Die westlichen Verbündeten

FAZ:

Ein EU-Land nach dem nächsten schloss sich der Forderung an, Russland vom internationalen Zahlungsdienst SWIFT auszuschließen. Am Ende änderte auch Deutschland seinen Kurs.

Als Reaktion auf die fortgesetzten Angriffe Russlands in der Ukraine haben die westlichen Verbündeten den Ausschluss russischer Banken aus dem internationalen Zahlungssystem SWIFT beschlossen. Das teilte der Sprecher der Bundesregierung, Steffen Hebestreit, am Samstagabend in Berlin mit. Der Beschluss wurde von den USA, Frankreich, Kanada, Italien, Großbritannien, der EU-Kommission und Deutschland getroffen.

This conceit of The Allies against The Evil Madman seems an easy one for mass media consumers to adopt. Ukraine is A Western Democracy defending The West against Tyranny.

At a high tech company in San Francisco a few short years ago a Ukrainian coworker recognized the portrait on the cover of the Zhukov biography I was reading. He was quite interested, thought it curious, but then it was curious that an engineer anywhere on the floor would be 1) reading a book, 2) reading non-fiction, 3) reading non-fiction that was not Malcolm Gladwell-type popular scrap, 4) reading history, 5) reading history that was not US history. This man was regularly condescended to by young engineers because of his accent and imperfect English. For his work colleagues he was someone who had fled the economic collapse of the ex-USSR, period. Where was Ukraine? Somewhere “over there”. Trying to talk to anyone about 2014 got me absolutely nowhere.

In 2018 when the Odessa police insisted on US dollars to hand me my driver’s license back after a traffic stop several Ukrainian-American coworkers gently explained to me I should  never have rolled down my car window, then should have bargained harder to reduce the extortion. “Everyone knew” the Ukrainian police were hopelessly corrupt – what was I doing turning off my car engine and rolling down my window?

So now Silicon Valley worker drones are changing their social media profile picture frames to include Ukrainian colors, and laud brave Ukrainian citizens for defending the democratic rights of freedom-loving San Franciscans. The Allies: you know, it’s one of the sides you can choose on the drop-down menu in that new Playstation 5 game.

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