“and cover mommy”

Now that he’s two, we decided to get my son off breast milk. We’d made a few half-hearted efforts earlier, that consisted of his mother’s refusal, his increasingly hysterical protests, and acquiescence. It seemed to me that this would be as hard on Danylo’s mother as it would be on him.

Danylo has been walking to the bed, uncovering a corner of the covers. Climbing in, and calling for milk. Very manager-like. His grandmother jokes that he’s like the “holova kolhospu” (head of the collective farm).

After a talk yesterday, we decided that today was the day. We were still at Yuliia’s parents for the Easter holiday and it’d be easier with their support. Yuliia has been playfully cursing me all day. Danylo called for milk a few times, but we distracted him with toys or calling attention to the cat, or the sun, or going outside to play.

When Yuliia tried to put him down for his afternoon nap, Danylo went into hysterics. We tried driving him around in the car, but it didn’t help. He didn’t get any milk during lunch, and didn’t nap either. His sobbing hysterics relented with grandma offering playful distraction.

So he didn’t go sleep.

In the afternoon he continued getting extra attention from everybody, and went to the schoolyard with his grandfather. He also rode a bus for the first time, which was a big deal for him. He knows, cars, trains, buses and other modes of transportation very well. Combined with his knowledge of colors, this is often a subject of our conversations. Yuliia drove behind the bus for several stops, until Danylo and his grandfather existed.

At dinner, he was obviously exhausted and ate handfuls of macaroni with a sort of glazed look over his eyes.

When it was dark, his grandmother brought him into the bedroom where Yuliia was already laying down, pretending to sleep. “Mama is sleeping,” his grandmother told him, in Ukrainian.

“And Danny will sleep,” he answered. He laid down near her.

Grandma called me to look. He was quietly curled up in the center of the bed.

“I’ll cover you,” I said quietly and laid his baby blanket over him.

“And cover mommy,” he said.

Touched, and not wanting to disturb anything, I quickly moved to another room to get a blanket with which I covered Yuliia.

Everything was happening better than we could have hoped. I returned to my computer to work. A few minutes later, Danylo, in his diaper came into my room, picked up a plastic box of q-tips which he likes to play with. There was also a bed where I sat working and Danylo pulled open the corner of the cover. “Do you want to sleep here?” I asked. “No,” he said, and walked back to the bedroom where his mother lay. I followed and gave him a little boost as he climbed into bed, which for him is almost shoulder-high. He was still holding the box.

I covered him again. Gave both his mom and him a kiss, and laid down next to him until he was sound asleep. Yuliia reached over him and pinched me again — playfully. Making sure I realize what I’m putting her through. Then she held my hand as Danylo fell into a deeper and deeper sleep.

Addendum: The second day was very similar to the first. Crying after lunch. Not napping. Lots of attention, and then falling asleep quickly in the evening. On the third day we’d returned to our apartment. Danylo hadn’t napped. In the evening Yuliia read to him in bed. It was Yuliia who fell asleep. When she woke, she found Danylo sleeping on the floor beside the bed, facedown in a book. She called me to come look. He did not wake up as we lifted him carefully and tucked him in.

The victims of Soviet deportations remembered in Estonia

On 25 March, twenty thousand candles, one for each of the men, women and children deported by the Soviets to Siberia in 1949, will be lighted in Tallinn, Tartu and Pärnu. Nearly 3% of the Estonian population were seized in a few days and dispatched to remote areas of Siberia.*

In the summer of 1940 the Soviet Union occupied Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as a result of the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union on 23 August 1939. In the aftermath of the Second World War, Estonia lost approximately 17.5% of its population.

http://estonianworld.com/life/25-march-victims-soviet-deportations-remembered-estonia/

Savchenko arrested on terrorism charges with parliamentary approval

Ukraine’s parliament voted on March 22 to remove the political immunity of MP Nadiya Savchenko in order to allow for her arrest and prosecution for terrorism-related charges. 291 MPs voted to open a criminal case against Savchenko (out of a 226-vote minimum majority), 277 MPs voted to detain her and 268 MPs voted to arrest her.

Ahead of the votes, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko presented 28 minutes of three days’ worth of video evidence gathered by secret surveillance that showed Savchenko explaining her plot to violently overthrow the Ukrainian government, including planning bombings inside the parliament building and a mortar attack on the Kyiv city center. At one moment, she rejects her accomplice’s proposal for a widescale revolution, instead suggesting a swift overthrow. “They need to be eliminated physically,” she said. “All of them and quickly, at that.” Among these she planned to have assassinated are President Petro Poroshenko, National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov and Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.

