[WITI No. 68] UKR in 2014, St. Javelin, Even in war life goes on
Hello друзів (friends in Ukranian) pronouced Drusiv, by the way. George here. Welcome to my weekly newsletter called What is the Information? where I share with you with what I’m reading, writing, thinking about. Thanks for reading, hope you are all doing fine!
ласкаво просимо! (Welcome in Ukranian) pronouced laskavo prosymo
I have a confession. I haven’t spent the time cutting this over from substack to revue. So my new deadline is May 1st. I’ve got a couple things happening in the meantime. We are doing a trip to Germany for spring break - you’ve probably heard me drone on about the ridiculous cost of higher education in the US. We’re planning to send our kids there for university so we want to expose them to it. This is assuming, we are not in the middle of world war. I hope it will be a great experience. I might miss sending an issue because I don’t think I will be tapping this out on the screen of my phone…i hope not anyway.
I’m deep into a novel about the 2014 Ukrainian revolution of dignity which saw Viktor Yanukovych exiled and ushered in a young democratic government in Ukraine. I’ve spent many hours doom scrolling twitter about what the Russians now call “that which must not be named” the war in Ukraine. Apparently, the UN has banned using the word war to describe what’s currently happeing in the UKR.
The novel is called I Will Die in a Foreign Land by Kalani Pickhart. The story follows four characters in UKR during the Euromaidan: Katya, an American doctor of Ukrainian descent who heads to Kyiv to take her mind off her dead son and failing marriage. Slava, an activist in the protests who sees an opportunity to advocate for gay rights also. Misha, an engineer who worked in the Donbass region who is back in Kyiv supporting the cause and ex-Russian soldier who plays piano at protests daily.
The book seamlessly weaves in the history of Crimea, Russia, Kyiv. Providing a scaffold for thoughts as I doom scroll Twitter about this mad war in Europe. As I pay attention to this war, I reflect on why I didn’t pay more attention to Ukraine when Crimea was invaded by the Russians or during the Euromaidan or even to get a better understanding during Trump’s first impeachment. The former president was impeached for trying to blackmail Ukraine into investigating Hunter Biden to find political dirt that the Trump campaign could use against his most formidable opponent, our current president, Joe Biden. It’s so damn inspiring to see the Ukrainians defending their homeland. For me, it’s reminiscent of the American Revolution in 1776.
I also regret not paying more attention to the atrocities committed by Putin’s armies in UKR now, but previously in Syria and prior to that in Chechnya. Kharkiv joins the infamous group of cities, Aleppo and Grozny, reduced to rubble by Russian armaments.
Word of the week: Antediluvian
If you’re into other languages - this word is nearly a cognate too. Ante - similar to antes which means before in Spanish. Diluvian - almost sounds like de-lluvia. Lluvia means rain in Spanish. Before rain, before the rain, i.e. the rain that caused the biblical flood.
Find of the week: Fear then joy…
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That’s all for now…see you a week…maybe