By Andrew Sullivan Weekly Dish
How close are we getting to a full-on war between Russia and the West?
“The beginning of every war is like opening the door into a dark room. One never knows what is hidden in the darkness,” opined a certain Austrian maniac. And what we are discovering about Putin’s Russia as this brutal war continues, is something extremely dark.
The rhetoric in Moscow is now outright eliminationist toward not just Ukraine, but Ukrainians as a people. The more bogged down the Russian military, the more intense the “de-Nazification” memes. With each defeat, from the failure to take Kyiv to the sinking of the Mockva, the sense of humiliation and anger grows. In the words of one Kremlin propagandist: “It’s no accident we call them Nazis. What makes you a Nazi is your bestial nature, your bestial hatred and your bestial willingness to tear out the eyes of children on the basis of nationality.” Ukrainians are being dehumanized — deemed not just victims of a “Nazi” regime but somehow Nazis themselves. It’s hard not to recall Aleksandr Dugin’s 2014 remark when asked his view of Ukraine: “Kill! Kill! Kill! There can be no other discussion. This is my opinion as a professor.”
The rhetoric on Russian TV is about ending Ukrainian identity, as well as Ukraine, altogether. “Ukrainianism, fueled by anti-Russian poison and all-consuming lies about its identity, is one big fake,” pronounced Dmitry Medvedev, Putin’s mini-me. And the tactics — mass rapes, wholesale flattening of cities such as Mariupol, profligate torture, mass-murder of civilians — are those of a country seeking some kind of psychic purge of its ungrateful and traitorous Ukrainian subjects. The removal of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to Russia proper is yet another sign of Putin’s genocidal mania.