Posted to YouTube on February 19, 2023, this has seemed to me an extraordinary retrospective for this one-year anniversary–and may there not be another with the conflict ongoing–of Russia’s entirely surreal and unwarranted invasion of Ukraine.

My second-row seat to history, i.e., the modern desktop on the World Wide Web, has been overwhelmed by all of the option, and this day the live “presser”, now a recording for history, by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky-worth every second of its 2:20:55 run time. Also in the audience: The New York Times with its “Live Updates: On War’s Anniversary, Allies Support Ukraine With Words and Weapons.” There’s no waiting on the mail these days as the time between the question asked and answered and its appearance in the most reliable media has a lag time of about 10 minutes (for the typing into publication, no doubt).

For commiseration, memory, and solidarity with Ukraine in the defense of freedom this day: Bucha, Donetsk, Mariupol, etc.

For western can-do obligation, optimism, and spirit related to Ukrainian refugees in a time of war initiated by tyrant deserving of the title, “Tsar Nobody”: UNHCR Data; The Economist on the experience of Ukrainian refugees; and ordinary Americans rising to the occasion to host Ukrainians displaced by Russia’s war.

I have noted with sustained conviction the idea that Putin will not stop his own criminal assaults on Ukraine and against the west in general until stopped, and, frankly, I believe the entire relationship structure of the Russian “Mafia State” must be betrayed, confused, disinformed, hounded, and manipulated into the chaos, collapse, and corruption it has had in mind for all of the rest of the world. Putin, Kadyrov, Prigozhin: political criminals (my two most relevant signatures on Twitter: “#MaligNarcs” and “#PolitCrims”).

For Insight and Related Online

I have been relaying the following URLs for some time and have no longer the patience for typing, retyping, copying or pasting the same damning set of excellent independent research–>

David Satter on Putin’s ascent to power via the Moscow Apartment Bombings: https://www.nationalreview.com/2016/08/vladimir-putin-1999-russian-apartment-house-bombings-was-putin-responsible/

Anna Politkovskaya on the Putin-permitted Russian Army’s brutalizing of Chechen villages during the Second Chechen War: https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/S/bo3617244.html

John Schinder on Al Queda and Aymen al Zawahiri’s stay in Russia, winter 1996-7,in relation to 9/11 and probably a “reflexively controlled” New Nationalism across EU/NATO: https://www.businessinsider.com/exploring-al-qaedas-murky-connection-to-russian-intelligence-2014-6

By yours truly, James S. Oppenheim, on post-Cold War history, 1992-2022, and 30 years of optimistic “peace dividend” cooperation with Moscow even while it grew as a Russian “kleptocracy” (rule by thieves) and resumed its support for dictatorships and terrorist organizations worldwide–https://conflict-backchannels.com/2022/07/19/detecting-post-soviet-russias-black-narrative-of-revenge-for-89-and-91/

I think that’s enough to tie Russia’s abysmal purposes in Ukraine to its government’s criminal character at home. Russians have proven weak or bereft of power at home–more the latter, but they have nonetheless painted themselves before the world–and have made themselves ugly worldwide.