Like most folks, I have thoughts on the invasion of Ukraine. When I saw the woman above heading down into a subway station in Kyiv last fall, I thought she looked tired or perhaps sad. In my limited experience of Eastern Europe, melancholy seems to be a default state of mind for people my age. Not exactly a doomsday mentality, but rather one of a far dialed down optimism. Maybe it’s just stoicism. After all, folks that have lived under the harsh, repressive edict of Communism, its bombastic propaganda, and a constant threat of a nuclear holocaust, are possibly always broken, somehow. Even decades after the tyranny was replaced with liberty, many still seem to carry a heavyweight upon their shoulders.
I wonder where that woman is today. What are her thoughts, her worries? Has she fled? Is she living in a basement right now with her family around her, wondering when the Russians will invade Kyiv? It’s so hard for me to fathom what the Ukrainians are going through right now. And even harder to grasp how this will end.
How can this be allowed to be going on just a couple of countries away from Sweden?
At what point does the world collectively tell Putin that enough is enough? How much destruction and death before the EU and the US stop this tyrant? It’s 2022, have we not evolved beyond this tribal mentality. Apparently not.
I am both flabbergasted and somehow fascinated at how the Russian leader has used the threat of nuclear weapons to stifle a military response from the west. What if this war had taken place in Poland or Germany? What if Putin had decided that he wanted back some of the former DDR?
This leads me to the inevitable question, is Ukraine a sacrificial lamb? Obviously a sovereign European nation worthy of defending against an invader. But clearly not important enough for Nato to take the risk of an escalation that could lead to WWIII. How will the warlord Putin ever be satisfied? Is it only once the world agrees to his crazy-ass demands?
To me it seems as if the nuclear deterrent that kept the world shivering throughout the Cold War is now being used as Putin’s spearhead while he attempts to annex even more of Ukraine:
“Don’t mess with me or I’ll nuke you guys back to the fucking stone age”.