(Moscow-on-Thames) The headline is stunning: Berlin. Grozny. Aleppo.
Alongside pictures of the destruction of Aleppo, the New York Times draws a straight line through three points in history. The text of the argument is clear: The devastation meted out on Aleppo, the Times is saying, is of a scale not only with the total war wrought on Chechnya, but with the effort to defeat Nazi Germany, as well. The subtext, however, is even clearer: This is how Russia fights.
The Times could have selected any number of other German cities – Dresden, perhaps, flattened by the Western allies – or it could have chosen Hiroshima. But it settled not by accident on the prize that fell to the Red Army. Taken generously, it is an attempt to help us remember wars we should not yet be forgetting. Less generously, it might seem another brick in the wall of “russophobia” that has, by some accounts, become prominent in Western political discourse.[…]
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