Global Voices Online
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
According to the Yandex Blogs portal, over 3,700 posts on Kosovo independence have appeared in the Russian-language blogosphere in the past three days. Some of these posts have received dozens, if not hundreds, of comments.
Below are a few snippets of this lively discussion, all translated from Russian.
LJ user iraan reported from Kosovo on Feb. 15:
[...] In Kosovo, everyone is promising independence - even this hotel ad.
A picture of a roadside ad for a hotel in Kosovo's capital Priština accompanied the post; the ad read:
HOTEL AFA IS READY
On Feb. 17, the day Kosovo declared independence, LJ user iraan wrote:
...celebrations are in full swing here already. Here you go, my dear ones
In the comments section, she later added two photos of happy-looking men waving Albanian flags. LJ user cqdx - who served in Kosovo (RUS) as part of Russia's peacekeeping mission, but is currently based in Geneve, Switzerland - noted:
[...] If at one point Yeltsin's Supreme Council hadn't chickened out and instead accepted Serbia as part of Russia, there wouldn't have been today's [orgy] in Kosovo. [...]
In another Feb. 17 post, LJ user iraan made this observation about the flags she was seeing in Kosovo's capital:
...there are more stars and stripes in Priština than even the black eagles. It is obvious who the papa is and who is directing the process.
LJ user vikrussia left this comment:
How sad. I am speechless. There was hope until the very last moment. And now there's only one thought in my head: this is what they are going to do to us, too - "in a civilized manner," [pretending to observe principles] of "legality" and "law." The Slavic world has died. God has turned away from us. We have to figure out what for.
Serbia-based LJ user sanielisse wrote this on Feb. 19:
I've been reading and watching the news non-stop for the second day in a row. [...] Kosovo, an independent state?
On Friday and Saturday, they began sending SMS's - "pray fro Kosovo... [...]"
Where were you before? Why didn't you pray every day in Serbian temples for the rescue of Kosovo and its relics, and its Serbian people?
A female student at the university declared to me today: "I want to live and not to think about Kosovo..."
It's easy to sell your past. But then you'll be walking through a swamp.
After these words I joined the protest rally with my friends. My heart was aching...
Is this a protest, or a funeral of Kosovo, or a holiday? Not very clear... God, what can one understand here, in Serbia, when the president declares, "Be peaceful..." How could those who carried out the pogroms on Sunday night stay peaceful if the country's heart and soul had been torn out?
And if today you stopped those who were yelling "Kosovo is Serbia's heart" and asked WHAT IS KOSOVO, would many of them have an answer?
And no one but [Bishop Artemije] has mentioned that it's not just an attack on Serbia. It's a new blow to Orthodox Christianity.
[Abkhazia's Sergei Bagapsh] and [South Ossetia's Eduard Kokoity] said beautifully today: Serbia is a country well-established politically, it's not in turmoil, and a piece of it is being cut off only because two ethnic groups look at each other through gun muzzles... And what can be said about Georgia, a country that isn't well-established yet, which is permanently on fire, and into which North [sic] Ossetia and Abkhazia are being squeezed? [...]
LJ user dreamy_tanger left this comment:
[...] Why wasn't your heart aching when [Slobodan Milošević] organized the genocide of Albanians and Bosniaks? Was Orthodox Christian "compassion" an obstacle? As for Kosovo, there's no use worrying about it anymore, it has not been part of Serbia de facto for a long time, now at least they'll be obliged to observe minorities' rights as an independent state.
LJ user drugoi, on Feb. 16, posted five photos of the pre-independence celebrations in Kosovo, titled his post, "Farewell, Serbia?" - and received four pages of comments. Here are some of them:
He doesn't live in Kosovo.
"Freedom and land to Palestine!"
Palestinians, too, should have a state of their own, with clearly defined borders - I don't see any contradiction in this.
Albanians also should have a state of their own with clearly defined borders. But for some reason they want Kosovo, too, just like Arabs want Jerusalem.
Don't you understand that it can't be just 'We want it and that's it.' It's not as simple over there.
Russians also should have a state of their own with clearly defined borders. But for some reason they want a small Russian republic on the territory of Moldova, too.
Don't you understand that it can't be just 'We want it and that's it.'
[...] Well, good luck to them.
