Category Archives: War in Ukraine (2022)

The Other War in Ukraine


In north eastern Italy an Orthodox Ukrainian Church leader in Budinay (SP) is leading a revolt by his flock of Ukrainian and Russian immigrants against its mother church in Moscow to join the Istanbul based Orthodox church instead whose leader has criticized the war. The leader of the Russian based church has taken a very different approach. There are roughly 100 million Russian Orthodox, the largest church within Orthodox Christianity. Their leader is “Patriarch Kirill who has framed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in holy terms.” Kirill has been publicly preaching against the decadence of the western world including its excess consumption, “gay pride parades.”  He said, in talking of the Ukraine war “we are talking about human salvation. Andrey Sonitsyn from Russia says “Krill is supporting the war in Ukraine.”


Father Cyril Hovorun said “the church is the main supplier of Putin’s ideology.”  He was ordained by Krill. He says the weapons for the war come from the Kremlin but the ideas come from the church. He believes that for Putin this was is  “a sacred operation…a mission from God to purge the world of the western ideas and western values.” He saw this ideology emerging when he worked in Russia. He protested against that but lost that battle.  During the Communist era, the church was required to push Soviet ideals and it is widely believed in Russia that Kirill was in fact a member of the KGB.


Hovorun believes that Krill was not enthusiastic about being part of the Soviet government. He calls it a “marriage of convenience not love.”  They have to tolerate each other because each uses the skills and resources of the other. Rather than fighting each other, they co-operate with each other, “each for their own end.”


The resources of each of those two major powers in Russia are vast. Sergei Chapnin  also worked for Kirill. According to him, Kirill is “by rough estimations a billionaire and is in fact one of the oligarchs.” He sees him as just like the other oligarchs with financial interests.  He also sees the church as “a state propaganda machine spreading Putin’s message as the defender of conservative values against a morally corrupt west. Chapnin even sees his expansionist ambitions as even exceeding those of Putin.”  He thinks Krill’s main goal is power and influence.

So power and influence is being purchased by a church leader joining forces in an unholy matrimony—sounds like Christian fascism to me as Timothy Snyder called it in his book The Road to Unfreedom.

All of this proves once again, that when politics and religion mate they can breed monsters.

Fascists want to preserve ‘traditional values’


According to philosopher Jason Stanley, who wrote the book How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them,  Russian fascism,  is different from German fascism which wanted to install Germans as dominating the world. Putin is about traditional ethno-nationalists dominating each of their countries  with a strong powerful masculine leader. The leader might be a woman of course, like Marine Le Pen  had she won the French national election in 2022. Usually the strong leader though is a man—like Putin—i.e. a traditional male bully.

Stanley says  the job of the fascist leader  is always about “protecting traditional values against democracy.” The fascist parties therefor must show that they are not corrupt decadent and weak like western democracies. That is what Putin believes and fosters. The strength of the bully. This is what Putin has claimed to be doing in both the 2014 and 2022 wars in Ukraine.


Putin is not alone either. For example, the United States has had such anti-democratic leader too—I.e. Donald Trump. To resist, the democracies must show that they are strong. They can be strong, but they must show it now that they are under attack from anti-democratic forces. We will see if they are strong enough.

So far Ukraine has showed it is strong–perhaps stronger than Russia expected. That is what Ukraine is facing.

 Putin is demonstrating Russian  fascism Putin style.


The Politics of the Bully

What is fascism?  It obviously has many faces depending on which country it is operating.  I have my own definition that I think works. Fascism is the philosophy of the bully. I really think that is the essence of fascism.

Few thinkers are as cogent and convincing about fascism as Jason Stanley a professor of Philosophy at Yale University and author of the book How Fascism Works: the Politics of Us vs Them. Fascism is often linked with empire and the attempt to restore colonial glory and with that the glory of the colonizing state. This is a classic kind of fascism.  Both Hitler and Mussolini employed it and nearly 70 years later so did Donald Trump though his fascism was aspirational. He wanted to bring it about. He tried to bring it about, he just didn’t quite get there. At least not yet. He is still hanging around ready to try again.

There are a range of fascists or near fascists around the world. For example, Viktor Orban of Hungry who is so popular among the American right, particularly Trucker Carlson.

