Ukrainian counteroffensive: the thin green line

Do you know what question pisses me off the most? About the Ukrainian counteroffensive.

In the spring of 2014, when Yanukovych had already fled the country, people wrote: "We knew right away that Maidan would win." They hardly realized how unethical their words sounded. Because the protest did not win because of our expectations. The Maidan won thanks to those who walked under the bullets on Instytutska Street.

Such phrases sounded like devaluation. First of all, it was a devaluation of those people who paid with their lives and health for the country's right to be itself. It was as if the outcome had been decided in advance. As if the outcome did not depend on the people who were ready to stay on the streets during each assault. It was very easy to write about the victory of the Maidan as something natural, from the comfort of a home kitchen. But the protest survived thanks to people, many of whom are no longer with us. If they had backed down, everything could have ended differently.

I'm having déjà vu right now.

In the rear, they are talking about the upcoming counteroffensive. Political analysts are talking on the air about the direction of the attack. Journalists are thinking about what we will see in the liberated territories. The tone of the conversations is impatiently optimistic: "When is it going to happen?", "Let's hurry up!" and "Let's win". And all of this is coming from those who do not plan to take part in the counteroffensive.

My friend, with whom we studied together in Simferopol, was recently wounded. They were pulling out the bodies of the dead guys, and a firefight started. The bullet hit his leg and hit the bone. I asked his wife how to help, but I was thinking that now there was a chance that Sasha would miss the counterattack. If he misses it, he will survive. Because his position as a reconnaissance platoon commander does not guarantee this.

The army is also waiting for a counteroffensive. But no one here would think of treating it like a football match. People in pixels will break through the echeloned defense, and this process will be accompanied by losses. The frivolity of the rear social networks and TV studios borders on a pat on the back. It's like hurrying those who are walking up Instytutska Street.

What is happening at the front is not the long-awaited season of your favorite TV show. This is not the Colosseum, and you are not spectators in the stands. If you are going to watch the counteroffensive on TV, the ethical thing to do is to keep quiet. The army will do without your impatience and desire to harp on a hot topic. Sometimes ethics is the ability to keep your mouth shut in time.

Sometimes it seems as if those in the rear are used to putting an equal sign between a counteroffensive and the end of the war. They are used to thinking that a breakthrough of the enemy's defense will necessarily end with the access to the state borders. It's convenient to think that only demoralized "chmony" are fighting on the other side of the front, but this has little to do with reality. 

In order not to be disappointed, one should not be enchanted. The war will last for a long time, no matter how much this fact may conflict with your vacation plans.

The mantra of "two or three weeks" was good in the first months of the war, but now it is not optimism that is becoming a scarce commodity, but common sense. When we have to run a marathon, the ability to calculate our strength will come in handy. 

Unreasonably high expectations always come back as a boomerang. A sign of patriotism is not speculation about how many parts Russia will fall apart, but the amount of your investment in victory.

The unified telethon was invented to help the state gain unity of voice. But sometimes it seems as if the person watching it doesn't sincerely understand why he or she should join the army. Because all they hear from the screen are victorious statements. When the enemy is weakening, and we are winning, what is the point of someone personally going to the military registration and enlistment office? Why would anyone want to come on as a substitute in a match in which our team is already winning?

Disputes about the preferred format of victory go into the same category. Going to the borders on February 23 no longer seems synonymous with victory. The country is on the verge of 1991. But the thing is that there are many intermediate stages between reaching the brink of '91 and, say, the transition of the war to a positional war. 

Each of us invests in the version of the future we want. Some of us - by our actions. Some of us - by our inaction.

You know what the army has done for you - ask yourself what you have done for it. Instead of talking about a counteroffensive, it is better to assess the scale of your personal investment in it. The larger it is, the more freedom of thought you will have. 

But I assure you that the more you are involved in the war, the more you will be tempted to think about it from a distance.

Because you will no longer feel like a spectator in the stands. You will realize that you are standing behind the backs of those who hold the weapons. That their failure will have consequences for you personally. That your future is separated from disaster by a thin green line. 

If the "personnel" begins to take on faces and names for you, then talking about their fate ceases to be a convenient way to fill a pause in the conversation. 

Want to speculate on the timing of the liberation of Crimea and Donbas? Put on your pixel and let's think together.

The rear cities should not look like frontline cities. It will not be easier for anyone if Kyiv resembles Kramatorsk and Lviv resembles Sloviansk. If the rear can live without noticing the war, it means that the guys on the front line are doing everything right. But at the same time, this does not give the rear the right to forget about those who help them not to feel the war. 

We live in a free country. Even a full-scale invasion has not nullified this freedom. But the fact that you have the freedom to say unethical things does not make them unethical things.

If you want to earn the right to be frivolous, come to us. We have vacancies.

Ukraine Front Lines

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1 Comment
  1. Insider 6 months ago

    Stay strong

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