Living in Cambridge I encounter many students socially. Like every other section of society they include many individuals exhibiting numerous characteristics. Most of them are less likely to...
As always at times of international crisis, we are bombarded by strident propaganda from both sides – propaganda that skilfully combines half-truths, distortions and outright lies. In Ukraine and Russia the resulting mix is emotionally potent enough to set working people speaking slightly different languages at one another’s throats.
Each side summons the revered ghosts of World War Two to its ranks. Pro-Ukrainian scribblers present Putin as a new Hitler. Russian propaganda calls the change of regime in Kiev a ‘fascist coup’ and casts Russia as a heroic knight setting out once again to save Europe from fascism.
Although there are some parallels between post-Soviet Russia and Weimar Germany, Putin is hardly an adventurer on the same grand scale as Hitler. He is, rather, taking advantage of disarray inside a neighbouring country to reincorporate marginal territory with strong historical ties to Russia (as he did in Georgia in 2008).