Svoboda. Liberté. Freedom

“Passengers waiting for a train to Poland in Lviv station (Ukraine), on the third day of the attack launched by Russian president Vladimir Putin. February 26.” L’Express.

I normally only publish my own material. But since I’m a bit far from Ukraine, and propaganda is going on strong, I thought I would gather a few images published in two reliable French media: Le Point and L’Express. The equivalent of Time and Newsweek. Images can be “biased” of course, framing, cropping, subject, focusing on one issue leaving others aside, etc. Yet images speak more volumes than many words. The quotes will be the translation of the original French caption. Text with no quotes will be my own rantings.

February 7, 2022. Macron, right, flew to Moscow to meet with P*tin, left, under the delusion that he could talk reason to the Russian “president”. The table has been widely commented. Fear of contagion on behalf of P*tin maybe, or just a way of putting distance and showing who’s the boss? It is worth mentioning that only a few days later, P*tin received the Kazakh president for an “intimate” chat, both sitting on chairs only three feet apart. No table for friends.

The corridors of the Kiev metro. Civilians have gathered there for shelter against bombing. Photo: Raphaël Laffargue (RL) for le Point. The London underground served as shelter during the bombings of London in WWII.

“Vladimir P*tin in reunion at the Kremlin, February 28, 2022″. (Le Point)

The long table policy seems to apply to members of his cabinet too. He is not afraid of bombing women and children, but he is of catching COVID?

Back to the Kiev underground. (RL) Those photos bear no caption in the original Le Point article. None necessary, right?

Place de la République in Paris. In Le Point I think. (Credit must be Agence France Presse. AFP). Have you noticed how protesters the world over now use English slogans, so they are understood everywhere?

“Gerhard Scrhöder, Vladimir Putin, and Jacques Chirac.” In Le Point.

Buddies. Schröder was then Chancellor (Prime Minister) of Germany, and Chirac was president of France. Schröder now sits on the board of various major Russian companies. And makes a bundle. He hadn’t resigned yet at the time I wrote this post. (Last week. As of today, Tuesday March 15th, I haven’t heard of any resignation on Schröder’s part.)

In France, former prime minister François Fillon resigned his positions on two Russian boards. Close call. One learns that dozens of former French CEO’s and/or high civil servants currently hold board positions in Russia. Interesting isn’t it? Dozens… You don’t want to get me started on “Londongrad”. P*utin has basically bought a significant number of European retired politicos/businessmen. In France, the UK, Germany and probably other major European countries.

Meanwhile, refugees are leaving Ukraine. (Sorry, lost the credits of that photo). I understand only women and children actually leave. The men stay in Ukraine to fight. The only time I personally saw something like that was in Colombia a few years ago. Refugees from Venezuela walking thousands of kms across the Andes to Peru. Fleeing Maduro’s regime. Small family groups, mother, father, little children, pushing their only suitcase by the highway. I couldn’t get myself to take pictures then. But I can still see them in my mind’s eye.

“Olga, 22 year-old Latvian student of Ukrainian origin, protests the Russian invasion of Ukraine in front of the Russian embassy in Riga.” (Le Point) She does look a wee bit alone.

Back to the underground in Kiev. Or should I say Kiyv? The little girl, a spitting image of her young mother, says hello. To the journalist? (Photo RL in Le Point). Look at the water bottles. Water. Food. Shelter. Are there enough toilets for the hundreds of people staying there?

Milla Jovovich on Instagram. Remember “Resident evil”? I guess Evil is on the loose now. Jovovich was born in Kiev.

“Ten days after the invasion of Ukraine, Kiev, the capital, has not yet fallen into the Russians hands.” (In L’Express). I understand Kiev is now nearly circled by Russian troops.

Kiev underground. (RL for Le Point). See the crutches?

Same family. Two little boys. An elder sister to the right maybe?

Stairway to Hell? Kiev metro. (Raphaël Lafargue.) (My caption. Not his)

“In Marioupol, city under siege by the Russians, the inhabitants are having an increasingly hard time finding drinkable water.” (Le Point) Siege of any city, a long time war practice since Antiquity is now banned by the Geneva convention. Who cares about conventions right? I understand there are 300,000 civilians in Marioupol.

In only a few days, the ‘usual victims’ are back to basics. Water. Food. Shelter. Survival.

