(NYTimes) Don’t count your chickens before they hatch, an old English proverb says. Its Russian counterpart advises you to count your chickens in the fall.
In Russia, fall starts looming in August and is often revelatory. The August 1991 putsch burst open the cracks within the Soviet elite, accelerating the country’s implosion, and the August 1998 financial crisis exposed the bankruptcy of the new Russian state. Terrorist bombings in 1999, the Beslan massacre in 2004 and even the revolution in 1917 all took place in the fall — as if not only nature but also social and political forces ripen and bear fruit this season.
In the fall of 2022, Russians have been forced to face the reality of war. Vladimir Putin’s decision in September to mobilize Russians lifted the final flimsy veil from what the government continues to call a special military operation in Ukraine. Many Russian families, after months of detachment, have had to confront the ugly face of war, a full 210 days into the full-scale invasion. Almost half of Russians felt “anxiety, fear and horror,” while 13 percent were angry, according to surveys conducted by the independent Levada Center after the announcement. A bitter war of revenge, borne with stunning resilience and moral courage in Ukraine, has been further underlined by Russia’s escalatory assault on civilian targets. […]
Read More © The New York Times