The siege of Mariupol and that of so many other Ukrainian cities offers us apocalyptic, unbearable scenes. The hospital and maternity of the city of southern Ukraine have just been targeted. This aspect of a total war of aggression should remind those who are its ordainers of the siege of Leningrad, which lasted more than two years during the Second World War and caused an appalling number of civilian and military casualties.
Among these hundreds of thousands of tragic stories, which unfolded during the encirclement of the city of Peter the Great and the Soviets, particular attention should now be paid to the parents of Vladimir Putin, as reported by Hillary Clinton in his book Hard Choices published in 2014.
It should be noted that Hillary Clinton devotes only about twenty pages to Russia (see Reset and Regression) in her 600-page book summarizing her actions at the head of the State Department. This relative interest is today brutally corrected by the eruption of events that are drawing the attention of the entire world.
According to the direct testimony of the Secretary of State, Vladimir Putin’s miracle mother was a victim of the siege of Leningrad, saved in extremis by her husband back home from the front on leave while she was about to be thrown into a mass grave.
In 2001, President George Bush Jr had estimated, in a rare and astonishing confession, that he had been able to read the soul of his Russian counterpart (“I was able to get a sense of his soul“). It is not a question here of making a superficial psychological analysis reserved for specialists, but this particular history of the siege of Leningrad deserves to be known at the time of that of Kiev and other Ukrainian cities. As always, one may wonder whether one does not reproduce suffering or simply part of a personal story.
The Glory of my Father, the Castle of my Mother, wrote the great Marcel Pagnol. The Southern Diptych could become a Northern Trilogy, in the same vein but probably not with the same talent, and Vladimir Putin could have – and should have – written The Seat of My Parents.
Anyhow, No Mr. Putin, the history of the world is more than just an encirclement, stop being still obsessed with this obsidional complex and get out of the mental confinement of a solitary power. Horrors endured, in which you seem to be soaked, do not justify making others suffer, let alone innocent people. The siege of cities, where so many civilians are victims, starting with the most vulnerable, is not a therapy and furthermore not literature. This is war crime, in Mariupol and everywhere.