10 years later... a guest post by Marci Shore
I hope we here in the US have the strength and fortitude of our Ukrainian Counterparts to stand up against those who are attacking our democracy here. Amazing how singular moment(s) change the world.
I have just had a second round of email exchanges with UNITED24. Daria promised that their weekly newsletter will contain the latest on the fundraising effort (this note added on 3rd December) .... Just a quick note so that we all are on top of things. According to the latest information, within a week, Professor Timothy Snyder's fundraising appeal gathered more than half of the requested sum. I wrote to United24 asking them to provide weekly updates. They promised they will let me have the info on how to access the latest results.
Their Newsletter usually comes out on Wednesdays. Donate here: https://u24.gov.ua/safeskies
I would appreciate Professor Synder’s insights about Ukraine’s situation today:
1)a likely winter military stalemate
2) the implications of major changes in Ukrainian military leadership;
3) the prospects that US and European support for Ukraine is weakening—US House and Ukraine funding, election in Slovakia;
4) longer-term possibilities of a united Ukraine against Putin’s Greater Russia.
As an historian and a former Foreign Service Officer (Congo-1960-1966) I am aware of the limitations of an historian projecting the future. However, as a FSO, I realized that in the real world, such three dimensional thinking is imperative.
I look forward to Snyder’s knowledgeable thoughts about what’s likely over the next year or two.
P. S. When I was rating the debt of sovereign states for Moody’s I was dealing with history, character, and finances in making major judgments about the future. In 1975, Iran had a whooping balance of trade surplus after the 1973 oil bump.
Merrill Lynch sought a $1 billion bond issue for Iran. I was concerned about the long-term political prospects of Iran. I told them that, were Iran to try to go to market, I would rate them below investment grade. In response to their protests, I advised them to look at Egypt’s Khedive Ismail, the Civil War cotton boom, and the Suez Canal.
My gut instinct, based on three-dimensional-history saved investors close to $1 billion.
Marci Shore also gave an amazing guest lecture in Professor Snyder's Yale classes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gg_CLI3xY58
Thank you for bringing Maidan and Walter Benjamin together. Also with Sartre. What Marci Shore writes reminds me of something the Buddha says: to understand who you are, consider what you have done; to understand who you will be, consider what you will do. The past has a karmic facticity but this moment (the "now-time") always offers karmic freedom?
Thank you Dr. Snyder and Dr. Shore. I watched the lecture you did during Dr. Snyder's class, "The Making of Modern Ukraine," and truly appreciate your understanding of the shift that occurred in Ukraine during the Maidan. Until victory! Slava Ukraïni 🇺🇦
Prof. Snyder, could you write something explaining more fully how the story that the Maidan was orchestrated by Obama and the CIA (instead of the people of Ukraine) got started, and why so many people in the US believe it? Also, the story of the “Nuland phone call” that has Victoria Nuland as a mastermind who “handpicks” the new Ukrainian government in 2014. Far too many people in the US believe that as well, including the majority of the commenters in The Free Press. It’s possible that I am only getting that impression as a result of a few enthusiastic purveyors of the lie, but it is really disturbing to see these two tropes constantly rearing their ugly heads and negatively impacting our support for Ukraine. The GOP and their MAGA wing are highly motivated to abandon Ukraine and they seem oblivious to the repercussions that would have. Plus, I need something I can easily cite and quote from to offset the lies. Many thanks for all you do. And thank Marci as well!
I so love your writing, Professor Shore. I seek it out and read as much of it as I can.
Re: “They simply could not grasp,” one young woman described, “that we ourselves organized ourselves.” This bit of propaganda works very well with Americans because there is an unspoken assumption that nothing can happen in the world without us--you know, "the indispensable nation" and all that. Of course peoples in other countries often think the same, but the difference is that it's *unconscious* in Americans.
Going straight to amazon to order the updated ed. of your wonderful book.
Thank you for this. Sobering and so informative.
I didn't know the story and am grateful for the sharing. I too believe in humanity's ability to imagine a better world and for the collective spirit/force to move us beyond what's been known. It's needed in America and all over the world at this time. The tsunami that can be our collective power vs the stationary force that will be applied to maintain the status quo--mind over matter, the as-yet-to-be conceived future over the past. We are all living in a revolutionary moment.
Powerful. Ukrainians are true heroes to our world.
I deeply appreciate both the tale of what led up to the 2014 annexation of Crimea and the opening of awareness to the power of the the decisions and actions made in the present to change what is possible in the future.
Likes. Don’t. Count.
The vast majority of Americans belong to some type civil society group but in the Soviet Union, in contrast, any effort by individuals to join together independent of the government was brutally stamped out, leaving citizens in the new countries without the experience or the skills to advocate - and if necessary agitate - for their interests.
- Marie Yovanovitch 📖 Lessons From The Edge. A memoir
Powerful piece, thank you!!
Two things strike me.
1) Russian propaganda is so dumb. Euromaidan being somehow motivated by homosexuality is plausible? Or fascism. Or even more absurd, somehow an alliance both rather than a sweeping movement? It makes a better joke than anything.
2) Russian propaganda is so sophisticated. Manipulating thinking regarding self-organization is just absolutely critical to these propaganda efforts. I see it all the time in Trump world messaging. Trump pushes his followers to think just like that. He is the top-down savior they need. Because of these overwhelming opposing forces, also top-down, rather than self organizing democratic action. The suggestion is that such self-organizing, democratic action is incapable and inferior. Only top down organization could possibly be effective.
Examples: Its the nebulous and bad Democrats who cheated in the election, rather than came out to vote. Its the Biden admin top down pushing Trump’s prosecution, rather than prosecutors and judges acting independently. There is a global cabal of child rapists tanking our nation and calling the shots, rather than an internet jammed with abuse imagery from independent perverts, and mostly entrenched institutional interests calling the shots
When everything is a grand conspiracy with powerful players behind everything, this justifies a people’s champion, heavy handed “strong man” leadership to protect the in-group. And the messaging is both more stupid and more sophisticated than appears at first glance. Its a firehose of falsehoods - both drowning the truth and floating as many narratives as possible to appeal to as many perspectives as possible.
Thanks once again for deepening the understanding of those of us who had no background knowledge of Ukraine up until the US (former) President tried to bully/blackmail President Zelenskyy... Reading about the Maidan explains so much about the Ukrainian national resolve today. Slava Ukraine!