[spectre] a terrible day

Raivo Kelomees offline at online.ee
Fri Feb 25 12:00:32 CET 2022

Hello all,

Just to answer your sentence Mathias Fuchs: "The Capitalist West has 
expanded zones of monetary interest and of military influence towards 
the East since 1991. NATO countries are at the border of Russia."

You write like here, in the East, is some sort of desert or swamp where 
NATO entered. You can assume that it could be the peoples will here as 
well to join NATO, or in fact any non-Russian protective military power, 
which is the way to detach yourself from your neighbor. Why? The 
historic experience living in this corner of Europe (Estonia, and 
probably all Baltic) has shown consistency of behavior of our neighbor 
Russia through the centuries. It wants to "expand" their borders as 
their is constantly some "threat" from outside. This induced paranoia 
prevails their leaders. The NATO provides opportunity to move "further" 
into West, to build stronger walls and protect nations living here. As 
the experience being alone we have had already in the 1930ies.

What concerns war in Ukraine, then mostly Putin is responsible. You are 
underestimating personal traits of autocrats which influences their 
decisions. My impression after seeing the meeting of defense board and 
hearing that parliament allowed to use military force outside the 
Russia, that there is no parliament and collective leadership in Russia 
anymore. There is no alternative opinions among decision makers. You can 
call it new Stalinism or reincarnation of it, but the fact is that some 
grim times are ahead. It is similar as during Soviet time, except the 
official power is Russia is much more "intelligent", which means they 
let to exist few alternative channels (with the label "foreign agent"), 
allowing to release steam, but all other society is fed by official TV news.

best regards



On 24/02/2022 20:11, Mathias Fuchs wrote:
> Dear friends and neighbours,
> with all shared emotions about the horrible things that happen in the 
> Ukraine and with particular sympathies for the victims of Russia's 
> invasion, might I still put up a thought for discussion?
> I saw elderly ladies in the streets of Berlin today carrying signs 
> saying "Fuck Putin". This is maybe understandable at a private level 
> of anger, but it underanalysis what is going on there.
> Putin is not an individual devil who wants to destroy a nation. The 
> actions taking are in my view a reaction to international politics 
> that are a well coordinated maneuvres of Russian Intelligence, Russian 
> Business and Russian Military. Not Putin as a person.
> The Capitalist West has expanded zones of monetary interest and of 
> military influence towards the East since 1991. NATO countries are at 
> the border of Russia. This is as if Russia would have installed 
> missiles in Canada, Cuba, and Mexico. Do you remember the histeria 
> when the Soviet Union set up missiles in Cuba?
> I hope that this conflict will be solved without costs of life and the 
> Ukrainian friends have my full sympathies, but we should not fool 
> ourselves into "Putin did it". This is a much more complex issue and 
> the NATO is not completely innocent of what is going on there.
> Do you remember that NATO is short for "North Atlantic Treaty 
> Organization"? Is the Ukraine on the North Atlantic? Why does NATO 
> want to expand to control the entire continent? Could you consider to 
> be a Russian citizen and be frightened by a military organisation 
> trying to take over the whole of Europe?
> Thanks for your thoughts
> Mathias
> On 24.02.22 11:41, Andreas Broeckmann wrote:
>> Dear friends,
>> after the build-up of the last days and weeks, this morning we woke 
>> up to a terrible new situation. The Russian attack on Ukraine is a 
>> catastrophe, for the people and the country of Ukraine, and thus for 
>> Europe, and I believe also for Russia. This war will not only bring 
>> futile and awful destruction, but it will also change many things, 
>> not only in the Ukrainian territories now under attack.
>> I'm writing to open up this space for debate. You may have other 
>> channels for such discussions elsewhere (... it has been more than 
>> twenty years ago that the Syndicate list, the precursor to Spectre, 
>> was an important channel for such discussions during the conflict in 
>> Kosovo and the NATO attacks on Serbia). But this list, with its 
>> legacy of reflecting the diversity and solidarity of artists and 
>> cultural practitioners in "Deep Europe" and beyond, is certainly 
>> available for exchange, analysis and coordination if required.
>> If there are people here on the list who can report about the 
>> situation in Ukraine, they may want to inform their international 
>> colleagues about what forms of help and solidarity might be useful.
>> And if there are people (especially in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, 
>> etc.) who would like to write anonymously, please, feel free to write 
>> to me and I will anonymise and forward any reasonable messages.
>> Andreas
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Raivo Kelomees
PhD, senior researcher
Faculty of Fine Arts
Estonian Academy of Arts
Tallinn, Estonia
Mobile +372 56 235 191
e-mail:offline at online.ee

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