In the epilogue to my book Travels with Ferdinand, I emphasized that culture and the arts can help us rise above politics. And the Ukrainian people have shown their drive to keep their culture alive, from theatrical performances to opening a large new bookstore in Kyiv, as shown on Amanpour and Company earlier this week.
There are other heartening signs.
Although activists in Russia have expressed the sentiment that hope for democracy in their country had died with Navalny, protest movements have taken off in the Federation’s regions, such as Bashkortostan. There has been a similar wave in authoritarian Hungary, following the controversial resignation of the president. And support for Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine is waning, according to the latest independent surveys in Russia.
I am not going to indulge in a long post, as there is little I can add at the moment to vast discussions in major media. But I feel compelled to say something on the second anniversary of the outbreak of Europe’s largest conflict since WWI.
I will simply close by encouraging freedom-loving people to keep their chins up, speak the truth, and, in the words of one of my favorite hymns, “Be Not Afraid.”