Ukraine has become the ground for imaginative counterfactualist’s battles. It is such an attractive exercise, a chance given to as by history that the number of possible scenarios appearing in the press is fascinating me and demand to have a go as well.
All sorts of pundits, diplomats, ex-diplomats, theoreticians, journalists, ex and serving officers, experts felt like they have a duty to inform the public on how, when and why Russia will invade Ukraine, and what the outcome will be. But the thing is, all these people are having it half way. There’s so may ifs and buts in the equation that it makes their stories lacking the plot, the detail and most importantly the horrors of war. Scenarios are lacking fiction, drama and realism.
In order to fulfil the crave for predicting the future I’m going to draw attention to a book written by Gleb Bobrov – a well known russian journalist, writer, editor. Gleb was born and still lives in Ukraine. In 2007 he’s written a book called “Epoch of stillborn“. Back then he got it much better than many of contemporary ‘experts’.
Here’s what the book is about:
After the revolution and followed breakup of the country, Ukraine is divided into Republic of Galicia (western Ukraine), Central Ukrainian Republic (Ukraine proper), Republic of Crimea and Eastern Confederation.
Obviously there’s a war going on were the Central Ukraine tries to retake the eastern territories.
In the book the baddies are central Ukrainians backed by the NATO (with polish troops and equipment on the ground) and volunteers form Galicia. The Eastern Confederation is backed by the Russians – the goodies. Although Russians limit themselves only to providing air-defence, hence the Eastern Confederation can actually do some fighting and not being thrashed in the first few days of the war.
The main hero is an ex-government official from the Eastern Confederation. After the coup that overthrew the local oligarchy/mafia bosses (hello Yanukovitch) the hero sends his family to Russia and takes on fighting. He’s commanding a platoon of confederate forces and goes through a few successful battles until being captured.
The book actually starts with hero’s interrogation before deportation to Nuremberg tribunal for war criminals. The book ends indecisively with the fighting still going on. Probably the author’s point is: solution resolving to violence is not a solution.
So here’s a scenario that is actually not too far away from what some pundits see coming with the current situation in Ukraine. However, what they are not talking about (and the book does) is horrors of war: lies, death, marauding, rape, lies, plunder, torture, lies, lost hopes and lies…
…the hero was actually captured by the russians. Nothing personal, just politics.