Since the first days of the war, as soon as I open my eyes each day, I turn on BBC, and for an hour or more, I’m listening to the chronicles of murder. For a while, they were actually uninterrupted; all the rest was set aside.

But the war has entered a protracted stage, the news is now the same—refugees, victims, Mariupol still being hammered into the ground. The trench stage of WWI meets Rotterdam and Coventry of WWII, not to mention the Siege of Leningrad. Little by little, other news creeps in: first, sports, and today, suddenly a report on a driving license and car inspection fraud in Kenya. Messages from another universe that we seem to have left behind.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky is amazingly symbolic, having fallen into a coma before the events foretold and being their unconscious witness ever since. Tens of millions of citizens in a country that does not need to be named have fallen into a coma with him. But unlike him, they twitch, sometimes yell, wave flags, and draw the last letter of a foreign alphabet on every clean surface. This last letter is particularly symbolic; “I am the Alpha and the Omega”, but the third alphabet has already been taken by the plague.

All the usual activities of those who don’t need to go to work every day have been suspended, because one waits for a period, or at least a comma, to resume the routine, but in this massacre there are no punctuation marks anymore. We do not understand at all which direction the history will go, and we’re not talking long-term here, but immediate prospects, perhaps of months or even weeks. It is highly possible that the direction it could go doesn’t even exist anymore.

March 21, 2022 Translated by Katia Szarek

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