The illogical and vicious invasion of Ukraine by Russia enters its unsettling second week leaving the entire world on edge and quite breathless when considering what is to come.
From assassination calls to take out Putin on Friday (today) to the pleas from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for military troop support and air space shutdown, the situation demands action now – much more than what has occurred thus far with sanctions and rhetorical promises from the United States, the West and NATO.
The fact that Ukraine is not a member of NATO does not hold; Europe, if not the world, has fallen under the threatening tent of Russia.
The entire world is on edge and breathlessly awaits to see what will happen next.
Much indeed has happened in a short time that has kept the eyes and hearts of every nation fixed to the Russian/Ukrainian border and into Ukraine. At this writing, the refugee count had reached close to 1 million people.
Emerging we have a political and cultural hero with Zelensky. His wife is equally committed to remaining in the Ukraine. His mark in history is now embedded with words and deeds – worthy of the utmost respect and admiration globally. His cries for true support to keep the citizens of his country alive and out of Russian hands and to keep the country from further destruction are not going unheard in Europe and the West, but they are going without action to solve the key problems of a democracy under attack and at the mercy of what is to come.
We are fed non-stop updates on the war – the first time in history that a fight of such magnitude and worldwide implication has been under the scrutiny of social media and the internet. We are thrust into the streets of Kyiv and Ukraine town and cities moment by moment – watching as missiles strike, as civilians clamor for safety and as even Russian citizens protest, saying this is a war they did not want and risking arrest by their own country. We are in the lap of Ukraine, most of us as helpless as they become. Attacks – although Putin said would not occur in residential areas – are widespread with no deletion of bloodshed for man, woman or child.
None of these attacks have or will have more dire consequence than the imminent circling and siege against Kyiv, surely in motion with the buildup of Soviet troops just outside the Ukraine capital city.
Adolph Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939 sends out haunting recollections, and we can’t help but wonder why NATO does not simply wipe out this snake trail 40 miles or so outside the city.
Such annihilation, however, is not so simple with the nuclear threats that surround Putin’s intentions, the West’s ramifications from an assault considering Ukraine’s non-membership to NATO – which, at this point, stands in the way of any commitment of military troop support from other countries.
The greatest uncertainty in all this is Russia’s President since 2012, Vladimir Putin. With a stone face he has proceeded to attack with determination to regain Russia’s power to previous, historical strengths. In his narcissism, he has lied and appears out of control. A madman, with a desperation that has even his own people turning against him and this attack on Ukraine and a disconcert of his tyrannical decision to eliminate Ukrainian life.
The cries from Ukrainians and Zelensky for military aid are not unheard, but they solicit no relief of sustenance. Food, medicine, water, clothes, and other humanitarian aid flows monetarily and materially, yet the streets of Kyiv are blocked by simple lines of barbed wire wrapped around crisscrossed pillars in anticipation of the inevitable invasion.
As men are separated from their wives and children, preparing to battle, no country has stepped forward to give a physical presence with troops. Such presence is not yet, if ever, approved by NATO nor the United States.
Putin continues to tease and test this world position – most recently with the bombing/fire at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, the Zaporizhzhian nuclear training facility in Kyiv, adjacent to six nuclear reactors – one operational. It was descried as “nuclear terrorism” on Friday by Zelensky, and surely the immediate ramifications from a reactor hit are devastating for Europe and then for us all.
Putin from the onset has threatened actions of war unlike ever seen before in history if the West interferes in his schemes, and it is apparent he has no regard for the horrors that accompany a nuclear attack or disaster. Russia has more than 1,400 warheads; it would take about 30 minutes for one to reach the USA, CNN reports. However, he need not do much for such an atrocity but to merely bomb Zaporizhzhia repeatedly. Putin has no compassion or restraint when it comes to loss of life, destruction to Europe – including Russia – and how to obtain power.
The Homeland of Chernobyl, Ukraine needs military support on the ground. This is clearer today than a week ago, and in the coming weeks and months do we accept the further bloodshed and threat to other European countries, as Putin’s clouded, evil sights will surely not surrender to simply a Ukraine victory.
To the west of Ukraine sits Poland, then Germany. Putin’s desires will not stop at NATO borders. We must learn from history. We must face up to apparent realities. The world has strength it must show.
A third world war is nothing we want to see, but it looms. Its head is raised and poised today, and the strike will be inevitable if we turn our support away from Ukraine.
Greed, power, disregard for the sanctity of freedom and life – this careless, brutal ogre in the face of world peace – all can quickly bring Europe and the United States to its knees if Putin is not stopped somehow and stopped now.
As we decorate our Facebook pages with sunflowers and our doors with sunflower wreaths and signs; as we pound Russia with sanctions against the billionaires unlikely to miss as much as a of a sliver of luxury; as we light our night skies, our art and our landmarks with blue and yellow Ukrainian colors in support, we must ask is that enough?
The answer to that question, clearly, is no.
We pray for Ukraine. We pray for and commit to freedom and peace worldwide.
We pray for the people of Ukraine because the answer to that question is that these gestures – while although wildly symbolic, comforting and needed internationally – are not enough to protect Ukraine from Russian overthrow and unnecessary suffering nor ensure world security.
God bless Ukraine.
— The White Street Journal