On the use of 'ethnic cleansing' in the case of Nagorno Karabakh

Originally posted on the Fediverse I see there is some hesitance in using the expression “ethnic cleansing” to refer to what has been going on in recent days in Nagorno Karabakh. Here is the textbook definition: Rendering an area ethnically homogeneous by using force or intimidation to remove from a given area persons of another ethnic or religious group, which is contrary to international law. (source: EU/ UN Security Council: Final Report of the Commission of Experts established Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780/1992)

On Ukrainians and Russians as 'One People'

Originally posted on the Fediverse “Ukrainians and Russians as ‘One People’: An Ideologeme and its Genesis”, by Pål Kolstø, has been published open access last week. It offers some context on the use of related concepts applied to Russians and Ukrainians (and Belarusians): “triune nation” (mostly Tsarist), “brotherly peoples” (mostly Soviet), and “one people” (both pre-Soviet and present). Putin himself used all of them, but eventually seems to prefer the “one people” line: Russians and Ukrainians are just one people, i.

On Prigozhin, and Putin's 'power vertical'

Originally posted on the Fediverse “Wagner group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has launched another diatribe against the Russian army. Is he a loose cannon, or a Kremlin puppet?” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/jun/09/russian-armed-forces-infighting-yevgeny-prigozhin I’m still all in the “Kremlin puppet” camp; he still has no power that is independent of the tutelage he receives from the Kremlin. Fundamentally, Prigozhin has no power base that would allow him to run a half-decent coup. He is no alternative to the Kremlin.

On mind-reading, Putin, and not so fuzzy goals

A comment posted in response to Sam Greene’s 11 February 2023 newsletter. I feel there is good reason why Simonyan would want her audiences to believe that those goals were so fuzzy as to have no actual meaning, and hence part of a genius strategy that leaves adversaries clueless. These goals may have been “purposefully vague”, but they still had a discernible meaning, and it’s now convenient to pretend they didn’t for obvious reasons.

Nationalist TV shows in Russia - Tsargrad.tv

[Originally posted to the Fediverse - [Source](https://fediverse.giorgiocomai.eu/notice/AQ3iJWU5D04kq0rj84] I have looked at a full broadcast live yesterday night on (nationalist) Tsargrad TV, and rather than the outrageous quotes that inevitably emerge - and are inevitably picked up by the BBC’s great Francis Scarr - what I found more interesting was the framing, i.e. let’s talk about the issues that the authorities don’t want to talk about, as what they say does not make sense.

On Russia's formal claim to territories it knew it wouldn't control

Originally posted to the Fediverse - Source] One of the “big decisions” that looks puzzling in relation to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is why did Putin decide to declare Russian sovereignty over more parts of Ukraine (Kherson and Zaporizhzhia) not when he could still hope to actually conquer them, but at a point in time when it was already evident that the Russian army could not plausibly cling to what it had, much less gain new ground.