Totalitarianism reigns in Russia. The truth cannot be told publicly there, independent media have been silenced there, critics and political opponents are murdered and imprisoned there, mobilizations take place and young people are sent to slaughterhouses there. How many people leave us “for freedom” to Russia? No one.
Dangerously often today we hear that “we have a new totality”, that people “afraid to speak his mind“. A typical example was the reaction to the appearance of the soldier, modern pentathlete, Olympic winner from London 2012, David Svoboda, on CT last week. He declared that athletes should not be discriminated against because of their political stance. He said that “the first casualty in any war conflict is the truth , we have a lot of information, sometimes contradictory”. He commented on the resolution of the UN General Assembly, which has repeatedly condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, as follows: “It could easily be a mistake, for all I know.”
Svoboda was reprimanded by the director of Dukla, Pavel Bence, for his statements about the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competitions, and he himself decided to quit as head of the Athletes’ Commission of the Czech Olympic Committee. Minister of Defense Jana Černochová (ODS) agreed with him that they would visit Ukrainian soldiers who are undergoing training with us. “We will go to see them in Libava to listen to their stories about what Russia is doing in Ukraine,” Chernochova said. During the meeting, she gave Svobod a poster with portraits of Ukrainian athletes killed or missing due to fighting in Ukraine.
On the topic of sports tweeted the former Ukrainian ambassador to the Czech Republic, Jevhen Petrovych Perebyjnisthat “the Russians killed 262 Ukrainian athletes and destroyed 363 Ukrainian sports facilities. Athletes are an effective tool of Russia’s hybrid war. Trying to present them as ‘normal guys’ and allow them to participate in international competitions, even under a neutral flag, is hypocrisy”.
He made one of the reactions to the reprimand for the famous Dukla coach political commentator of the Info.cz website Petr Holec: “‘Punishment for Freedom. He received a reprimand and a poster with killed Ukrainian athletes, he ends up in the commission’. Anyone who experienced the Communist totalitarianism would date this headline from Sport to 1983 and think that the comrades will not survive for long. But he is from March 31, 2023.”
That tweet ex-politician Miroslav Kalousek responded: “Anyone who experienced Bolshevik totalitarianism knows that if some lampasak dared to publicly question our boycott of the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, he would be in civilian clothes the next day, going to the boiler room, and his children would not be allowed to go to school. Stop it to insult our lives by comparing today with those times.”
Kalousek is right, those times are incomparable, it is cheap and extremely stupid to talk about totalitarianism or “new totalitarianism” today, as it sounds even at anti-government and pro-Russian demonstrations.
Svoboda would never say that a Nazi should participate in the Olympics
What did David Svoboda do that was so terrible? Nothing more and nothing less than that he questioned Russia as the culprit of the aggression in Ukraine. At the same time, he said that he has “a lot of information”. He serves in the Czech army, whose attitude towards the Russian military campaign is absolutely unambiguous. The reprimand for “non-observance of regulations” was justified by his superior Benc as follows: “A soldier has a duty to behave even outside of duty in such a way as not to endanger the seriousness and credibility of the armed forces.” Really, I can’t imagine a soldier serving in our military, supposed to defend democracy, who either supports Putin or doesn’t know that Russia is committing war crimes in Ukraine.
Svoboda was not kicked out of Dukla and the army, where he certainly has a good living. Minister Černochová only tries to convince him that Russia is the aggressor, so she takes him to the Ukrainian soldiers. He is trying to “break through the bubble” in which Svoboda seems to be growing. And Svoboda has already backed away a lot from his positions. However, it was enough to tarnish his reputation quite a bit.
It is surprising how many people excuse Russia, or even claim that the aggressor is “Nazi Ukraine”. It’s a wonder that somewhere in these murky waters there was apparently a professional soldier. It’s as if he hasn’t seen the devastation the Russians are causing in Ukraine, as if he hasn’t heard about child abductions, rapes, murders, executions without trial somewhere on the street or in a basement. How is it possible?
Svoboda would probably never say that a Nazi, a follower of Hitler, should participate in the Olympics. I assume that the communists had enough of this in his parents and grandparents. Putin is not very different from Hitler, he is the same cold beast, only he has more modern and even more effective propaganda at his disposal.
New totality today, “Communist totality” here? If we were to compare the current and communist systems, today’s is absurdly free. He does not oppose Svoboda in any way, as an Olympic winner, David Svoboda receives a lot of attention and care, he remains in the army, the purpose of which he questioned. It could be said that today’s system does little to protect freedom. Like he was counting on her having to fend for herself.
But it’s not a sensation. It is a sensation to blurt out that a new totality reigns here. If Holec wrote this in 1983, he wouldn’t be surprised. But he probably wouldn’t have written it at all at the time, I’m guessing.
The claim that we have a new totalitarianism makes the Czech Republic Russia. Totalitarianism reigns in Russia. The truth cannot be told publicly there, independent media have been silenced there, critics and political opponents are murdered and imprisoned there, mobilizations take place and young people are sent to slaughterhouses there. How many people leave us “for freedom” to Russia? No one. No, totality is not here, we are experiencing its exact opposite, anti-totality, a democracy that is still learning how to defend itself and cannot.
Video: RFE – Kherson residents describe brutal treatment (11/2/2022)
RFE – Kherson residents describe brutal treatment | Video: Radio Free Europe
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