Classic fascism can appeal to many different forms of bigotry, racism, and authoritarianism such as hatred of blacks, Jews, LGBGTQ and other groups. Such fascism loves to attack weaker and more vulnerable people. That is why I call it the politics of the bully. That is why racism is so vital to fascism.  Fascists love to pick on vulnerable minorities.  As Damon Young said, “cowardice is the fuel of white supremacy.” I will come back to that later in a subsequent post.

Classic fascism like all of these is closely linked to violence and militarism. I characterize it as the politics of the political bully. As Jason Stanley said on Amanpour & Co. “we find fascist leaders gaining in popularity when they can talk about lost empire and when they tell their citizens that they are going to be ones to restore their empire.”

According to Stanley, since Russia is no longer a super power either militarily or economically like China and the United States are, it has tried to become a super power ideologically instead. That is why Putin has emphasized so much ideology. That means, according to Stanley:

 “Putin is trying to be the leader of the world’s traditionalists–the ethno-nationalists,  the patriarch , the anti-democrats, and white supremacists. He tries to convince people that he is going to defend traditional values against decadence and weakness.


Really that is exactly what Tucker Carlson is trying to do as well. He is trying to gather all the ethnonationalist movements to him.  At the same time he said he wanted to de-Nazify Ukraine. Of course, he did that to tap into deep historical roots and anxieties of the Russian and Ukrainian people. Stanley says that is “classic fascism. Classic fascism involved calling your enemy what you yourself are.”


Since the Maidan revolution of 2014 Ukraine has adopted a democratic revolution so Putin will remove it from institutions, schools and politics. He will place the leaders on show trials, if he can, execute or imprison them and then replace them with puppets or Russian fascist ideologues and extinguish completely Ukrainian democratic identity and Ukrainian identity full stop. That is what Ukraine is facing. That is fascism Putin style.

Bullies never stop. We learned that with Hitler and Mussolini. That is why we had to help Poland against Hitler and that is why we must help Ukraine now against Putin .


Truth Under Siege

Despite the confusion manufactured by the Russian fascists and their allies around the world, not all forgot what the Fascists had done. They remembered the young students who were beaten on a cold November in the Maidan in Ukraine in 2013.  Ukrainian Mothers and fathers heroically came to the streets in support of “their children.” Thousands of people came to Kyiv and put their lives in danger. Since then and again in 2022 people around the world have come to appreciate the heroic defiance of ordinary Ukrainians. No one else has defended truth like Ukrainians.  Timothy Snyder described their appearance in the Maidan and Kyiv in 2013 this way:


“One can record that these people were not fascists or Nazis or members of a gay international conspiracy or Jewish international conspiracy or a gay Nazi Jewish international conspiracy as Russian propaganda suggested to various target audiences. One can mark the fictions and contradictions. This is not enough. These utterances were not logical arguments or factual assessments, but a calculated effort to undo logic and factuality. Once the intellectual moorings were loosed, it was easy for Russians (and Europeans and Americans) to latch on to well-funded narratives provided by television and the internet, but it was impossible to work one’s way  towards an understanding of people in their own setting: to grasp where they were coming from, what they thought they were doing, what sort of future they imagined for themselves.”


Ukrainians were not only fighting for their country they were fighting for the truth. They were battling unreason.  I am sorry to say most of us around the world did not realize that at the time. At least I know I did not realize that until about 6 years later.


Ukrainians had begun by defending a European future they had chosen but, as Snyder said, they found themselves fighting for a sense that “there could be a past, a present, and a future.”

Russian propagandists claimed the protest at the Maidan was “a right wing coup,” but the real coup according to Snyder was when Putin in 2011 and 2012 returned to the office of president in Russia, which was then not allowed by law.  Snyder believes that Putin wanted to divert attention from his illegal usurpation. He was quite successful as many people in Europe and North America were duped into thinking it was a right-wing coup. As Snyder said,


“The Russian claim of a “coup” in Ukraine was among the most cynical of the Kremlin formulations, since the very Russians who made it that, had expected Yanukovych (Ukraine’s president ) to be removed by force and organized (failed or successful) coup d’état in nine Ukrainian districts. The issue in Ukraine was the weakness of the rule of law and the associated inequality of wealth and ubiquity of corruption. It was obvious to protesting Ukrainians that the rule of law was the only way to distribute resources collected by oligarchs more equitably through the society, and to allow others to succeed in the economy. Throughout the entire period of the Maidan, social advance in predictable and just conditions was the central goal. The first protesters were concerned with improving the rule of law by the Europeanization  of Ukraine.”


