had a little problem that the militias wouldn’t go along with that idea and they were well armed thugs.
            Showing our usual respect for treaties, instead of encouraging Ukraine to keep their word on disbanding the militias, we gave them new uniforms without the Swastikas, some rudimentary training, and changed their names to the “National Guard.”
            Since no one else will kill for Poroshenko they are still the most influential group in Ukraine.

  • Микола Данчук

    It has been said that they who want miracles are dreamers but they who fight for what they want are realists.
    Ukraine needs doers committed as one for the betterment of all, even the lazy dreamers.