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Why People Never Believe That War Is Coming – Until It Is Too Late

In a sinister irony, the NATO summit in Warsaw will mark two years since Ukraine launched its ‘anti-terrorist operation’

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

The author is a famous Russian writer of Chechen background. He lives in St. Petersburg.

War always starts unexpectedly. Deepest dreams occur before dawn. People cannot believe that their peaceful lives are over. On June 21, 1941 the Soviet nation was more sure than ever that war wouldn’t happen. It was clear to everyone that sooner or later they would have to fight the fascist beast, but not today. Not tomorrow. German troops along our borders were just training. The main thing was not to panic and respond to provocations. Knowing the inevitable, a human heart desperately clings to the hope that the storm will pass. The enemy always takes advantage of this, attacking when least expected.

<figcaption>Internationalist  Donbass resistance 2 years ago. In the center - Russian writer Zakhar Prilepin, a friend of the author of this article</figcaption>
Internationalist Donbass resistance 2 years ago. In the center - Russian writer Zakhar Prilepin, a friend of the author of this article

Today NATO troops are at our door, carrying out training exercises along our borders. There are an increasing number of NATO military bases around Russia. The Federal Republic of Germany accepts a new military doctrine,  that Russia is an enemy. Our propagandists, repeating statements by ambassadors and other representatives of the Federal Republic of Germany word for word, say: you simply misunderstood the German word – it does not mean ‘enemy’, this is how they refer to a friend. But training exercises are going on at our borders. It’s no big deal. No one is planning to attack. War will never happen. Don’t panic, don’t respond to provocations. Lock arms in safe warehouse and give the key to the German ambassador to avoid the temptation to respond to provocations.  

At the end of the last century, the nations of the Soviet state, losing their Motherland, sensed disaster in the air. However, until the last minute, they didn’t believe things would go as they did. That Nazis would seize power on the outskirts; terrorists would penetrate our houses. Wars would break out here and there. They would kill ordinary people, soldiers and civilians. Bandits and rich people would make deals with each other – sell and buy each other. Real aircraft, loaded with bombs, would take off; real arms would be unsheathed and used in towns and villages, mountains and forests; not somewhere else, far away, but here on our land, where state farms, factories and pioneer camps once stood, and only one flag – the red one – flew. But it all happened. The country broke apart, and a frantic fratricide began between its parts.

The Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, Transdniester, Chechnya – we know little about these wars that were going on in one periphery or another of a dead empire. We know nothing of the bloody horror that began in Central Asia after the red banner of Russian communism was lowered. And no one, either in Moldova, or in Tajikistan wanted to believe — or could believe —that war was around the corner, a month, or even a day before.

On July 8, 2014, a Ukrainian hit squad started firing on Donetsk. Yet the day before, the citizens of Donetsk probably hoped this would not happen. Although  the Maidan, the takeover and confrontation, and the punitive operation against the Donbass in revolt, officially announced by Kiev, had already happened, they still could not believe that someone could do this: turning rifles and mortars on a peaceful city, on homes where little angels slept in their cribs, shooting them round after round. 

Nazis, bastards, hit squads and their English-speaking proprietors have always been ready, knowing who to kill. They’re always happy to kill Russians, especially, Soviets. They decided to punish the Donbass for remaining too Russian, too Soviet even 20 years after the USSR’s collapse. The hit squads were always ready to kill us.

But they weren’t ready to face pushback. They didn’t think that the people of Novorossia would take up arms and defend themselves. They were even less ready for the young and not so young, and even the old ones to stand up, without waiting for the order to fight. They didn’t expect that volunteers and trains carrying aid would be sent to the Donbass. And even the indecisive Russian government would be forced to put up its hands, warning back off!

The Ukrainian Nazis and their Anglo-Saxon proprietors wanted to teach us their Nazi science saying: “You are Russians. Why do you need to feed Ossetians? And you, Jews, aren’t you disgusted having to live with Gentiles, Russians? Proud Karelians can’t be friends with Buryat, because they’re Mongols, and you are a man of the North, a Hyperborean. Hate each other. Kill each other. And we shall dance on your bones.  

Well, you’re lying, Nazi-capitalists. Here, we’re all Russians, and Soviets. Even monarchists or White Guards are our Soviet monarchists. The Donbass is ours, too. And together we will defend it.

Those bastards never expect organized pushback. They count on surprise, weakness and discord among our people. They dream of fragmenting us to kill us one by one. So we need to stick together, to be ready for war. We need to prepare for war every day, as if it were going to happen tomorrow. Only then will we have a chance to avoid it.

On July 8, I’ll be going to the St. Petersburg Museum of Novorossia to meet the veterans of the last war.

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