Like the rest of the peace-loving people of the world, I am absolutely appalled at the Russian invasion of Ukraine. For the first few days, it was all I watched in CNN. but as with so many other news events in the 24-hour-news cycle world we live in, I had to finally turn it off.
Don’t get me wrong, I still catch up on the latest headlines and events taking place in Ukraine; but I find that I can’t willfully subject myself to that level of human trauma hour after hour, day after day, especially when I am relatively helpless to do much about it myself.
I, of course, have a lot of thoughts on this crisis. There’s nothing informative or groundbreaking here. But I want to list these for posterity’s sake…
I am in absolute awe of the strength, the determination and the tenacity of the Ukrainian people. It may take a decade, and it will probably require a flow of weapons and money into the country (a la the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan) but the people of Ukraine will ultimately be victorious. I have to believe this because…
The situation in Ukraine is probably going to get worse before it gets better. I believe Russia will eventually escalate their attacks. They’ve already violated temporary cease-fires in areas that were supposed to be clear for evacuees and humanitarian aid. Something more has to be done by the rest of the world. I’m not necessarily saying troops need to be sent in; but economic sanctions against Russia may not be enough to get them to stand down.
The story of President Zelensky continues to amaze me. Even before the invasion, his was a pretty interesting tale. He was an entertainer, even playing a fictional Ukrainian president on Ukrainian television. There was a meme I saw somewhere in like that said “Ukraine thought they were securing John Stewart but ended up electing Winston Churchill.” life has a way of giving us what we need; often when and where we least expect it. I think Zelensky is a perfect example of this sentiment.
I like one positive thing to come out of this invasion – if there can be any positives from it – is the way they ordinary people with commod and supportive Ukraine. Sure, it’s a really cheesy and utterly futile gesture, but it’s reassuring seeing people attach Ukrainian flag to their social media profile pictures. Yes, it doesn’t really do anything to change the situation, but it tells you where they stand. It tells us what kind of human beings each of us are. And the truth is, most people do not want war.
The people of Poland in particular have been very welcoming to Ukrainian refugees. It has been said that since Poland has had their land taken from them in the past, they are open to any and all refugees seekingso that when Ukrainian refugees arrived, they would have strollers for their children instead of carrying them.
This invasion is such a touchy and incredibly personal conflict for the two groups involved. Historically, Russia and Ukraine were both ones part of the Soviet union. Ukrainian speak Russian. They have friends and relatives back in Russia proper, and vice versa. they share a common, but not necessarily identical, ethnicity and ancestry.
Unfortunately, this common ancestry is one of the reasons that Putin is used to justify this invasion. Like Hitler did with the Germanic peoples during World War II, Putin claims he wants to reunite all of the people of Russian descent. Personally, I think he just wants to get the Soviet Union back together.
Another reason Putin is using to justify the invasion of Ukraine Is that Ukrainians want to join NATO he views us as a further expansion of western philosophies and ideologies, encroaching upon the Russian way of life. If Ukrainians want to join NATO, and he sees his own political ideologies slowly becoming a minority, maybe Vladimir Putin to take a look at himself in the mirror and reconsider his ideals.
But the reality is that Putin almost certainly won’t have some kind of ideological rebirth. Putin is a bully. And sadly, bullies cannot be reasoned with. You cannot justify their actions. You cannot rationalize with behavior. There is no point in trying to earn a bullies respect, because they are not capable of respecting other human beings. If they were, they wouldn’t be bullies.More often than not, the only thing you can do with a bully is defeat them. Decisively.
Something’s gotta be done…