Ukrainian philosopher Volodymyr Yermolenko recently told Ezra Klein, in a New York Times interview, that Russian crime and punishment, unlike Dostoevsky's famous coupling, often involves crime without punishment, or punishment without crime. People who violate every law and taboo known to humanity live wild and corrupt in lavish excess, while those who do no harm are sent to gruesome torture and death.
Well, we don't ask why, not anymore.
We watch the horror unravel, the fragile order of past decades crumble and burn, neighborhoods full of love and life turned to graveyards, thriving worlds reduced to ashes. The Western "good guys" are brittle and ineffective, the dystopian bad guys brutal and barbaric, the innocents sacrificed within their pointless volleys. The new heroes are the old heroes, Kyivan Rus wielding truth and freedom against yet another tsunami of hatred and lies, drawing breath from a Universe cruel and beautiful, the arc of justice dipping low.
Never again, they said.
Never say never, they say.
Kirilov Church (St. Cyril's), Kyiv, Ukraine - I visited in March 1978
Frescoes restored in XIX century by Mikhail Vrubel (Blessed Virgin and Child second from left)
13 APRIL 2022