In the current war in Ukraine, the Russian propagandists have been trying similar tricks, like claiming the Russians are there to remove Nazis in control of the Ukraine government and many people in Russia believe that. However, I have not seen much evidence that anyone else believes their propaganda except to some extent American conservatives like Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump.  That is a huge improvement over what happened in Ukraine in 2013 and 2014.

Once again it seems like Ukraine is the bulwark against fascism and once again it is paying a heavy price, but this time at least with great support from the west. Once again Ukraine is defending truth again under siege.



Although the first Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014 like the second in 2022, was advertised by the Russians to be  a battle against fascism, as everyone outside of Russia understood, it is interesting how many fascists from the around the world support the Russian fascists. In 2014 The American white supremacists Richard Spencer, Matthew Heimbach, and David Duke celebrated Putin and defended his war. In fact, Russia, borrowed the Confederate battle flag as the basis for their new flag over the occupied territories in Ukraine. The Polish fascist Konrad Rekas also endorsed Putin. The European far right also demonstrated approval of Russia’s actions. Many of these supporters also expressed anti-Semitic tropes. The neo-Nazis of Greece praised Russia for fighting the international Jewish conspiracy. Hungary’s leader, Jobbik invited Dugin to Moscow while he praised Eurasia. The Italian fascist party lauded Putin’s “courageous position against the powerful gay lobby.”


In 2022 Russians were supported by Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump who both voiced sympathy or admiration for Putin.


In 2014 the array of fascists helped Putin to achieve his goal of dismembering in part Ukraine. As Timothy Snyder said,

“The schizofascist lies displaced the events in Ukraine and the experiences of Ukrainians. Under the weight of all the contradictory concepts and hallucinatory visons of spring 2014, who would see or remember the individual on the Maidan, with his or her facts and passions, his or her desire to be in history and make history.”


The lies were meant to spread confusion and they did exactly that. The lies were not expected to convince people, just create enough doubt to give them cover. That’s all fascists need. Confusion is the fertile soil of fascism.


Pulverizing Truth


The first task of the fascist is to pulverize the truth. That is exactly what Russian did in Ukraine after the war in the Ukraine in 2014.


During the Second World War Russian propagandists identified the enemy of Russia as the “fascists.”  That was certainly right in part. Clearly, the Nazis of Germany were fascists as were their Italian allies. The Russians also associated fascism with capitalism, again, not entirely without reason. Later, Brezhnev said that fascism was the eternal threat Russia felt from the west.  As a result, according to Timothy Snyder, “ ‘fascist’ meant anti-Russian.”  Thus by definition, fascists were opposed to Russians so it became impossible to claim, as I claim, that the Russians were fascists.

Russians are the epitome of the modern fascists. They are the ones that the “wanna be” fascists, like Donald Trump, are jealous about. Trump on more than one occasion has pretty well admitted that. He wants to have military parades and he wants everyone in government to do exactly what he wants, whether it is moral, legal, right, or not. That’s a fascist. Putin can do it. Trump had to be satisfied with trying to do it.


As Snyder said,

In the Russian language it was practically a grammatical error to imagine that a Russian could be a fascist. In contemporary Russian discourse, it is easier for an actual Russian fascist to call a non-fascist a “fascist” than it is for a non-fascist to call a Russian fascist a “fascist.”


For that reason, Russians like alexander Dugin would call Ukrainians who were defending their country “junta mercenaries from the ranks of the Ukrainian swine-fascists.” As well, for that reason, a fascist such as Alexander Prokhanov could describe fascism as something “that spilled in from the West to threaten Russian virginity.” As well he wrote of fascism as being “black sperm” that threatened “the golden goddess of Eurasia.”

Once again note the coupling of racism and sexual anxiety. Together they produce the toxic brew of fascist ideology.

 When they were done the Russian had not only completed an assault on Ukraine, they had completed an assault on truth. That is the modus operandi of fascism.




Schizofascism and The Russian Spring


The Russian intervention in the Donbas in 2014 was called “the Russian Spring.” it  was so wildly inappropriate one might have thought George Orwell invented the description.  It was like saying War is Peace. Timothy Snyder in his book The Road to Unfreedom was much more accurate when he said, “It was certainly springtime for Russian fascism.” Russia of course tried to paint it as a liberation as they did again in 2022.


