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Georgi Gospodinov’s Essay on Putin and Nostalgia for the 1940s in the Guardian
April 6, 2023

Georgi Gospodinov (Harriman Writer in Residence, Fall 2022) writes in an essay published in the Guardian, that “Putin doesn’t want the war to end–he wants to blast us back to the 40s Soviet era” (April 4, 2023).

Putin has chosen, understandably, to return to the early 1940s. Russia’s current unhappiness and isolation have made it turn back towards the “happy” and powerful times of the Soviet Union.I

What Putin wants is not to win this war, but to make it chronic, to force us all to live in that regime. His goal is to bombard and raze the present (and the future) with all its infrastructure and everydayness – so that there is no water, no warmth, no light. To destroy everyday life, and from there existence as well, to literally an-nihil-ate the Ukrainian nation.