“Here I Saw What Might Well Happen …”
I much like some of the songs by Yuri Shevchuk, of the Russian band DDT; he began writing and performing in the late Soviet era, and has continued since then. My favorites among his songs are the more political ones (such as the one about the wreck of the submarine Kursk); quite a few relate to Russia’s recent wars, such as in Chechnya.
In particular, there’s a 1997 song called Пацаны, transliterated as Patsany, a Russian term that roughly means “guys” or “boys” and refers here to the young Russian men fighting in the First Chechen War; and half a stanza from it keeps bouncing around my head:
Here I saw what might well happen
To Moscow, Ukraine, the Urals
Chechnya, in the north Caucusus right by the Georgian border, is out in the boonies in the eyes of most Russians, I think. It’s mostly populated by an ethnic group (the Chechens) that many Russians don’t really see as Russian. It
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