The fascist Alexander Dugin was happy for he saw it as the “expansion of liberation (from American’s) ideology into Europe.” Another fascist Alexander Prokhanov called a Ukrainian politician of Jewish origin a “ghoul” and as “bastard.”  He also said chaos in Ukraine was the work of Israel’s Mossad.  As if all that was not enough lies, he also said on TV that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was the fault of Ukrainian Jews.

Snyder described this as follows: “This was a new variety of fascism, which could be called schizofascism, actual fascists calling their opponents ‘fascists’, blaming the Holocaust on the Jews, treating the Second World War as an argument for more violence.” The Soviet foreign minister in 2022 echoed this same type of thinking when he said Jews were some of the worst offenders during the Holocaust.  The fascist theory was that Russia was always innocent and thus could never be fascist. Russia’s enemies were always fascists.  Once more, this reminds me of the American proto-fascists who cannot tolerate the idea that America might not be innocent. That is what their fear of critical race theory for example, is all about. That is why they don’t want anything to say anything critical of America. To them, America is by definiiton always right and just.

During the Second World War Soviet propaganda identified the enemy as “fascists” and ever since, it is believed there  that fascists are their enemy. That is one of the reasons Russians in both Ukraine wars in 2014 and again in 2022 were so quick to accept Russian propaganda. They had grown up with such ideas.  During World War II it was of course true that the fascists were their enemy, but in time their own supporters became fascists in all but name. Soviet ideology also held that fascism arose out of capitalism, once again, not entirely without truth. From this beginning, Soviet propaganda turned the permanent enemy from the west into “fascism” even though they became much more fascist than their enemies.  When truth dies, lies become truths.

 That is why the assault on truth is so important and why it is vital to defend truth.

In 2014 when Russia invaded Ukraine, Putin characterized himself as the Redeemer from beyond history. As Snyder pointed out, Putin characterized the invasion of Ukraine which was led by the “Little Green Men” who wore green uniforms without insignia, as “a spiritual defense against permanent western attack.” Putin sees himself as saving Christianity from Western perversion.  The west wanted to separate what was essentially one nation. This was the same line Putin used again 8 years later, in 2022, when he tried to finish the job he left unfinished in 2014. Malofeev described the Russian invasion as a war against eternal evil: “for those who do battle there, the war looks like a war waged against hordes fighting under the banner of the anti-Christ with Satanic slogans.” What could be more eternal than the campaign against Sodom?” That’s why Snyder refers to Russian fascism as Russian Christian fascism. They claimed to be Christian, but are actually fascists.

When Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 they telephoned confederates in the region to help them plan a coups d’état.  They later used the same methods as a template around Ukraine. As Snyder said,

“A crowd would storm the regional state administration building,” and then some new assembly would coerced to declare independence and ask Russia for help. In Kharkiv, a crowd of locals and Russian citizens (brought by bus from Russia) did indeed break into the regional state administration building, after first storming the opera house by mistake. These people beat and humiliated Ukrainian citizens who were seeking to protect the building. The Ukrainian writer Serhiy Zhadan refused to kneel and had his skull broken.”


Russian propaganda was so effective that from the 1970s on Russians by and large believed that the word “fascist” meant anti-Russian. As a result they don’t believe it is wrong to think that their enemies are all fascists.

In 2014 the Russian propaganda machine claimed that  the Americans had installed a “Nazi junta” in Ukraine, Just as 8 years later they said they had not invaded Ukraine they performed a special military operation to protect it from fascists.  They claimed that by invading Ukraine they were defeating an American occupation. To do that it was necessary for them to drive out the American ruling elite, as well as European bureaucracy and Ukrainian.  Just add perverts to that list and you have a complete list of “fascist” enemies.


Izborsk Club: Russia’s Republican Party


The Izborsk Club was the intellectual hub of the new Russian nationalism. Its founder was fascist novelist Alexander Prokhanov, Vladimir Putin’s friend. The club was endorsed by Putin. Many of Russia’s fascist ideas grew out of that club. It was created in September 2012. Taking their lead from Ivan Ilyin, the club manifesto contained the claim that “actuality was a Western weapon against Russia.”  Or to put it another way: Truth is anti-Russian. 2 years later the little green men invaded Ukraine.

 The club believed that there was a deadly threat at the centre of Russia and this, of course, came from liberal values. This was part of the war of liberal values against traditional values and the fascists were on the side of tradition, just like their American conservative counterparts.  As Timothy Snyder explained in his book The Road to Unfreedom, they saw liberal values as

“the lethal ideological and transformational ‘machine’ that destroyed all the bases and values of the “White” Romanov empire and then destroyed all the foundations  of the “Red” Soviet empire. The result was chaos. The liberal machine was supported by social scientists, anthropologists, historians, economists, specialists in “chaos theory,” and importantly, “masters of information wars.”


