IN WARTIME, Stories from Ukraine by Tim Judah

In Wartime

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Tim Judah tackles an analysis of an incredibly complex conflict- the on going war in the Ukraine. This documentary brings to light several very profound observations.

First- who even knows there is a war going on right now in the Ukraine? Why isn’t it covered on the news? And where are all the outspoken humanitarians when it comes to the 1.25 million people displaced by pro-Russian rebels swooping through the largest country in Europe? It just gives the impression that all the goodwill and anti-discrimination hype is somewhat hypocritical. If another country has nothing to gain, why bother coming to the aid of these people?

Granted it is a mind-boggling complex situation. Pro-Russian citizens living right next door to pro-European citizens and those who want nothing to do with either side simply want to be a strong independent nation standing on it’s own. Ever since Russia invaded and took control of Crimea in 2014, a civil war is raging in the rest of the Ukraine.

Judah interviews people from all walks of life, in all corners of the Ukraine- peasants, business owners, mothers of soldiers, the young and old, government workers and farmers. Everyone has their own viewpoint, and most common people just want peace… and they want it at almost any cost. But the media is waging an “info war” from the Russian side, spouting propaganda and brainwashing the public into thinking those seeking to remain independent are nothing more than right wing, conservative, prejudiced Neo-Nazis. To complicate matters, the Independent Republic’s symbol is an “N” with a straight line “I” drawn through it representing “the idea of the nation”. Unfortunately the moniker does resemble the former Nazi swastika.

We all know examples of how history affects the way people think. In the Ukraine it is even worse. History books were rewritten to portray Stalin as a saint. The fact that 3 million Russian people starved under Stalin’s rule and were tortured in the gulag is either unknown or is ignored as being irrelevant. Many peasants still want the greatness that Stalin promised his nation. They are pro-Russian and feel like “the best period was in Soviet times.” And the history is complex. Life was chaotic during WW II. The dissension amongst Ukrainian citizens continues to this day. One small area called Bessarabia was historically settled by Bulgarians, Cossacks, Christian Albanians, Gagauz, Russian and Ukrainian peasants, Russian Old Believers, thousands of Germans, and Jews. They all had different perspectives of the success and failure of the late Soviet Russia… and today many of the young people have abandoned the area to find prosperity elsewhere.

Tim Judah is from London, worked for the BBC and covered the Balkan wars before taking on this assignment. He has written an objective, unbiased account of events in the Ukraine and if you have any interest as to what is going on over there, In Wartime a great book to read.

Rated 5 Stars October 15, 2016

All contents © 2016 Lois Weisberg. All rights reserved

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