Ukraine, Putin, Niall Griffiths

The Rancid Heart of Vladimir Putin | Niall Griffiths

Notes of Solidarity is a new daily series of mini-essays, poems, and reflections on the Russian war on Ukraine by some of Wales’s leading literary figures. Here, author Niall Griffiths tells of his rage towards Vladimir Putin and the establishment which has done nothing to stop him. 

Anyone not completely blinded by greed could see this coming; they would’ve known that a lesson from history is that you do not give authoritarians any concessions whatsoever. But you, tho? He turned Grozny to hell and you took his money. He invaded Georgia and you took his money. He meddled in your domestic politics and you took his money and, worse, you took his troll farms and his weaponisation of the lie, the dizzying layers of lies to the extent that reality itself became negotiable.

Russian president Vladimir Putin (image credit: Vox)

He launched a chemical attack in your own country and yet you took his money and awarded him with a global sporting event the following year. He showed you the rancid heart of himself, time and again, and you continued to take his money. You knelt on the burnt corpses of innocents to lick his wallet and his playbook. He talks about ‘deNazification’ of a liberal democracy even as he targets that country’s Jewish elected leader and bombs its monument to Babi Yar.

The apex of his lies and delusions, every step towards which you helped him build. When he demanded a gun, you gave him one, knowing full well that his next demand would be for a bomb. Fuck Putin, and fuck every single one of his enablers. Fuck your vile and avaricious hearts. May you be remembered purely as cautionary tales about how disgustingly corrupt the human soul can allow itself to be. Drown in the seas of blood you’ve spilled. Fuck you all forever.

For more information on the Russia-Ukraine war, including ways you can help, please click here.

You can follow all contributions to Notes of Solidarity from Wales Arts Review here.