In response to the charges against her, Savchenko criticized the government as an evil force that is working against peace. She criticized her colleagues in parliament for failing to make enough efforts to stop the warfare in Donbas and continuing to indulge in corruption. She accused Lutsenko and his fellow EuroMaidan activists of doing the same thing in overthrowing the Yanukovych government that she had planned, essentially repeating a Kremlin talking point. The difference is that they succeeded “but the people didn’t succeed,” she said, casting herself as the people’s representative in warning that the Ukrainian people will be the biggest threat to parliament, not her. She refused to surrender her Hero of Ukraine award that she gained from the president during her incarceration in Russia as a war prisoner.

Zenon Zawada: In the big picture, what’s most important from these events is the information that has been revealed from the recordings of Savchenko planning her coup with her accomplices. Savchenko, who was in close contact with self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic leader Aleksandr Zakharchenko, revealed that his ideal scenario is to be reintegrated into Ukraine, but without the current government in place. Savchenko planned to kill Ukraine’s leaders in order to fulfill this goal, though it remains unclear whether Zakharchenko had any realistic hope for Savchenko to succeed or merely allowed her to fall victim to her own delusions. Savchenko also reveals, through her interactions with Zakharchenko, that Russia is not interested in annexing its occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Our best explanation for these bizarre events is that Savchenko is an idealist of the extreme kind who is incapable of applying a rational framework to her motives of punishing evildoers. It’s this reckless, unbounded idealism that led her to join Ukrainian paramilitary forces in Donbas, to repeatedly defy the Russian government with risky hunger strikes and now to overthrow a Ukrainian government that she accuses of killing its own citizens by waging this war in Donbas.

We expect Savchenko will be prosecuted and convicted of her crimes, receiving a harsh prison sentence despite her apparent cognitive deficiencies. The Ukrainian government will have to make an example of her to dissuade any other paramilitaries or separatists from considering similar overthrow attempts. Only until after the war is over, and the Russian threat neutralized, can she hope to be released, possibly on the basis of her cognitive deficiencies.

Needless to say, this is an incredibly tragic turn of events after Savchenko had become an international hero in her defiant stand against her illegal arrest and incarceration by the Russian government. Now she stands accused of plotting to overthrow the Ukrainian government, which could imprison her for life, far longer the 22-year sentence imposed by the Russian courts.

Explicit targeting of Jews by OUN and UPA

This historian is in conflict with other parts of the Ukrainian community. In this interview, he outlines the evidence of OUN and UPA explicitly killing Jews, advocating their displacement, and rounding them up on behalf of the Nazis.

OUN/UPA viewed Russian and Poles as their main enemy, but believed Jews were also against a Ukrainian state, and in some cases sympathetic to the Soviets.

I would be curious to look for evidence of the reasoning behind these decisions. Was there an association between the Communism, the Red Terror and Holodomor on one hand, and Ukraine’s Jewish community on the other. This association certainly exists in today’s far-right communities. Is this a recent invention, or was it palpable then?

I’ve heard elsewhere that some UPA leaders made a distinction between religious Ukrainian Jews who weren’t communism, and secular Russian Jews who were fervently Communist.

Good News. Privat Bank fraud still being investigated

A new court ruling in PrivatBank’s lawsuit against its former owners provides the first inside look at the court case, which has already seen Ukrainian oligarchs Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Boholyubov lose access to $2.5 billion in assets after a global asset freeze.

Judge Joanna Smith of the High Court of Justice in London ordered three companies linked to Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov’s Privat group to give up detailed information surrounding a series of loan agreements with the oligarchs’ former bank.
The contracts are alleged to be at the center of a massive embezzlement scheme that drove the bank to the brink of collapse in December 2016, when the Ukrainian government nationalized it to fill a $5.6 billion hole at the lender.
https://www.kyivpost.com/business/london-court-ruling-sheds-light-2-5-billion-privatbank-lawsuit.html

Russia Routed Millions to Influence Clinton in Uranium Deal, Informant Tells Congress

Told you so.

Moscow routed millions of dollars to the U.S. expecting the funds would benefit ex-President Bill Clinton’s charitable initiative while his wife, Hillary Clinton, worked to reset relations with Russia, an FBI informant in an Obama administration-era uranium deal stated.

In a written statement to three congressional committees, informant Douglas Campbell said Russian nuclear executives told him that Moscow hired American lobbying firm APCO Worldwide to influence Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state, among others in the Obama administration, The Hill reported on Wednesday.