In other words, they were as anti-intellectual as those conservatives in America so well described by Richard Hofstadter in his book Anti-Intellectualism in American Life. With both American and Russian conservatives, anti-intellectualism paves the road to unfreedom. Or as Goya said, the sleep of reason brings forth monsters. The consequence of course, was the war on truth on both continents and both led by conservatives. As Timothy Snyder said,

“For the Eurasianists of the Izborsk Club, facts were the enemy, Ukraine was the enemy, and facts about Ukraine were the supreme enemy. An intellectual task of Izborsk Club was to produce narratives that transported any such facts toward oblivion. Indeed, the mission of the Izborsk Club was to serve as a barrier to factuality.”


Does that not sound exactly like the American Republican Party? Over and over again I am amazed at how Russian Christian Fascism is the twin of American Christian Fascism. In Russia it led to Ukraine. Where it will lead in the United States we can only speculate.

Vladimir Putin, Alexander Dugin, & Alexander Prokhanov: Political Fiction


Alexander Prokhanov was Putin’s companion in a radio program in 2011 where Putin had cited Ivan Ilyin. Prokhanov and also Alexander Dugin enlisted the idea of Eurasia as an alternative to the despised liberal west.  Both used this idea to try to bring back Soviet fascism. Like Hitler, Prokhanov blamed international Jewry (the typical fascist scapegoat) for inventing ideas of an enslaved homeland. As Timothy Snyder said, “Like Dugin, Prokhanov openly embraced political fiction, seeking to create images that would exude meaning before people had a chance to think for themselves.” People who think for themselves are the greatest enemy of fascism.


Like Putin and Ilyin, Prokhanov found an enemy in sexual perversion.  All them of them agreed that perverts were the enemy of Christian fascists although Putin of course never called himself a fascist. He considered himself an enemy of fascism, but he was a fascist. They all argued in favour of traditional values that were opposed to liberal perversion.  A good example of this was Prokhanov’s statement after a meeting with Barack Obama, for the Russians “it was if they had all been given a black teat, and they all suck at it with lust and mammalian smacking…In the end I was humiliated by this.” Blacks of course are the other standard enemy of fascists.


As Timothy  Snyder said,

“Prokhanov’s next move was to claim that factuality was hypocrisy: “Europe is vermin that has learned to call heinous and disgusting things beautiful.” Whatever Europeans might seem to be doing or saying, “you don’t see their faces under the mask.” In any event, Europe was dying: “The white race is perishing: gay marriages, pederasts, rule the cities, women can’t find men.”  And Europe was killing Russia: “didn’t get infected with AIDS, they deliberately infected us.”

Notice that  Russian white supremacists, like their American counterparts, try to stoke fears that the white race is perishing and needs to be saved. Just like the young American domestic terrorists in Buffalo last week who walked in to a supermarket with a gun to kill blacks and prevent blacks from replacing whites.  Fascism is similar the world over.

It seems strange that so often for fascists, a fundamental problem for them were the Jews and blacks Jews rattle the fascist cage and paid a heavy price for that in so many fascist states.


Timothy Snyder described the situation with Prokhanov this way:

“The fundamental problem, said Prokhanov in this interview (with the Izborsk) was the Jews.  “Antisemitism,” he said, is not a result of the fact that Jews have crooked noses or cannot correctly pronounce the letter ‘r.’ It is a result of the fact that Jews took over the world, and are using their power for evil.”  In a move that was typical of Russian fascists, Prokhanov deployed the symbolism of the Holocaust to describe world Jewry as a collective perpetrator and everyone else as the victims: “Jews, united humanity in order to throw humanity into the furnace of the liberal order, which is now a catastrophe.” The only defense against the international Jewish conspiracy was a Russian redeemer. Eurasianism was Russia’s messianic mission to redeem mankind. It “has to encompass the entire world.”


Prokhanov thought this would happen when Russia, Ukraine and Belarus merge. That is exactly Putin’s goal.  That is what he meant by Eurasia and Prokhanov acknowledged that Putin had declared this.

And of course, Putin saw himself as the Russian redeemer against the perversions of the west. And like so many redeemers, he brought ruin,  not paradise. Just like the young killer in Buffalo. And so many others.


