2023年6月22日 星期四

Ukraine War ‘Turned Everything Upside Down’ in This Polish Town 在這波蘭小鎮 俄烏戰爭「讓一切天翻地覆」

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2023/06/23 第438期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 Ukraine War 'Turned Everything Upside Down' in This Polish Town 在這波蘭小鎮 俄烏戰爭「讓一切天翻地覆」
The 'Peace Dividend' Is Over in Europe. Now Come the Hard Tradeoffs. 歐洲「和平紅利」沒了 面臨艱難權衡
Ukraine War 'Turned Everything Upside Down' in This Polish Town 在這波蘭小鎮 俄烏戰爭「讓一切天翻地覆」
文/Andrew Higgins

在這波蘭小鎮 俄烏戰爭「讓一切天翻地覆」

Set in a thick forest, ringed by limpid lakes and free of violent crime, the town of Borne Sulinowo in northwestern Poland has undeniable bucolic charm — except for the ghosts on every eerily quiet street of the Nazi and then Soviet soldiers who built it.


Governed for the past three decades by Poland, the town was controlled by and was part of Germany before World War II, seized by the Red Army in 1945 and occupied by Moscow's forces until 1992. For a time, it embraced its dark side, eager to attract visitors and money to a forlorn and formerly forbidden zone so secret it did not appear on maps.


Military re-enactors, including enthusiasts from Germany and Russia, visited each year to stage a parade, dressed in Soviet and Nazi uniforms, which are banned from public display in Germany.


A Polish businessperson opened the Russia Hotel, decorating it with photographs of himself and a friend dressed in Russian military uniforms and with communist-era banners embroidered with images of Vladimir Lenin. His other ventures in the town included a cafe named after Grigori Rasputin and boozy, Russia-themed corporate events.


Russia's full-scale of invasion of Ukraine stopped all that. Kitsch became offensively creepy.


"Everything changed very quickly," said Monika Konieczna-Pilszek, the manager of the Russia Hotel and daughter of its founder. Online reviews, she said, suddenly went from "commenting on our food to talking about burning us down."


She told her father they had to change the name. "Instead of attracting people, it was repelling them," she said. The inn is now called the Borne Sulinowo Guesthouse. A big Soviet banner hung in the hallway next to its restaurant has been turned around so Lenin is no longer visible.


"Nobody wants to be reminded of Russia these days," Konieczna-Pilszek said.


Dariusz Tederko, a local official responsible for promoting the town, lamented that the war in Ukraine "has turned everything upside down." The military re-enactors, he said, are no longer welcome. The Russians couldn't come anyway because of a government ban.


Trying to draw more Poles and Western Europeans, he now promotes the town's less-triggering charms. "We have lots of beautiful heather," he said, waving a brochure with pictures of hiking trails and wildflowers.


"Everything Russian stopped being funny after the war in Ukraine," he lamented.



The 'Peace Dividend' Is Over in Europe. Now Come the Hard Tradeoffs. 歐洲「和平紅利」沒了 面臨艱難權衡
文/Patricia Cohen , Liz Alderma

歐洲「和平紅利」沒了 面臨艱難權衡

In the 30 years since the Iron Curtain came crashing down, trillions of dollars that had been dedicated to Cold War armies and weapons systems were gradually diverted to health care, housing and schools.


That era — when security took a back seat to trade and economic growth — abruptly ended with Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year.


"The peace dividend is gone," Kristalina Georgieva, the head of the International Monetary Fund, recently declared, referring to the mountains of cash that were freed up when military budgets shrank. "Defense expenditures have to go up."


The urgent need to combat a brutal and unpredictable Russia has forced European leaders to make excruciating budgetary decisions that will enormously affect people's everyday lives. Do they spend more on howitzers or hospitals, tanks or teachers, rockets or roadways? And how to pay for it: raise taxes or borrow more? Or both?


The sudden security demands, which will last well beyond an end to the war in Ukraine, come at a moment when colossal outlays are also needed to care for rapidly aging populations, as well as to avoid potentially disastrous climate change. The European Union's ambitious goal to be carbon neutral by 2050 alone is estimated to cost between $175 billion and $250 billion each year for the next 27 years.


"The spending pressures on Europe will be huge, and that's not even taking into account the green transition," said Kenneth Rogoff, an economics professor at Harvard. "The whole European social safety net is very vulnerable to these big needs."


Before war broke out in Ukraine, military spending by the European members of NATO was expected to reach nearly $1.8 trillion by 2026, a 14% increase over five years, according to research by McKinsey & Co. Now, spending is estimated to rise between 53% and 65%.


That means hundreds of billions of dollars that otherwise could have been used to, say, invest in bridge and highway repairs, child care, cancer research, refugee resettlement or public orchestras is expected to be redirected to the military.




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