Campbell said Russian nuclear officials expected APCO to apply its $3 million annual lobbying fee from Moscow toward the Clintons’ Global Initiative. The contract detailed four $750,000 payments over a year’s time.

http://www.newsweek.com/russia-routed-millions-influence-clinton-uranium-deal-informant-tells-congress-801686

UKRAINIAN GIRLS AGAINST EXTREME FEMINISM

a banner head banner from Kyiv’s action by extreme-left

“Working off the investments of foreign cultural marxistgrant funds, activists of Ukraine’s extreme-liberal, LGBT organisations had plotted to held a series of events in Ukrainian cities on March 8. As was expected, under the pretext of the Women’s Day, the leftist marginals arranged another promotion action for extreme feminism and LGBT, which had clear anti-patriotic features and even mocked the national coat of arms. In parallel, the female activists of patriotic organisations arranged a counter action to the cultural-marxist provocation. Holding posters with messages “feminism is hate/women must back to the tradition/more children-more happiness/feminism supress women/off feminism” they came to the Mikhailivska squere of Kyiv right against the cultur-marxist gathering, accompanied by theyr comrades from patriotic environment, since the supporters of extreme-left ideologies are prone to manifestation of aggression to the opponents. In Lviv, local young female traditionalist-minded patriots had made analogical counter-action. Few conflicts did took place on that day. In final result, the nationalists had accelerated the end of the actions of fighters with mythological “sexism manifestations and female discrimination in Ukraine.”

https://ukrainiancrusade.blogspot.com/2018/03/ukrainian-girls-came-against-extreme.html

Class hatred, then and now

Having studied the Soviet Union as extensively as I have, the parallels between today’s cultural Marxists, and yesterdays economic Marxists are terrifying.

The communists didn’t just murder people one day. They spent decades building an ideological bulwark that made it okay to murder people. They’d have traveling theaters go to villages and put on vulgar plays that blamed everyone’s suffering on the priests and the more successful farmers.

In every bureaucracy, they promoted the most fervent supporters of class hatred, and excluded its detractors.

They created such class hatred, that in some cases, after the “red terror” visited a region, the bodies of victims would be left on the street to rot. Their relatives were scared to bury them, because sympathy would indicate counter-revolutionary sentiment.

When burials did happen, it was at night. This is a recurring theme in almost every book I read about the Soviet Union.

Lazar Kaganovych, responsible for the red terror in Ukraine, set a quota of 10,000 executions a week.

I think this historic reality is similar to how everyone is afraid to condemn people who explicitly call for, or celebrate violence against white people — because pointing it out that makes a member of the condemned class.

In Commie Wonderland

Now in his 70s, and alarmed by the perverse sympathies toward communism and socialism he’s seeing in our new America, especially among Millennials, Cole in 2017 marked the centenary of communism by writing a memoir of his six surreal months in the USSR, in hopes of not only preserving that history but begging Americans to pay heed to the lessons of the failed communist experiment. He hopes to offer truth as an antidote to “mind-numbing propaganda,” then and still today.

Cole’s account is titled In Russian Wonderland, an engaging journey through unique remembrances of everything from Russia’s laughable but scary “Aeroflot” airlines, to the Russian people’s shocking abuse of “oceans of vodka,” to the omnipresence of state surveillance, to the grim behavior of Soviet workers from waitresses and waiters to hotel maids, to the diabolical annihilation of religion — from what the Kremlin called its approved “working churches” to the desecration and conversion of great holy places like Leningrad’s Kazan Cathedral into the Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism.

On and on it went, this strange life in the worker’s paradise. Truly, it was a Wonderland, at times more bizarre than the oddest scenes from Lewis Carroll’s classic. Indeed, Alice might have found herself less confused in her weird Wonderland than this baffling Bolshevik rendition drawn up in Russian.

Among Cole’s many telling anecdotes, here are a few that beg our attention and remembrance:

At one exhibit in Kazan, which, as usual, was monitored by heckling KGB hacks pretending to be passersby, an elderly gentleman discreetly brought Charles a bag of freshly picked apples. He asked Charles to accept it as a gift from an old Russian who admired the United States. Before walking away, he winked at Charles and whispered, “The sweetest of these apples are toward the bottom of the bag.”

Charles later retrieved from the bottom a piece of paper folded into a tiny cube. He opened it to find this note from the old timer: “We have a totalitarian regime. If we had a democratic republic, we would have progressed further and achieved more. Nowadays the psychiatric hospitals are filled with dissidents. All the positive comments in your comments book are immediately torn out by the KGB. You should take pride in having such a democratic country and not be overly tolerant in the face of those who have been blinded and deceived by propaganda.”