Kyív is the capital of freedom.” (RL, Le Point). This elegant (Love her trousers) young woman in the Kiev metro is right. Kiev or Kyív is the capital of (our) freedom. How old is she? Twenty? Born in this century I suspect.

“Many protests demanding the end of the war in Ukraine took place across Europe last Sunday, as here in Belgrade, Serbia.” (Le Point)

“The police arrest a woman during a protest against the invasion of Ukraine, in Moscow, February 27, 2022.” (L’Express.)

Same image as my last sketch. Two masked “policepersons” arresting a civilian. One was Asian. This one is blonde… (Will H&M leave Russia as Coca-Cola and McDonald have already announced?)

“The road to exile. At Irpin, in the suburbs of Kiev, civilians evacuate the city across a bridge destroyed by bombing, March 5th.”

Three million refugees have now fled Ukraine. More than the Spanish Republicans crossing the mountains between Spain and France, fleeing Franco.

I wrote this post on the 10th. Planning to post on the 15th. I vouch for the images and original captions. Both media are bona fide papers with a long-standing reputation. I tried to keep my own rantings to a minimum. The images speak for themselves.

Last but not least. On Monday, a young Russian woman working at one of Russia’s major public TV networks interrupted the live News report with a protest sign “No war; text in Russian; ending in “Russians against war”. Her name is Marina Ovsyanikova. She is centre and right. She has been arrested, fined, liberated though she may face criminal charges of up to 15 years prison. Bravo Marina for your courage.

Freedom in Ukrainian is “Svoboda”.

Svoboda 🇺🇦 .

109 thoughts on “Svoboda. Liberté. Freedom

    • Merci ma grande. Ton commentaire est d’autant plus important pour moi que j’ai remarqué une chose. Quand je poste sur des sujets… comme ça, mes stats s’effondrent… Haha! Les gens ne veulent pas regarder la vérité en face peut-être?
      En tout cas, merci encore et prends bien soin de toi… biz.

      • Pour moi, c’est un post important.
        Les gens sont drôles. Pas haha drôle mais certains n’osent pas s’impliquer, ou aiment mieux faire l’autruche.
        I don’t look at my stats but I bet there is a difference when we post fun stuff over serious.
        Biz à toi et merci d’avoir partagé ce post.

      • Oui l’autruche… C’est vrai pour beaucoup. D’autres ne savent pas quoi faire…
        I don’t look at my stats too much, but I can tell by my phone how fast a post is getting reactions.

      • PS. Je regarde les stats de views. Ça me donne une idée rapide de ce que les gens aiment le mieux. Feedback. (En plus j’ai “vendu” des stats pendant 30 ans, il faut bien que ça serve à quelque chose… 😉)

      • Hey… il n’y a pas de gêne! C’est certain qu’il y a des sujets qui plaisent plus que d’autres.
        Je sais juste que depuis un bout de temps, me commentaires et mes “likes” sont comme.. whoa! Je n’y comprends plus rien 🙂

      • Haha! J’aime pas car dans les rapports d’etudes qu’on donnait aux clients, un typo jetait le doute sur tous les chiffres. Je disait toujours à mes chargés d’études que s’il y avait des fautes de frappes dans le texte, comment pouvait-on assurer le client que tous les chiffres étaient bons?
        Donc c’est resté une habitude.

      • Tu sais. Je suis entièrement d’accord avec toi.
        J’ai commencé à lire un livre d’un fellow-blogger. Il y avait tellement de fautes et des phrases à ne plus finir. Je l’ai flushé. Désolé mon ami… je ne peux plus. J’espère qu’il ne me demande pas si je suis en train de enjoyer son book. NFW (No Fucking Way). Je suis habituellement une grammar Nazi…

      • Haha. I was too with my executives. But then I was “taught” to write good reports by a client who worked for GM. (I did a lot of studies for general Motors at one time. He was the client and reviewed my report before the presentation. He’d slash about half of my comments. Pissed me off a bit until he showed me: “You can say the same in half the words.” He was right.
        (he also wrote songs for Diana Ross. His name was Alden Shuman. Writing songs taught him to keep words to a minimum. And with good spelling…)

  1. It’s just too much to take in. The war, the lack of aid, the suffering, the dead. The death of members of the PRESS, Someone said to me that they aren’t supposed to kill members of the press, I said, they are bombing maternity hospitals, children’s schools, hospitals, anyone they can kill, they kill, and you think they have rules about who and what to kill? And we watch and wait. Excellent post, which I will reblog, thank you very much.