Why are we saying farewell to Serbia as if it's something that belongs to us? We have no more rights for it than Americans.
Oh-oh, are you serious?! [Count with me]: faith, language, history... Damn, we are the same people with Serbs! It's somehow awkward to even discuss this subject: it's like proving that the Earth is round...
LJ user shupa (originally from Belarus, currently based in Prague, Czech Republic) wrote this in the yugo_ru LJ community, whose focus is on "culture, history and literature of the former Yugoslav states":
Someone has reminded us here today: "I'm reminding you that Kosovo is a historically Serbian territory, which, in the past half a century, has become dominated by Albanian population."
What kind of term is that - "historically XXX territory"? If we start looking for all the historical territories and all those who are occupying them now, then Russians should be kicked out from behind [the Urals] or even closer (definitely [Smolensk], [Prussia], [Ingria]). And I'm not even talking about [the Americans]. Anyway, let's all return to the borders of the 14th century, when [the Grand Duchy of Lithuania] stretched from one sea to the other :)
The most important thing now is for them not to start killing one another again. As for all this screaming - we are not giving Kosovo away, Moscow is behind us - these are indeed [calls to action]. There must be plenty of them on the other side, too, only we don't see or hear them, and "the other" side isn't really advertising them. [...]
LJ user michail wrote this:
[...] Serbian [dear brothers] deserve our sympathy, of course. But, honestly, would all that's happened be possible if Serbs hadn't exchanged their resistance will for the sweet promises of the Eurocommissars? One's gotta pay for "the European choice." [...]
I suspect that we need the proverbial solidarity with [dear Serbian brothers] more than Serbs do. I haven't forgotten yet that the [Russian mass awakening] began with the [1999 NATO bombing of Belgrade]. We were throwing stones at the U.S. embassy then and singing [Kosovo Front] all together - was it in vain? Cannon fire in Serbia awoke the Russian bear, ridding him of a whole package of the most dangerous illusions of the 1990s. [...] And, thank God, it was someone else's war that served as a catalyst for national awakening. [...]
LJ user michail ended his post with a video of a Corsican band "L'Arcusgi," which included a Corsican female singers' performance of "the famous 'Hegoak' - a patriotic anthem of [the Basque Country]."
Israel-based LJ user aristocrate was not sincere when he congratulated Europe on the birth of its "new child":
I congratulate Europe with a new child - Kosovo!
And since the EU has so happily supported the unilaterally declared independence of a new Muslim state on its territory, I'm also wishing it to have many, many more kids: independent Catalonia, Corsica, Wallonia, Flanders, the Basque Country, Wales, and, somewhat later, Normandy, Ruhr, Gascony, Wallachia, Prussia, Sicily, etc.
You deserve it, idiots. [...]
LJ user varfolomeev66, a Russian journalist, was "more concerned" with the fate of Russia than with that of "the USA and the leading European states. He wrote:
I'm trying to understand: our diplomats and those who sometimes listen to their recommendations - are they fools or enemies?
I'd like to have a look at the authors of the thesis on the "precedent-making nature of Kosovo case," about which Putin and [Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov] have been talking incessantly for the past few months. Do they understand what they are doing?
I assume they [...] were trying to intimidate Europe and America this way: like, Wales and Montana will follow Kosovo's example. But [they] ended up prescribing treatment that's worse than the disease itself.
The president, who has called the unilateral separation of Kosovo a precedent, has given [freedom to act] to our own, home-grown separatists. If, for example, Ingush, Karelian or [Primorye] comrades decided to split from Mother Russia, they would remind those who'd try to stop them that Putin himself had shown them the way! Wasn't it Putin who said that other peoples may follow after Kosovars - and we are following them!
Instead of emphasizing the uniqueness of the Kosovo case along with the countries of the West and talking of the impossibility of repeating it, our regime is voluntarily provoking our own secessionists. [...]
LJ user freetatarstan - which is actually a "journal for those who support the idea of independence of [the Republic of Tatarstan]" - wrote:
Remember how some observers used to assert that as soon as Russia starts being nice to Abkhazia and Ossetia in response to Kosovo's independence, the national autonomies of the Russian Federation will raise their voices as well...
Well, what can you say to this... We wouldn't want to disappoint them... [...]