The Ukrainian and Russian approaches to war could not be more opposite.
Learning and innovating, creating and maintaining, Ukrainians are showing off four colonial-era Maxim machine guns (made famous in WWI) turned into a quad anti-drone machine. Ukrainians are thinking hard, and working hard in measurable ways. It has signs of long-view sustainable effeminacy.
Russia meanwhile is using its lazy oil money to buy automated throwaway machines operated by humans who have been told to never think. Toxic masculinity.
No wonder Russia has been failing nearly 100 times a day to attempt a basic assault, stalled and confused. You’d think, if you are allowed to think, that after 8 or 18 or 28 failures the Russians would change tactics, learn or adapt instead of suicide. Alas, pride and privilege blinds them into horrific levels of self-owns through basic short-sighted waste.
Underneath all this is the political analysis that Russia’s dictator became angry when Ukraine started talking about reducing foreign-run corruption. Was Ukraine corrupt? Yes, because Russia tried to make it so (like asking if Kenya was corrupted under British Colonialism).
Individuals given agency, working hard, in a domestic merit based system? That simple Ukrainian aspiration was such an affront to lazy oligarchs in Russia thirsty for endless exploitation… a war was started to erase Ukraine and block anti-corruption.
The invasion by Russia was expected by them to prove an infinite supply of thoughtless drones (human and machine) could sustain top-down corruption, in effect attempting to overwhelm then criminalize any independent and creative ideas of the Ukrainians.
We’re seeing clearly how the opposition plays out.
I’d also like to unwind how the old Maxim destruction automation script is getting flipped — it originally was unleashed by Britain to wipe out Africans who dared to assert independence from corrupt colonial oppression. Wave after wave of indigenous soldier charge was decimated by just a few occupying British holding down the trigger on a Maxim.
During the Matabele War of 1893-4, fifty British infantrymen with four Maxim guns held off 5,000 Matabele in a 90-minute engagement, killing 3,000 of their attackers… [In the] Battle of Omdurman on September 2, 1898. British forces faced a vastly larger force of Sudanese Mahdists, but the British had six Maxim guns. As the Mahdists jogged toward the British lines, the Maxim guns opened fire alongside the infantry. Hardly a single Mahdist got within a quarter of a mile of their enemies. 11,000 Sudanese died, almost all killed by the Maxim guns. The British and their Egyptian allies lost only 48 men. “It was not a battle,” one eye-witness wrote, “but an execution.”
Inverse to today’s news of Ukrainian volunteers stopping waves of invading Russians. But all those details will have to wait.
History. It’s fascinating, especially in terms of oppressors falling.
Old photos of the Soviet-era Maxim M1910, repurposed today by Ukraine: