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The Approaching War, by André Markowicz

Dessin de Gatis Šlūka (Lettonie), Cartooning for peace

 COLUMN. ANDRÉ MARKOWICZ  A masterful new column by the poet and translator André Markowicz, published on April 1st 2024 in the journal he keeps on his Facebook page. While Putin and his affiliates move forward (including the Russian Orthodox Church who has just "sanctified" the war in Ukraine), we look elsewhere, he writes. .

humanites, the firefly-paper (journal-lucioles).

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What is approaching...


One gets the impression that Putin's rhetoric is becoming more radical. There are now dozens of statements to the effect that Ukraine must be completely and utterly destroyed, that there is no place for any kind of Ukraine, for the very name of Ukraine, even within the Russian Federation, There is a 'Malorussia' (a 'little Russia') that will be a Russian province, or a series of Russian provinces, and with Soloviov we hear more and more calls to raze all the cities to the ground, because there is nothing to save in these cities, culturally speaking (even Kiev, the cradle of Russian Orthodoxy), and especially not the people. The people, explains Deputy Lugovoy "in particular the inhabitants of Kharkov, have to be wiped out, the city has to be hit by such a 'massive catastrophe' that there is nothing left of it, or at least no way for anyone to live there, and that the inhabitants will leave, "on foot or by car" (the horse was missing), "with their bundles", the people who are living there at this time, they will leave for the West, those we will not have killed, and that we may never see them again. The 800,000 current inhabitants of Kharkov (alas, my God, other Putinites, much rarer, especially among pro-Russian Ukrainian collaborators, protested and said that this was a Jewish idea... since the Jews (sic) were doing this in Gaza...). Deputy Lugovoy is a rather unusual deputy, a former member of the FSB - he was the one who poisoned Litvinenko in London, personally. But, by and large, no one (save for a few rare voices) said that these words were a call to genocide. Because genocide is now considered necessary and healthy - the novelty being the massive character of these statements, not the statements themselves, which simply pursue  the line Timofey Sergueitsev set out exactly two years ago, at the end of March and the beginning of April 2022.


What is new is the solemn declaration by the Russian Orthodox Church that the Special Military Operation is a "holy war". - This is new for two reasons: firstly, because from now on it is official: this "military operation" which, should you call it a "war" in Russia, can land you in prison for up to ten years, has become a war - because it is "holy". This may look like nothing, but it is fundamental, because for the Russian state and the hierarchy of the Moscow Orthodox Church, this means the very essence of the nation is now engaged in a war, and that war can only be resolved by a total victory over the forces of evil. The Church's official press release explains: "After the completion of the SMO (special military operation), the entire territory of contemporary Ukraine falls within the exclusive zone of Russian influence. The possibility of the existence on this territory of a Russophobic political regime, an enemy of Russia, must be totally excluded".

The second novelty is the definition given to these forces of evil that must be shut out. This SMO is indeed a holy war in which "Russia and its people" (I am still quoting from the official press release here) are playing the role of the Katekhon. - The Katekhon, in religious terms, is what holds back, what contains, what prevents, for example, the Antichrist from arriving at this time. A Katekhon against "the assaults of globalism and against the Westerner who has fallen into Satanism". The Orthodox Church has ordered all its priests to pray every day for the victory of the Russian forces, and  those priests who refuse will simply be relieved of their duties (bearing in mind that this is the Church's sanction, but that the State, for its part, can impose even heavier ones). So you have to pray every day.

This means that, little by little, but very clearly, Putin has mobilised the whole of society - the whole country - and this war against Ukraine has become an existential war. 

At the same time, as a result of the fact that the Crocus City Hall terrorists are Tajiks, Russia is reviewing its immigration laws, and we are seeing dozens and dozens of cases across the country of people attacking "Asian or Caucasian-looking people" - simply because they are there. These racist attacks, whether spontaneous or not, are in turn causing a real panic: immigrants, in their hundreds at the moment (but the movement is set to increase), are returning home overnight (a revealing anecdote, caught on the fly on YouTube: a university lecturer explains that, suddenly, they've switched to disposable dishes in the university canteen. Because, from one day to the next, there was no dishwashers around - the immigrants had all left).


Russia is moving forward, or rather, today, is preparing to move forward, inexorably, into a war - now qualified as such - which Putin's government presents as existential, not because it is existential for the country, but for his own person. What Putin is saying (or rather what he is not saying but what he is demonstrating) is that, now that he has a free hand thanks to Trump (who is already governing, whatever one may say), there will be no quarter given - he wants to conquer the whole of Ukraine and, in real, concrete terms, replace its inhabitants. Ukrainians who don't understand that they are Russian or must live under "Russia's exclusive influence" will be destroyed, "totally", or they will go "to the West" - meaning, new millions of refugees, - Satanist Europe at liberty to welcome them or not.


Meanwhile, back home, I hear someone like Yann Moix saying that he won't fight the war because it doesn't concern us, that Russia doesn't wish us any harm, and that what is happening over there, far away, are external conflicts between people who do not correspond to "our customs, our traditions, our culture" (the same speech, in fact,   as that of Patriarch Kirill). And I tell myself that this wretch would have been one of the first wanting to be invited to Otto Abetz's house in the summer of 1940.

But how many voices are there in France, from the left to the right, saying "no, France will never wage war on Russia"? And how many who do not understand that it is not France that will or will not wage war on Russia, but Russia that will or will not (but will) wage war - or rather no, let's put it another way: it is already waging war, except that we, in our daily lives, do not realise it. And how many people in France don't understand that this is what is going to happen. That we have now entered a period that a Polish leader (was it Donald Tusk himself?) Described as "pre-war".

The war is moving forward. Not a "special military operation ». No, a war of annihilation. And we are looking the other way.

André Markowicz

(text initially published under the title "Ce qui avance" on his Facebook page, on April 1st 2024. Translated by Maria Damcheva)

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