Thursday, March 3, 2022

Putin's Wars

Stanley Greene

Usually I prepare my posts for The Beret Project a little while in advance. Now, with the war in Ukraine raging and keeping my thoughts occupied almost 24/7, a more personal post.

Stanley Greene

I have just received the book Open Wound, by American photojournalist Stanley Greene. 

Two Chechen 'Boivik' berets, a gift from my then bodyguard Isa (RIP)

Greene worked in many of the countries, and conflicts, that I worked (for Médecins sans Frontières, when I wore berets instead of selling berets). It was a period that I saw first hand what Mr Putin is capable of. 

Grozny, Chechnya

Despite the news coverage, I feel many people in "the West" don't appreciate the enormity of destruction that happened to Grozny - the city was essentially wiped from the earth (before being rebuild by pro-Kremlin forces).

Grozny, Chechnya

The same seems to be happening now in Kharkov and Kiev. The difference with Chechnya, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Ngorno Karabach is that social media are omni-present now. One doesn't see the occasional photo by a war reporter in the newspaper, but we follow live what destruction unfolds. 

Another difference with the 1990's is the united response by countries across the globe - that is at least one positive outcome of this horror. 

I dedicate this post to Stanley Greene, to all reporters (so many with beret) and all those brave people standing up to defend their country (with and without beret). 

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