There's a Ukrainian church in Acton that I walk past every morning.
A couple of years ago in the garden at the front of the church they started constructing a large marble cross, a memorial to the victims of the Ukranian genocide of the early 1930s, when millions starved to death as Stalin got stuck into his five-year plan. The pandemic slowed work on the memorial down... there's a bitter irony that they put the finishing touches on just as Putin was preparing go full 20th century USSR back home.
Since then the place is busy. They've been organising, helping. There are more cars parked out front than usual, all have yellow and blue flags in the windows. There was a TV truck outside last week. Half the Labour party have been pictured inside at some point in the last month.
My son sees the war on the news. When I was his age Gorbachev had just got the USSR gig and the fall of the Wall was still years off. I can remember that, and I wonder how he'll remember this. I wonder how he's processing it now.
This essay on the Beeb was interesting. The invasion is a sea change in the way the world works, but I suspect it only looks that way from outside, much of that old Soviet-era thinking never really went away. It was just biding it's time.
The only comfort watching this horror show has been the uninamity of support for Ukraine from the world at large. Gorby never saw the like in his day. I'm sure Vlad wasn't expecting it, and he's backed himself into a corner now. It all feels very... unpredictable.
Posted Tuesday, March 22, 2022.