The KGB plants were stationed at every exhibit — watching, staring, brooding. As soon as the American representative would strike up a conversation with curious Russians, the plants would start up with their canned litany of harassing questions, badgering the American about his country being rife with racism, sexism, unemployment, homelessness, excoriating U.S. foreign policy, especially in Vietnam, and on and on (what we’d call liberal talking points). “But you discriminate against black people.” “Why is your government killing babies in Vietnam?”

In one case, something tragic ensued that remains seared in Charles’ memory: During most Q&A sessions at the exhibits, everyday Russians quickly clamped up when the KGB plants started their antics and barrage of mendacity. They didn’t want trouble. One day in Leningrad, however, a young man couldn’t contain his rage at the masquerade of lies dished by the government propagandist. He responded, and then the plant responded, and back and forth it went. Fact vs. falsehood, fact vs. falsehood. The young man would not back down. The crowd watched nervously. The young man’s wife pleaded with him to stop, tugging at his coat to leave. She knew the danger, but the young man couldn’t help himself. This was too unjust. In short order, says Cole, a group of “dour-looking guys in black leather jackets” suddenly materialized, as did a black van at the rear door. A goon in the van got out, signaled to the thugs, and they seized the young man, speeding away.

Charles many times has wondered what happened to that poor kid — hauled off by scoundrels serving their police state.

And if that image doesn’t shake you, picture this scenario reported by Charles when finally departing commie wonderland as his train approached Finland: The locomotive came to an unexpected full stop on an elevated trestle. From the window, Charles and friends glimpsed a powerful searchlight from somewhere below the railroad bridge. It turned out that this was standard procedure for Soviet border guards. They fixed their beaming lights under the train cars to see if any desperate soul had somehow clung himself to the bottom of the locomotive to escape utopia.

https://spectator.org/in-commie-wonderland/

“The European Union Must Stand Up to Polish Nationalism”

They hate heritage, culture, identity, and will do anything to destroy it.

Since coming to power in Poland in 2015, the nationalist Law and Justice party has enacted one outrageous measure after another, placing the nation’s courts under political control, trying to do the same with the news media, purging the civil service and, most recently, criminalizing any suggestion of Polish complicity in the Holocaust. Behind these moves runs a concerted and dangerous rewriting of history to create a narrative of heroic Polish victimhood — under the Nazis and Communists, of course, but also as a maligned defender of traditional values against a degenerate and controlling European Union.

. . . .

In fact, what the Polish government is doing is eroding democracy, and Europe must do what it can to defend its founding principles of “democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights.” The union has already taken the unprecedented step of warning Warsaw that it could lose its voting rights in the organization if it carries on.

It may not be easy for the European Union to follow through on that threat, since Hungary, for one, has vowed to veto any such sanction. But it cannot back down. If Hungary does cast a veto, the bloc could divert some of the aid that flows to Poland, and diplomats from other members could minimize contacts with Warsaw. Mr. Kaczynski will no doubt scream “diktat,” but it will come with a price.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/02/28/opinion/eu-polish-nationalism.html

100 years ago today, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

In the treaty, Bolshevik Russia ceded the Baltic States to Germany; they were meant to become German vassal states under German princelings.[2] Russia also ceded its province of Kars Oblast in the South Caucasus to the Ottoman Empire and recognized the independence of Ukraine. According to Spencer Tucker, a historian of World War I, “The German General Staff had formulated extraordinarily harsh terms that shocked even the German negotiator.”[3] Congress Poland was not mentioned in the treaty, as Germans refused to recognize the existence of any Polish representatives, which in turn led to Polish protests.[4] When Germans later complained that the Treaty of Versailles of 1919 was too harsh on them, the Allies (and historians favorable to the Allies) responded that it was more benign than Brest-Litovsk.[5]

The treaty was effectively terminated in November 1918,[6] when Germany surrendered to the Allies. However, in the meantime, it did provide some relief to the Bolsheviks, already fighting the Russian Civil War, by the renunciation of Russia’s claims on modern-day Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine and Lithuania.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Brest-Litovsk

Slovakian journalism’s darkest day

Even during the turbulent and lawless decade that followed the end of communism in 1989, no reporter was ever killed in Slovakia. Beaten and threatened, yes — on multiple occasions. But never executed with a single bullet to the heart or head, as befell Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírova in their home late last week.

https://www.politico.eu/article/jan-kuciak-gorilla-slovakia-journalist-dead-darkest-day/