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10 Terrible Leftist Arguments against Ukrainian Resistance [Ukraine]

Discussions with some on the (mostly) western left can be extremely hard. Some of their positions are disheartening to hear. Others seem hypocritical or cynical. There are, in my opinion, certain positions that are far from left principles. These points are not always expressed directly, so I want to briefly dig into some hidden messages underlying positions held by many on the left. 

Disclaimer #1: I want to stress that there are also a lot of leftists who take the position of solidarity and will have zero to do with these claims. However, here I am not writing about them.

Disclaimer #2: It really matters how some of these messages are voiced as this draws the line between, on the one hand, points of concern and discussion, and on the other – the central pillar of one’s predetermined and unconditional political stand against Ukrainian resistance. This text is about the second case. I won’t discuss nuances here. This is a polemic opinion, not an analytical article. 

Disclaimer #3: I’m frustrated, angry and, hence, often sarcastic here. And yes, I have the right to be so. And yes, I use this piece to channel my frustration and anger. 

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Without shelter: Housing policy in wartime [Ukraine]

“The realtor said that today there were more than 300 requests, with only 5 apartments successfully found.”

“We searched all over the Lviv oblast, nothing came out in Lviv, but we managed to find an apartment in Lutsk, so we are heading there.”

“I will probably have to return to Kharkiv.”

Ukraine. I hear similar words in Lviv every single day. I think the situation is the same in many places throughout western Ukraine and eastern Poland, and such words float around the territories those fleeing the war go. Over the last month, thousands of people have found accommodation in Lviv, and nobody knows how many people have failed to do so.

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Six cats, thirty people, four mortar shells. Two weeks in the occupied Kyiv suburb [Ukraine]

For almost two weeks – from February 24th to March 10th – me, thirty other people, and six cats were living in the dormitory of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in the township of Vorzel’, an administrative part of neighbouring Irpin’, so a suburb of Kyiv’s suburb. The majority of the building’s denizens moved out throughout the first couple of days of the Russian-Ukrainian war; I was among those who believed the quiet sleepy Vorzel’, once famous for its health resorts, would be a safe haven. I was proven wrong, and quite spectacularly so. Soon nearby Bucha and Hostomel’ became the arenas of heavy fighting. The only way to Kyiv led through them. Approximately on day four, we realized we were cut off. As the week wore off, we found ourselves under occupation.

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Notes from Lviv in times of war [Ukraine]

I am writing this text on the night of 7-8 March in Lviv. This is the fourth year of my living in Lviv, and I met the war here. It seems that my whole life has passed since my mother’s morning call. She told me that “we are being bombed.” My life and the lives of everyone around me have broken down and will not be the same as before. But we will live somehow. I would like to share with the readers of Commons my observations on how a new life emerges in my city. I know that the next breakdown can happen even before I finish this text, so am writing quite in a hurry.

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A voice from the Ukraine: US-plaining is not enough. To the Western left, on your and our mistakes

Here in the post-Soviet world, we learned a lot from you. By ‘we’ I mean atomized or loosely organized communist, democratic socialist, left anarchist, feminist scholars, and activists from Kyiv, Lviv, Minsk, Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, and other places that are plunging into the horrors of war and police violence. After our own Marxist tradition underwent sclerotization, degradation, and marginalization, we read commentaries on Das Kapital in English. After the Soviet Union collapsed, we relied on your analysis of the American hegemony, neoliberal turn in the forms of capital accumulation, and Western neo-imperialism. We have also been encouraged by the Western social movements from alterglobalism to the anti-war protests, from Occupy to BLM.

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