1-2-3-4; We Don’t Want Your F—Ing War!

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Russian men carry their luggage after crossing the border at Verkhny Lars between Georgia and Russia, September 27, 2022, in Georgia.,Zurab Tsertsvadze/AP Photo // The American Prospect

September 29, 2022 / Harold Meyerson / The American Prospect  - It’s been less than a week since Vladimir Putin announced he was calling up 300,000 fellow Russians to fight his war in Ukraine, but on Monday, just five days after his speech, the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, citing government sources, reported that 261,000 Russian men had fled the country. Today’s New York Times reports that the line of cars at Russia’s border with Georgia stretches 12.5 miles.

Credit where credit is due: Putin has accomplished in less than a week what it took years for Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon to do—drive young men across the border (in that case, Canadian) rather than fight an immoral and failing war.

It’s too early to pronounce Ukraine to be Russia’s Vietnam, not least because Afghanistan was already, at least in part, Russia’s (well, the Soviet Union’s) Vietnam. But far more than Brezhnev’s Afghan Adventure, Putin’s Ukrainian war has outraged public opinion across the planet and, apparently, now that he’s instituted conscription, within Russia’s borders as well. (The fact that Ukraine is virtually European and its residents overwhelmingly white—as Afghanistan and Afghans were not—factors into that.) Neither is it yet clear that Russia will eventually be forced to withdraw from Ukraine, as the U.S. was from Vietnam.

Source: https://prospect.org

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