This is the bitter fate of enslaved peoples. It seems you live satisfied, calmly, peacefully, without raising your head and voice against the authorities. It seems everything is fine – do not rock the boat and everything will be forgiven you – and non-titular origin, and racial and anthropological differences, and national “underculture”. But then a war, unnecessary and incomprehensible for you, comes, and you need to go “repay the debt”, which you did not take from anyone. Suddenly comes (albeit not to everyone) an understanding of the true value of your whole life: you are just an consumable resource of the empire. Your life and the fate of your family just fly into the furnace.
Harmful thoughts, but that’s okay, the authorities will work on this shortcoming. You will be given a new uniform, a personal weapon, surrounded by imaginary pathos – solemn speeches, bravura music, parting words from the clergy. They will tell you what a hero you are, how honorable it is to defend your great homeland. And you cannot give a real assessment of all this tinsel without sober cynicism. Why? Because you are accustomed to believe in imperial propaganda, to position yourself as a loyal citizen. You were prepared in advance for such a situation, disarmed, put to sleep. In a word, they fooled you.
God grant that it dawned on you at least at the front that they fool you like a sucker, used you like cannon fodder. Many do not understand, they begin to tell themselves that it is necessary. That if it’s really bad, then it’s only here, in our battalion because of a bad commander, but in general we are going the right way. Our army is strong, the people are united, the generals are wise, and the head of the country is brilliant and far-sighted.
You will consider Ukrainians as enemies, who are not guilty of anything before you personally, and some other categories of fellow citizens and foreigners – traitor-liberals, getting out, deserters, Lithuanians with Poles and, of course, Americans (and how without them). Then you will tell everyone about American black soldiers on “Abrams” and with CIA certificates on their chests, Polish and Romanian mercenaries. You will be accompanied in the battles by propaganda pumping: neo-Nazis, crucified boys, Russian prisoners of war executed by the enemy with their knees shot through beforehand, and Russian girls sawn up on a circular saw by cruel Bandera followers. Pumping will come from two sides: from the political officer and from home – from relatives and friends, to whom everything is explained on TV by Skabeeva and Solovyov. All the guys around you will believe this, because it’s a little easier to turn off the doubt switch in your head. Everything is fine, everything is ok, the events are developing as they should, just to go to another battalion or to another sector, and there, as they say, there are a little more chances to survive.
The authorities will promise that this damned settlement is about to be taken, and then the enemy will fall. That a change of mobilized has already been prepared, that new weapons are on the way in sufficient quantities, they will decisively turn the tide of the operation, that the Wagnerites will be transferred, and they will break through any defense. You just need to be patient.
No one will protest, because no one will be allowed! The program for combating refuseniks has been worked out, it works almost 100%: exhortations, then threats, then placement under arrest in inhuman conditions, then scuffle, and then … the same thing in the second round, in the third. And working! They won’t let you get to SOCHi, you had to run away before, but now where you can go from a submarine!
So hold on, brother, drive seditious thoughts away from you. If you start to think, you can finish badly. Living in a war is especially scary if you realize how they fooled you. What then? Then just to turn the machine gun in the other direction – and no Kadyrovites will keep you at the front.