Y’all, please bear with me while I give some eye-glazing facts before I get to the more superficial stuff. I think it’s necessary to know what’s happening before we drool over our newly emerging hero in all this or cry over the animal lovers with their devotion to their beloved pets we see pictured fleeing together from the war-torn areas.
Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine is the biggest military mobilization in Europe since World War II (that’s since 1945, y’all), and the entire world has a front row seat thanks to most folks having cell phones and social media in today’s times. (No matter your opinion of Elon Musk, I feel the dude did a good thing via SpaceX by moving Starlink satellites over Ukraine and giving folks free access to internet, etc.) The images and videos coming out of Ukraine are absolutely heartbreaking. I’m gonna say right now, I’m NOT a political person, I will NOT argue with anyone about politics. This, though, is bigger than any political opinions we may have. This is something that, in my own lil opinion for just how little it’s worth, has all the ingredients to turn a “neighboring invasion” between two countries into World War III should egos, power trips, and ill-informed heads prevail, which is something I don’t think anyone my age thought we’d ever have to consider, let alone experience, and it’s worth talking about. (I’m a Gen Xer all the way, for what it’s worth.)
Here’s some background info for historical purposes:
During WWI, Ukrainians were split into two separate and opposing armies. 3.5 million fought with the Imperial Russian Army, while 250,000 fought for the Austro-Hungarian Army. Many Ukrainians thus ended up fighting each other. (per my own Google search)
During WWII, Ukrainians fought on both sides. By far the majority of ethnic Ukrainians, about 4.5 million, fought in the Red Army against the Germans. Others joined the Communist partisans (see Soviet partisans in Ukraine, 1941–5), who included the prominent commander Sydir Kovpak. (per my own Google search)
Ukraine is considered a developing country with a lower-middle income economy, ranking 74th in the Human Development Index. Ukraine is among the poorest countries in Europe. (yep, again per my own Google search)
Aside from the fact that the citizens of Ukraine seem to be precariously holding their own in this invasion, all while a flood of refugees are leaving their country heading, mainly into Poland, by the MILLIONS, (with that number headed towards 3 million as of today’s news, 3/16/22), Russia appears to be either ill-prepared for the pushback they are getting from Ukraine, or, maybe they are just wearing the folks down before they bring out their big guns. I don’t know. I don’t pretend to know. But, I do feel that, after sitting in power for what, around 16 years in total now, Putin may be heading into his twilight years and seems to be hell-bent on making one last big push for world dominion before he’s done. Someone please take this man out before this escalates into WWIII. PLEASE. (I do NOT say that lightly or jokingly. I’ve prayed for his heart to change every night since the invasion began.)
We are also seeing reports that several Russians are speaking out against what’s happening in Ukraine, thus risking being arrested, fined, and facing possible prison time, if not something worse. They have said they do NOT agree with what is happening. It’s being reported that many of the Russian soldiers, many of whom are just young adults with no idea really as to what’s actually happening beyond what they are being told to do, are either surrendering, or if captured by Ukrainians, are breaking down into tears. I think it’s safe to say that Putin is an A-1 asshole dictator with little to no concern for his own country’s civilians except to be used as pawn pieces in a bid to gain more power.
Having said that, let’s look at the emerging hero in all this, and what many have referred to as their newest sex symbol. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who could have gone into hiding for his and his family’s safety as soon as this invasion began, but instead, has opted to stay and fight. I have been following his official Twitter account (each tweet is posted in his language, then again in English) since this all began and I have a growing appreciation for the once comedic actor turned President. He’s only the 6th President of Ukraine, is fluent in speaking Russian, and appears to be VERY good at subtly trolling Putin every chance he gets. He’s 44, so he’s young enough to ride this crap out, and appears to be wily enough at this point in time to avoid being killed. His wife, Olena Zelenska, was a screenwriter before becoming the First Lady of Ukraine. Both have very active and large targets on their heads. Both are quite good looking folks, and each have earned, rather quickly, worldwide followers rooting them on.
Check out the “wink heard around the world”:
Here’s the video of Zelensky apparently trolling Putin:
My prayers go out nightly for their safety, leadership, and country.
Speaking of their country, I’ve seen image after image after image of folks fleeing with their pets in tow. Now, if you wanna make me really ugly cry, just show me pictures like these:
I can’t imagine leaving any of my four floofs behind. They ARE my family, and I’d rather stay with them than flee without them. Period. I applaud these folks doing all they can to keep their pets with them. There are reports of animal rescue groups running all around the areas that have been hit by missiles, rockets and shells, plucking up animals where and when they can. Animals hold a very special place in my heart, obviously. They are usually the forgotten victims in a war-torn area, but again, the people of Ukraine are proving to be anything but typical in regards to their beloved pets’ safety and welfare.
I never planned on writing about any of this, but it’s been building in me and I had to get it out. It just didn’t seem appropriate for me to write another light-hearted post without truly acknowledging what’s happening in Ukraine, and our world in general. I’ll continue to pray for their safety and a swift end to this stupidity, and hope you will do the same. We only have this one life, and it’s worth fighting for.