Posts Tagged 'victory day'

Is this what they wanted?

9th May, Victory Day. Usually the streets in Odessa are awash with lilacs and tulips, with flags and medals, with people out living and enjoying and laughing and celebrating. Odessans love a celebration.

But yesterday, in shock at the deaths and violence here last week, scared by constant rumours of a repeat provocation by far-right or far-left or paid thugs and dupes of whoever it is trying to ruin this country, Odessans stayed home.

There was no violence, no deaths. But in the deserted town centre, a young Odessan said “I look at the empty streets and I realise the provocation has already happened. They’ve achieved what they wanted. Everyone is terrified, everyone is looking at each other with suspicion. This is our biggest celebration, today is really important to people – and it’s been taken away from us. Look – today our town is dead.”



Self-fulfilling prophecies

It’s incredible the way the conflict in Ukraine is creating its own reality as it goes along. If you say something enough times, it comes true. Maybe this is the logic of war.

People in East Ukraine over the last weeks were angry because they said the government in Kyiv had cancelled the 9 May holiday to mark Soviet victory in the Second World War. they repeated and repeated this rumour (which seems to have originated from Russian TV) and got more and more angry.

And now Kyiv has indeed cancelled the 9 May holiday because people in East Ukraine are so very angry.  Throughout the country, encouraged by Ukrainian TV, authorities have called off parades for fear of attacks and provocations.

Another self-fulfilling prophecy: People in East Ukraine got so angry because they said an army of ‘fascists’ and banderists’ from the rest of Ukraine was coming to invade their land. They said it so many times (encouraged by Russian TV) and were so convinced by what they said that they set up roadblocks, occupied buildings and picked up arms.

And now indeed there are huge volunteer brigades from Kyiv and the rest of the country, encouraged by Ukrainian TV, travelling to East Ukraine to tackle those ‘separatists’ and ‘terrorists’ who have set up roadblocks, occupied buildings, picked up arms…

It would be funny if it were not so tragic. Be very careful of what you say.




previous posts

A novel about the Crimean Tatars' return to their homeland

%d bloggers like this: