39 Comments

This can never be normalized by returning to “business as usual” when the war is over. Sanctions must remain in place until Putin is no longer in power in Russia and has been tried as a war criminal. All of the seized Russian state funds should go to Ukraine to pay to rebuild.

Expand full comment

Dr. Snyder, I can only imagine how heartbreaking this is for you personally. Thank you for continuing to witness the truth and bring it to us. I am deeply grateful.

Expand full comment

Read through tears. Truth matters.

Expand full comment

The Russia that gave the world Putin also gave it Navalny…how do we punish the former without destroying the latter?

Expand full comment

I can tell from your writing this that you are hurting. I am too, seeing this is the land of my father. So unnecessary, so vile. The monster behind this does not need to breathe one more oonce of air on this planet. Wish we had a plan. My best to you.

Expand full comment

How does anyone find the words. But you have found them in a poem of lament for the thousands enduring the day to day cruel assault. I fear for President Zelenskyy ever taking a journey to meet Putin face to face anywhere but especially in Turkey where Erdogan is not to be trusted.

Expand full comment

I cannot image what has to happen for Russians to recognize the truth. German "Vergangenheitsbewaeltigung" was only possible on the basis of total defeat.

Expand full comment

I work as a sexual assault and domestic violence victim advocate. Do you know if there are any volunteer opportunities available for providing assistance to survivors of rape? It is becoming clear that rape, as a war crime, is being used in Ukraine, as it has been in so many other wars and conflicts. Domestic violence increases during war as well, so there is a need to address both. I have been reaching out to the organizations I am familiar with, but have not found out much yet.

Expand full comment

Have you contacted these organizations in Dr. Snyder’s earlier posts?

Fundacja Ocalenie

Polish Humanitarian Action

Club of the Catholic Intelligencia

Expand full comment

Thank you! I am still in the process of reaching out to those organizations. Because sexual violence comes with unique aspects of trauma, I am still curious to know if anyone has heard of specific organizations assisting in this way.

Expand full comment
founding

This is important work that must be done. In Berlin 1945, something like 10% of women committed suicide after the Russian Red Army arrived. Those accounts are horrifying, and something similar has just happened in Ukraine. I don’t think Putin can ever sit down with any Western leaders, not now, now after Ukraine, not ever.

Expand full comment

Thank you for sharing that Ted. Yes. The impact of sexual violence is horrific. This was also made terribly apparent in the Serbian war against Bosnia & Hercegovina. At least, following that, rape is now recognized as a war crime.

Expand full comment

I have still not found any leads on providing services to the survivors of sexual violence in all of this. If anyone hears of any additional resources, please share.

Expand full comment

I am so broken by that photo.

Expand full comment

Tim: How do we tell the victims they are winning and must win?

Expand full comment

I passed these notes to my friend, poet Stuart Blazer, whose family is from Odessa. His response:

Sanguiponic Gardening

after Professor Snyder's witnessing

Ukraine lies in state

Leaking amniotic fluid into air

History there incarnates

As a snake a monstrous worm

Whose transparent flesh surrounds

Its surroundings

Subterranean, peristaltic

A severed phallus surfacing

To eat death shit life wriggling

Unknowingly as it devours

As it fertilizes tunneling

Through the real mirage

Of Babi Yar slithering

Between the hard rocks of Bucha

Of blood-wet Mariupol nourished

By so much red

All these fields where no bones

Arise in science-fiction resurrection

But rot in place

Making room for new arrivals

Fresh shipments of human flowers

That bloom in darkness thriving

In this rich black soil compacted

In the manner of Russian dolls

One life inside another inside

Another not mine or yours but

Some distant near relation

Enriching our shared terrarium.

Expand full comment

Beautiful and tragic words. Thank you for all you are doing.

Expand full comment

The range and depth of depravity is hard do comprehend, but your writing helps so much. The West must stop Putin. It's not doing enough. How can China not intervene as the toll mounts and the truth about the tactics emerge?

Expand full comment

(Please don't forget that the Chinese gov't perpetrated Tienamin Square and the crackdown on Hong Kong.)

Expand full comment

I deeply respect and appreciate your truthful writing of history. But how would it be if we did a little rewriting: 'In 1941 Nazigermany went on a special military operation in the Soviet Union....' Could it maybe be published in Russia?

Expand full comment

What more can we learn about Putin's war than we get from images of Ukraine, the voices of Ukrainians, the frozen faces of reporters in the war zone and the news reports? Timothy Snyder's poem is like reading the tombstones in the cemetery. 'The lying and the truth' in fragments:

‘that there is no Ukraine’; ‘The war to make the lies true’

‘The shelling everywhere’, ‘The ghastly siege of Mariupol’

‘The truth of seeing’, ‘The lying about the schools and the hospitals’

‘The killing for a lie’, The truth of solidarity

‘The murders everywhere’; ‘The truth’

It’s like that. The horror that one man makes true.

Russian soldiers wantonly kill to make Putin’s dream of glory a reality.

Expand full comment

"This is my love, my sweetheart," a woman says of her 27-year-old son, who was killed by Russian soldiers outside of Kyiv. Video from a BBC reporter: https://twitter.com/BowenBBC/status/1510738861286113282?cxt=HHwWhICy9a6_nPcpAAAA

Expand full comment

I watched this video. I can't imagine this mother's grief. Another unnecessary death.

Expand full comment