As of this moment, several cracks before dawn on Feb. 26, 2022, Kyiv still stands.
Kyiv is the besieged capital of Ukraine, a former part of the Soviet Union, and stands against the Russian Army that is anywhere between five to ten times the forces of Ukraine. The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, has been seen wearing a flack jacket and communicating from the capital as it is being bombed – a level of heroism and leadership we are largely unfamiliar with these days. Rumors of a flying ace have circulated about ‘The Ghost of Kyiv’, a name that will likely go down in western history books much like The Red Baron. Boxing champion Oleksandr Usyk will be joining his brother – nicknamed Dr. Ironfist – in the fight. Thirteen service members stood their ground on Zmiinyi Island (Snake Island) and their last words shall be heard the world around.*
All of these bright and inspiring stories are a balm for a terrified nation and world, but we must never forget the cold realities of war. Today an image circulates of a cluster bomb in a playground. A child is born in a subway system, as water and medicine run short. Soldiers on both sides of the conflict will be maimed for life, and killed.
All of these deaths – this fear and uncertainty – comes from the hands of Vladimir Putin, President of Russia. We would be well served to stop playing pretend with violent and dangerous thugs like Putin. He is no president; he is a dictator for life of a subjugated people once known as the Russ’. Intelligence from across the front suggest even Putin’s closest allies were surprised or belligerent. Kazakhstan has refused to send troops in aid to the Russian cause, a dangerous move when one lives next to a nation run by a madman.
We can hope for more courage, more leaders in other nations and more heros with names we can’t quite pronounce. Sadly, in a world as cruel as ours, monsters like Putin can last decades and be showered with the praise of foreign leaders, while heroes like Zelensky often have much shorter histories.
American President Joe Biden offered Zelensky a flight out. It was a kind gesture from a man who misunderstands a basic truth – when innocent people are dying, we must fight.
I beg you to contact your member of Parliament and let them know you do not wish to see Kyiv fall. It is the least we can do, among such moments of heroism.
*Editor’s note: Ukraine stated the soldiers are alive and being held as prisoners of war by Russia.