On War

Cultural Capital, 5 February 2018

Darya Apahonchich
5 February 2022

On War


I have been planning for so many days to write something good and proper about the fact that I (we) oppose war, that I (we) oppose the Russian government’s sending the army (soldiers, tanks) to the borders of Ukraine. (Is it just a scare tactic? Or is it really planning to attack?)

But everything that I could say here has been said a thousand times already, and this is especially scary. Russia is constantly anticipating war, waging wars, provoking conflicts, supporting armed groups outside its territory, bombing Syria, and sending “little green men” to other countries.

It was a revelation to me how calmly the school textbooks discuss this: “Russia borders sixteen countries and four unrecognized states.” Damn, what is this epidemic of unrecognized territories and why do they pop up next to Russia?

It makes me very sad and scared to see how even a minimal public discussion has been crushed and silenced now. In the spring of 2014, we took to the squares to march against the war. Yes, there were other, triumphant (shamefully triumphant) marches in support of Crimea’s annexation, but voices against it were also audible.

And although it is so little compared with the little that was earlier, I want to write (since Russia considers me a media outlet) at least here in my personal media outlet that I disagree with this state of affairs. I and we were not asked whether we wanted war, whether we wanted increasing tension on the border, whether we wanted a buildup of arms.

No, we don’t want war. And we have talked about it many times as we voted against Putin and his government, monitored elections to prevent vote rigging, organized solidarity actions and demonstrations, and did protest actions, performances, and exhibitions. We were against war and we continue to be against it. Alas, there are many people in Russia who watch TV and believe the propaganda, and there are also people who stubbornly fail to notice anything. It’s a shame not to notice these things, and it’s bad to notice them and keep quiet. But war is definitely not needed by anyone.

Photo and translation by the Russian Reader

One thought on “On War

  1. It seems unconscionable that an opinion can be marked as “foreign”, as if people in Russia all speak in the same jingoistic terms as their leaders so that any dissent couldn’t possibly come from within. It would be terrible just to denounce Russia for its censorship if it weren’t for the continuing censorship, de facto and by design, of the U.S. and other imperialist media and their respective media and governments. It is a different form of censorship and not as obviously draconian as what I see in Russia, but the atomization of thought and opinion here leads very much to the same thing. Most people oppose war, funding for the military, support women’s rights and voting rights, but the right wing stranglehold of states reinforced by manipulation of poltical representation makes it appear like the majority isn’t really there, the “left” portion of the government cries “poverty” about its inability to counter threats to democracy but they are more unwilling to promote true democracy because doing so would also threaten their hold on “democratic” opinion. And, of course, the capitalist media reinforces these “left vs. right” perspectives as if there is an equal amount on either side when any poll shows quite otherwise.
    What the Russian government seems to do to stifle dissent by decree, other imperialist countries accomplish by mis- and dis- education coupled by corporate control over public thought.
    Standing with you against both the “Western” and Russian warmongering. We can only hope that working people of all nations will somehow rise together against capitalist greed among the nations.
    Solidarity Always

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