In this age of the Now, going back in history to explain the far past in the perfect tense is tantamount to explaining slingshots to the new generation. It’s hard to compete with the selfie world why Ukraine matters to the West as much as it does. UK what?
The Ukraine matters because its a cradle of Western & Russian being. This is not Macedonia disputing a name with Greece. Ukraine has more racial tones to it than one might imagine.
Hence the reluctance to compare the current dispute (& its, as Russian propaganda would have it, benevolent benefactor, Putin) to WWII.
& I can understand that. Who cares about Aryan beginnings. Lest one forgets that the old men directing destinies for profit like Putin and The West are old turncoats fully indoctrinated with old school Cold War rhetoric. One only wonder or perhaps, understands, why China doesn’t meddle: it’s a white man’s brouhaha.
Having said that Ukraine offers a number of lessons to bilinguals & propaganda at large.
Let’s start by giving credit where credit is due: Putin & Russian propaganda. Not to mention the legal system that allowed said constellation to flourish as it did.
I mean Russia. 11 time zones which pale in comparison to written Mandarin. You have to think that Russia has got something going on for itself we, as we in the West, can barely comprehend. This is the enemy we keep close but apparently, not close enough. Hence the lesson to be learned. This bloodless land grab in part by the Putin Oligarchy gives loads.
First, laying the ground for things to fall into place is a lesson in itself & worthy of merit in any Stanford classroom anywheres. I mean, it’s all about the wooing & by wooing the russians abroad, enticing them to embrace Mother Russia, well, that’s just hard to ignore & something many countries worldwide are going to heed. Thanks Putin, for that lesson.
Or as it came out in Slitz 1987, Eldricht, Sisters of Mercy frontman said, “Mother Russia” was a call for the West to give up Berlin to the Soviets, “because in reality they already control the city. It’s only stupid to pretend otherwise”.
The lesson then went amiss for Western intelligence. Russian propaganda to turn Russian speakers to turncoats is admirable. Why, they have a sleeping army just about everywhere!
Meanwhile, America firsters are still doing 1700’s patriotic propaganda. Go USA!
Which brings us to the nasty bit about bilingualism.
Which by the by’s Russian has won singled handedly by procuring a substantial faithful following by mere allegiance in preference to Russian vis-à-vis Ukrainian. One can only speculate as to how that came about. Although one is hard pressed not to believe that old apparatchiks from the ol’ Soviet empire left in place old school of thought seemingly harmless to the population. As viruses go, this one is unwanton to ignore. Which brings the more interesting and aggressive case of the Latvia people who flatly refused to accommodate the Russian language. Which the Ukrainians failed to imitate after the dissolution of the Soviet Empire.
Although am sort of ecstatic about successful Russian propaganda this bodes ills for bilinguals worldwide. As it were, bilinguals are in dire situations because they are proficient in more than the monolinguals can handle. Seeing the Russians turn sides like they are not Ukrainian in the face of the legal quagmire they are flirting with means that Russians elsewhere are now the focal point in any state run policy when it comes to Russians abroad. Bad news for them indeed but also bad news for bilinguals worldwide because we are now seen as potential turncoats and pawns for intelligence services worldwide since, well, we can turn anywhere.
No wonder I have low self-esteem indeed.