    • Thank you for reblogging Gigi.
      Press? Yes. Terrible. the rest too.
      When there are no rules…
      Called a friend of mine in France. The wife is a councilwoman in the little town they live in. She’d just finished loading – with other volunteers two trucks of supplies for Ukraine…👍🏻

  2. Pingback: Svoboda. Liberté. Freedom — Equinoxio | Rethinking Life

  3. The image that got to me this morning was that of a pregnant woman being carried on stretcher from the maternity hospital that was bombed last week. (I’d seen the image for the first time then.) The video clip about the image showed a doctor informing whomever was filming that the young woman and her baby were both dead after a Cesarean section. If bombing a maternity hospital isn’t a war crime, I don’t know what is.

  4. Thank you for documenting the Ukranian struggle for freedom. We donated to World Central Kitchens so they can serve food to the refugees and in Ukranian restaurants so people can get a hot meal. Hard to feel so powerless in the face of evil.

  5. Great post. Interesting to learn that so many European big wigs hold/held board seats in Russian companies. Fillon gave up his post? How about Penelope? 😉

    • Penelope? Ha! Poor dear is still in shock I imagine… 🤣
      Yes, big “wigs” practically bought out…
      A big shame…
      I was talking to an old friend on France yesterday. (We worked together in the Defense industry for 5 years, but hush, don’t spread it. The thing is we do know a bit about the “undercurrents”)
      He says the most incredible thing is that France is now dependent for (some) food on foreign countries (guess who?) on wheat and pork? Baguette et charcuterie? Excuse me?

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting.
      Democracy is probably the only way to achieve that. 77 years without war in Western Europe, only because of Democracy.
      And Democracy as it is today is under threat even from the inside…
      Take care.

  6. Such powerful images. My sister in law is married to a guy from Ukraine and they both live in Latvia. However, his children are still in Ukraine and he just came back from the Polish – Ukrainian boarder where he waited three days ( not knowing if they gonna be killed along the way) for kids to arrive so they can be brought to safety

    • It’s what I call a “sample of one”, frowned upon by statisticians, not large enough they say. But your brother-in-law-in-law is one among thousands.
      Just to make sure I understand, his kids did make it safely to the border?

      • Yes, thankfully the kids made it safely to the border, but after a few days safely tucked away at Valters family home in Latvia, one of the children, much to her parents horror, went back to Ukraine to fight for her country

      • I can imagine the shock. But then she must not have been such a child right?
        The courage and bravery of Ukrainians amazes me. I doubt the French would fight in the same situation… I hope I am wrong.
        I also hope your “brother-in-law-in-law”‘s daughter will be all right. Though I salute her courage.

  7. Interesting re captions in English. Smart!
    Courageous TV journalist: Real heroes who cannot keep quiet, despite the personal cost.
    We do not hear how far Putin’s tentacles reach in business and political terms over here. Of course, they would not speak openly of this in the media. He may even interests here? It explains a little why Putin is so brash. Is Shröder a Putin sympathiser?

    • According to an article I read yesterday in the French Press, he seems to basically own Russia, directly or indrirectly. he controls all the “oligarchs”.
      I don’t know if Schröder is a sympathiser, what I know is that he holds very high positions in Russian energy companies, making a lot of money. And when he was Chancellor he pushed for the gas pipeline in the Baltic sea. Conflict of interest?

  8. Merci pour ça, on a besoin des infos! Quelquels journaux nordiques ont commencé à publier des articles en russe 👍 mieux un peu tard que jamais!

    And Gosh, I’d already forgotten what p*tin means in French. Must be great for journalism puns. So fitting right now.

  9. MERCI – Thanx for your kind words dropped @ “my virtual playground”; it’s heart-breaking & “flippant”(sic!) for us, Europeans(me included!), as I was born in Romanian Moldova, much of which was annexed by stalin in 1940 along with the Baltic Republics that recovered their independence in 1992 while Moldova has never been rendered to Romania; long story, short: once again, tragic history has been repeating itself these past 3 weeks… 😦 otherwise, the end of this deadly illegal war – like the one in Iraq(2003) depends on:

    “Much will depend on how China negotiates this new landscape. China and Russia are bonded by their shared antipathy to American power, and their conviction that the greatest threat is from a resurgent, more unified democratic world. China does not want Putin weakened, or the West strengthened. Yet that is exactly what the effect the war in Ukraine has had.”

