The Odd Convergence of Prophetic Science-Fiction and Civil War in the Ukraine


A pro-Western, NATO-backed Ukrainian government faces a stubborn insurgency in the pro-Russian East. Fighting rages around Donetsk, with civilians dying in artillery fire and airstrikes, while Russian troops mass on the Ukrainian border.

[Fedor] Berezin, a 54-year-old former Soviet Army officer and Donetsk native, is now living inside a real-life version of his own story: He is deputy defense minister of the embattled “Donetsk People’s Republic”.

The plot twist? Berezin is also the author of Science Fiction duology, War 2010: The Ukrainian Front and War 2011: Against NATO.


But Berezin’s novels are hardly a unique phenomenon.

In 2005, not long after Ukraine’s pro-Western Orange Revolution came Omega by Andrei Valentinov, describing three alternate history versions of the conflict. Then there’s The Age of the Stillborn by Gleb Bobrov, and Grigory Savitsky’s Battlefield Ukraine: The Broken Trident.

This is why Russian novelist Dmitry Bykov to call the Ukraine conflict “the writers’ war”.

Berezin’s own LiveJournal update about his new appointment began with the words, “I have found myself in an alternate reality”.

At a rally in Donetsk in late June, Berezin told the crowd that the obvious goal of the Kiev government was to drive all the Russians out of Eastern Ukraine – “to blatantly steal our land and give it to the Americans and the Europeans”. It sounds like a page from Berezin’s own novels.

By early July, Berezin’s tone had changed slightly, acknowledging to the Rossiyskaya Gazata that the civil war had turned out to be more terrifying than his fiction. Funny how that works.

Quoted text by Cathy Young from an article via Slate for the full fascinating article.

This entry was posted in Culture, History by Heretic. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heretic

I design video games for a living, write fiction, political theory and poetry for personal amusement, and train regularly in Western European 16th century swordwork. On frequent occasion I have been known to hunt for and explore abandoned graveyards, train tunnels and other interesting places wherever I may find them, but there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am preparing to set off a zombie apocalypse. Nothing that will stand up in court, at least. I use paranthesis with distressing frequency, have a deep passion for history, anthropology and sociological theory, and really, really, really hate mayonnaise. But I wash my hands after the writing. Promise.

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