The Russian Invasion — A View from Central Europe

Perspective, learning, wariness, and hope

Douglas Giles, PhD


In the 21st century, fascism arrives it will be wrapped in designer clothes

Russia invaded Ukraine again two years ago today. Invaded again, because as too many had already forgotten, eight years earlier, Russia had invaded Ukraine and illegally seized Crimea. Putin said that Ukraine doesn’t exist as a nation state and is in fact Russia. This is wrong. Ukrainians are not Russians but are a separate people who have long suffered from Russian aggression.

A View from Down the Street

I grew up in the United States, in 2012; I emigrated to England to earn my PhD, and in 2018; I emigrated to Prague, Czech Republic. These years as an immigrant have taught me a lot and have given me a perspective on the world and events I would never have been able to have otherwise.

Prague is down the street metaphorically. Also with a history of suffering from Russian aggression, Prague is the exact same distance from Kiev, Ukraine, as Chicago is from New York City. Not next door, no, but not that far away. Putin says he wants to return the Czech Republic to the Russian sphere of influence. I take him at his word.

Over the last two years, I have written about Putin’s war of aggression from the perspective of an immigrant in Central Europe. Here are those articles, buried deep in the back stacks of Medium.

A week before Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, I wrote this view.

A week after the invasion, I recorded these thoughts on the philosophy of war.

After having conversations with Russian and Ukrainian immigrants in Prague, when I ran across a photo of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy standing in my Prague neighborhood, it inspired me.



Douglas Giles, PhD

Philosopher by trade & temperament, professor for 21 years, bringing philosophy out of its ivory tower and into everyday life.