Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War by Svetlana Alexievich
A terrifyingly topical book at this point in time. As Russian soldiers are again bringing death and destruction to a neighbour we read Alexievich’s poignant interviews with the injured, the grieving and the ones who escaped physically unharmed from another war veiled in lies.
The brave soldiers going off on a noble mission to rescue a people that want nothing of the sort. How the truth about the war is hidden from the people at home and how quickly the propaganda breaks down when the soldiers and civilian volunteers are faced with the reality of the war.
In the interviews and the reactions to the book we meet both those who are dismayed by the lies and those who unapologetically maintain that the sons of the Motherland are heroes and that saying anything else is slandering their memory.
When the conflagration in Ukraine is finally over, someone will need to write this story yet again.