Staunton, December 18 – Russian children are now playing a video game called “The Liberation War in Novorossiya” in which to win, they are required to kill “Ukrainians, soldiers, militiamen, and the civilian population,” a disturbing message being implanted in the minds of the rising generation.
But more immediately, the game may disturb the Kremlin as well. That is because it calls for not two players but three: the Ukrainian army, the Novorossiya militants, and Russian forces — which aren’t even in Ukraine, according to Russia’s version of events.
Meanwhile, some Russian outlets are upset by what they call “the de-humanization” of Ukrainian children because their teachers are having them put up New Year’s trees decorated with Ukrainian flags, angels symbolizing those who have died fighting Russia, and notes condemning Moscow.
Some of the Ukrainian children in the Chernovitsi school wrote on the home-made ornaments that they want their soldiers to return home and the war to end, but others wrote that “Putler and the bandits must all burn in hell,” a reflection of what students and teachers alike said was a universal view there.
“We do not support our neighbors because we see and know the truth. In our gymnasium, people come and we want them to see that we will defend our state come what may,” one girl in the 11th class said. Her teacher added that “that which is being done against our state by the aggressor is wrong. We therefore declare that anyone who acts that way must go to hell.”
The development of such attitudes in both countries, the result of Vladimir Putin’s aggression, will make it far more difficult to overcome the current crisis than many now suppose. Some agreements may be reached by the governments, but the two peoples are likely to remain hostile not just for a few years but for a generation or more.