That was then, this is now, again Russia/Ukraine edition

Circa 1919, with Ukraine under siege from the Bolshevik armies:

Things, however, did not soon improve.  Again to take the case of Odessa, by the end of April electricity was running out.  “Thus in one month they have brought chaos to everything,” Bunin snarled, “no factories, no railroads, no trams, no water, no bread, no clothes — no nothing!”  In fact the Bolsheviks had inherited the chaos and the crisis; they also inherited — and exacerbated — the free-wheeling brutality displayed on all sides and of which…they were the beneficiaries.  To this kind of panache they applied a new moral calculus.

That is from Laura Engelstein, Russia in Flames: War, Revolution, Civil War 1914-1921, which as noted yesterday is quite a good book, especially for viewing the Bolshevik Revolution through the eyes of what became the broader Soviet empire.


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