Night Wolves and Little Green Men


Sometimes propaganda gets down right weird. This was one of those times.

During the invasion of Ukraine in 2014 an incredible thing happened. The country was invaded by “little green men.” At least so it appeared.

Beginning on February 24, 2014 approximately  10,000 Russian special forces, in green uniforms without any insignia, moved northward from their bases in the southern Crimea through the Crimean peninsula. They had the right to be in Crimea pursuant to a treaty that allowed them to have military bases, but the moment they left those bases their actions were illegal, since the treaties did not permit that.

Unfortunately, Kyiv military authorities were caught by surprise and in order to avoid further violence ordered Ukrainian soldiers not to resist and as a result by February 26 the “little green men,” as they came to be called, and who were actually Russian soldiers in disguise, had seized the regional parliament in Simferopol where they raised the Russian flag. On February 28 the Russian parliament approved the annexation of Ukrainian territory into Russia. On that day, for the first time President Obama made his first public statement about what was happening in Ukraine.

An amazing public spectacle was provided by a Russian biker gang (I kid you not—little  green men and a Russian biker gang). I told you sometimes things get weird in the world of Russian propaganda. The gang was called the Night Wolves. They were actually “a paramilitary and propaganda arm of the Putin regime,” according to Timothy Snyder in his book The Road to Unfreedom. The bikers had organized rallies in Crimea for years sometimes accompanied by President Putin. Earlier one of the Night Wolves had described their ideology this way:

“You have to learn to see the holy war underneath the everyday. Democracy is a fallen state. To split ‘left’ and ‘right’ is to divide.  In the kingdom of God there is only above and below. All is one. Which is why the Russian soul is holy. It can unite everything. Like in an icon, Stalin and God.”


As Timothy Snyder said,

“Here was Ilyin’s philosophy, Surkov’s geopolitics, and Putin’s civilization expressed in a few words.

            The Night Wolves found concise ways to translate sexual anxiety into geopolitics and back again. As a male-only club devoted to black leather, the Night Wolves naturally had a strong position on homosexuality, which they defined as an attack by Europe and the United States. A year later, celebrating the Russian invasion, the supreme leader Alexander Zaldostanov remembered their proud parade around Crimea in this way: “For the first time we showed resistance to the global Satanism, the growing savagery of Western Europe, the rush to consumerism that denies all spirituality, the destruction of traditional values, all this homosexual talk, the American democracy.” According to Zaldostanov, the slogan of the Russian war against Ukraine should be “death to faggots.” The association of democracy with gay Satan was a way to make law and reform foreign and unthinkable.”


This is what Timothy Snyder meant by “Christian fascism.”  The Christianity was surprisingly similar actually to American evangelicalism and that is no accident.

 Just as they did later in their second invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Russian leaders claimed they were not invading Ukraine, because Russia and Ukraine were one. You can’t invade your own country. Thus Russia ignored 1,000 years of history and the referendum in Ukraine following the collapse of Soviet Russia in 1991 where they voted to be independent. Of course, as Snyder said, “this is the language of empire.” Not the language of truth. Putin explained that Ukraine’s problems were a consequence of having democratic elections which led to changes in power. He called democracy, “an alien American implant.

Russian international lawyers, who for years had been arguing obsessively that territorial boundaries and state sovereignty had to be respected, they changed their views, as lawyers sometimes do, and began to spread further confusion when they said because the Ukrainian state had withered away, invasion and annexation were justified. Of course, that chaos was caused by the Russian invasion, but somehow that was not relevant to these lawyers.

As Russian propagandists have done so often, (Including the invasion of 2022) they limited Ukrainian access to all independent media so that their own media could spread the false “truth” that Ukrainians had a choice between Russia and Nazism. As I write they are doing the same thing in Russia. The Russians thus arranged for a “referendum” where Ukrainians had 2 “choices” both of which affirmed the Russian annexation of Crimea by Russia. The first option was to vote for the annexation of Crimea by Russia. The second option was to vote for the restoration of the “autonomy” of Crimean authorities who had been installed by Russia as puppets and who requested annexation by Russia. The turnout for the vote was 30% and about half voted for each option. Then Putin announced that he would accept the will of the Ukrainian people as expressed in that vote.

Thus the boundaries of the Russian federation were extended because of the “will” of the Ukrainian people. In the world of propaganda that makes sense.