The analogies of “war” are used often to describe and analyze non-war situations – businesses, sports, electoral politics. We now have a real war between Russia and Ukraine, and the “fog of war” between clarity and confusion is as thick as ever. Because there is too much noise in the constant, play-by-play coverage of media reporting and live discussions on platforms like Twitter, I’ve decided to share a few links in today’s post of materials that I found useful to clear the “fog of war” in my brain. I hope they can help you in the same way (per usual, I’ve included links from both English and Chinese sources).
“What Putin Fears Most” (English Source: Journal of Democracy)
This article provides ample historical evidence to debunk a mainstream narrative that Putin’s motivation for war was to deter NATO’s expansion. Putin has never been that concerned about NATO’s expansion, and even publicly entertained the possibility of having Russia join it one day. He is concerned about the expansion of Western-style democracy.
“Why Is Putin at War Again? Because He Keeps Winning” (English Source: New York Times)
This Op-Ed analyzes Putin’s track record of successfully using his military in a limited way to achieve outsized political gain in recent years and growing Russia's sphere of influence. Why stop doing what’s working? As Chris Miller (the author) further expounded on the ChinaTalk podcast, he was not surprised by Putin’s attack; he was more surprised that many people were surprised by the attack.
“Thread on the Historical Reasons behind Putin calling Ukrainians Neonazis” (English Source: Twitter)
When I first heard Putin’s speech effectively declaring war on Ukraine, I was confused by his use of the word “denazify”. This thread clears up that confusion with detailed historical context dating back to the early years of WWII, when Russia under Stalin was the main reason why Nazi Germany’s military became so strong.
“Computer chip industry begins halting deliveries to Russia in response to U.S. sanctions” (English Source: Washington Post)
The most interesting part of this article is that GlobalFoundries’ internal compliance process for the US’s Russia sanctions is roughly the same as what the company needs to do to comply with the sanctions on Huawei.
“Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Introducing Some Historical Perspectives” (Chinese Source: Tuzhuxi)
This commentary by the Tuzhuxi account uses the Russian-Ukraine conflict to push on the legitimacy of the notion of “self-determination”. Among Western democracies, “self-determination” is seen as an inalienable right of nationhood. However, in Tuzhuxi’s eyes, it is a convenient tool to achieve certain geopolitical ends. The election that gave Mongolia independence after WWII is cited as an example.
“How big is the impact of the US and Europe deploying "financial nuclear weapon" on Russia?” (Chinese Source: guru-lama)
With the US and EU countries beginning to cut off Russian financial institutions from SWIFT, some Chinese financial commentators (like this one) are openly speculating on this moment as an opportunity for the RMB to increase its international influence.
各种与战争相关的比喻，常常被用来描述和分析与战争无关的事情：商场如战场、体育竞赛、政治大选等。可是现在有了俄罗斯与乌克兰之间、真枪实弹的战争，清晰与混乱间的 "战争迷雾" 异常浓厚。媒体报道和推特等平台的讨论中的噪音太多，于是我决定在今天的文章里分享一些链接，它们是帮助清除我个人脑子里的 "战争迷雾" 的文章。我希望这些文章也能对您有些帮助（按照惯例，此文囊括的链接既有英文来源的，也有中文来源的）。
“普京最怕什么”（英文来源: Journal of Democracy）
“普京为何再次开战？因为他一直在赢”（英文来源: New York Times）
当我第一次听到普京对乌克兰宣战的演讲时，我对他使用的 "denazify" 一词感到困惑。链接里的推特分析帖子通过详细的历史背景，理清了我的困惑。这段历史可以追溯到二战初期，当时斯大林领导的俄罗斯是纳粹德国军队变得如此强大的主要原因。
“芯片行业开始停止向俄罗斯供货以应对美国制裁”（英文来源: Washington Post）
这篇兔主席的评论利用俄乌冲突来论述 "民族自决" 这个概念的不合理性。在西方民主国家中，"民族自决" 被视为一项不可剥夺的权利。然而在作者眼中，它是实现某些地缘政治目的的便利工具，而且把二战后蒙古独立的选举过程当作一个例子。
“美欧对俄投放 ‘金融核武器’，影响有多大？”（中文来源: 格隆）