    • I knew about your being born in Romania, but not about “Moldavie”.
      I’ll hav look at the BBC article, now if we look at it in another way, we (democracy) must be doing something right (with all faults) since so many feel threatened. 😬

  10. You make such a pertinent observation about the seating of the two leaders and the distance that divides them on such a long, long table. Re: Protests. I’ve observed that too. Regardless of where they happen, the messages on the placards are in English.

  11. poo-tin, the can full of shit he is… as he is not human; I think is not so afraid of Covid as he is of being assassinated. All hands on the table!!!
    A heart breaking post, Brian. I’ll either link or reblog in the near future. Thank you for this! xx

  12. The long table is obviously about balls. Putin doesn’t fear the fake virus, otherwise he would’ve forced the muzzle on the board members and maybe even on Micro-Macron (sic!). Doesn’t that guard look stupid, muzzled at the door while everybody else don’t give a flyin’ fokk?!

    People everywhere just blame and blame and yell “stop the war” but nobody ever asks the only goddamn important question: WHY?!? It’s like the stupid “modern” medicine that only treats the symptoms not the disease. Unfortunately, regular people will never find out the true reasons behind most of the recent events starting with the pLandemic. Let’em yapp. Wise people shut up and observe the Plan unfolding.

  13. An incredibly emotion set of photographs you’ve chosen here, Brian. The first one is especially poignant because of the innocence of the very young and perhaps more heartbreaking the mothers, grandmothers, and families who are being broken apart. Well done ~ take care, my friend.

    • Thank you Dalo. I understand there is so much propaganda, I wanted to share simple images from 2 reliable sources.
      The result is indeed heartbreaking.
      But, but, despite some unbelievable comments I have read here and there, two things stand out.
      One, P*tin has not had it as easy as he thought. A major reassessment of the threat may be needed.
      Two, the incredible courage of the Ukrainians is a lesson to all the West.
      U 2 take care.

  14. Beautifully done Brian. Their courage is a lesson to us all that freedom is worth fighting for. So many have died historically and yet the fight never ends. We are fighting a war against sedition in our own back yard. Thank you! 🕊🕊🌹

    • Yes. It is a lesson. And the fight as you say will be everywhere: inside and outside. One of the things that concern me more are the comments I read by average French people that basically promote not fighting P*tin. They have forgotten how WWII started…

      • Do you think we should go into Russia now? It’s horrible watching what’s going on. I’m puzzled as to why Zelensky didn’t evacuate women and children when Biden was warning him far in advance that according to US intelligence, Russia was surrounding Ukraine. 🕊

      • I don’t know that we should. I think the current response is the measured one. Combination of the Ukrainian “Spirit” Camus talked about with NATO “Swords”.
        There were interviews on the radio here with Ukrainians before the bastard attacked with Ukrainians. They did not believe he would attack. They’re almost “Family”. They thought it was just one of his usual blackmails… But they reacted (Ukrainians) like nobody thought they would. And they seem to be beating the crap out of the Russians…

      • Russia will be a pariah nation for along time to the free world . I’m not looking for a world war. Enough people have died in wars and it seems the US can hardly get out of one before they are back in another. It’s very heartbreaking what they are doing. War crimes for sure.

      • I’ve read the articles on the civilians killed in Poutcha. And the Russians have the cheek to claim that Ukraine has manufactured this.
        Yes. Pariah.
        War again? I hope not, but it looks like “winter is coming.”

      • It’s very hard to watch what is happening. This is such a terrible situation, how long can we tolerate this? I’m very afraid a world war. My son is 18. I think about that a lot.

      • I can imagine how you feel. Just two thoughts for you: 1) America is a “continent-country.” Immediate neighbours are Canada and Mexico who can’t really be considered threats can they? 2) The current theatre is Europe, where if there is a major war, most of it would be done “remote”, drones and the like, “manned” by specialists. I don’t think there would be a return to draft.

      • Hugs back. In his Letter to a German friend Camus wrote “For we will be victorious, don’t doubt it.” Camus wrote this in 1943, when victory was a long way ahead. But he had no doubt. And eventually there was Victory. The same applies to P*tin. He will be defeated. However long it takes.
        Hugs back.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s