by:Josh Rota – Tebb Late on the night of February 24th 2022 under orders from their president, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, some two hundred thousand troops of the Russian military commenced what their President called a special military invasion of Ukraine, seeking to finally satisfy Mr Putin’s imperial ambitions. Facing the immense technology and might of a supposed superpower the Ukrainian nation and its people were not expected to last more than two or three days.
Instead, 27 days later their valorous stand has once again made noble the cause of freedom, democracy, and independence for the Ukrainian people. Brought in the bloody defiance of heroes… the fortitude, determination, and wry rebel humor of the Ukrainian people has become a byword for courage throughout the world. In this democracy’s darkest hour, they have united the world, sacrificing their homes, their beautiful countryside, and far too many of the native sons and daughters, for that old eternal clarion cry of freedom.
Ordinary people just two weeks ago, teachers, accountants, musicians, lawyers, and engineers among others, mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, sons and daughters … all soldiers today.
In doing so, their glorious resistance has moved the world to act. Fearing the apocalyptic nuclear war that might ensue should they involve themselves in direct military confrontation, NATO has instead adopted a strategy from another of democracy’s darkest hours, from some of the worst days of the Second World War as Britain stood alone against the Nazis. When the United States would become known as the Arsenal of Democracy.
Today the Alliance has adopted the same strategy, opening their weapons vaults to the Ukrainian people, rapidly shipping some 17,000 Anti-tank guided and man portable shoulder fired surface to air missiles which have decimated Russian infantry and ground attack units, as well as billions of dollars in financial aid. On top of this, NATO and others have responded with a list of sanctions and embargoes which over the course of these two weeks have decimated the Russian economy, literally destroying the equivalent value of 1 out of 3 Rubles almost immediately. As it stands today, one Ruble is equivalent to .00079 cents on the US Dollar. Though it is not enough.
In 2014, the Ukrainian people rose up in their capital after their Russian puppet president Victor Yanukovych suddenly reversed course away from European Union membership towards closer ties with the Russian federation. For some 93 days and nights the Ukrainian people fought in the freezing cold of their country’s winter with the security forces in often brutal hand to hand combat with Riot police. At the end of the demonstrations, in increasing desperation the government at the time approved live rounds for use against the protestors. During this time many walked through sniper fire with nothing but shields made of wood or thin sheet metal. Too many became martyrs in the cause of democracy.
Eventually though, the Ukrainian people won out. However, after this, Russian forces invaded Crimea, and instigated separatist uprisings within the East of Ukraine. In doing so Putin started an eight-year war that has carried on until being subsumed by the current crisis. Throughout those eight-years the Ukrainian people sacrificed some 13,000 of their sons and daughters.
For twenty seven days now the Ukrainian military and people have mounted a ferocious armed resistance comparable to the worst days of the second world war. Even more harrowing, have been the videos on social media showing extraordinary acts of resistance from unarmed ordinary civilians.
The Ukrainian people are standing in front of tanks.
Multiple videos have surfaced of crowds of unarmed Ukrainians waving blue and gold, blocking the road in front of armored columns and on their own.
Additionally, there have been stark moments of heroism from Ukraine’s leaders present and past. Having been offered evacuation by a representative of the US government, President Zelensky replied simply: “the fight is here, I need ammunition, not a ride”. The former president of Ukraine, was interviewed several days ago, live carrying a rifle alongside volunteer forces on CNN, when asked how long he believed the Capital, Kyiv would hold, he replied simply, “forever”. Alongside them are hundreds of thousands of ordinary volunteers.
It has not gone unnoticed; the whole world is watching. As such, they have carved their name into the annals of history and joined the league of extraordinary nations rightly redefining their struggle as one for the soul and future of humanity. They are heroes in the global fight for the freedom of the world entirely, and heroes live forever.
In the face of this, our contribution is not enough, I fear it may never be enough.
By their magnificent stand, the Ukrainian people have given the world precious time. Time to marshal the forces of freedom, humanity, and peace throughout the world and unite them in common purpose. Time to work for a better world for our children, and push back against the forces of fascism, authoritarianism, and tyranny which from without and within that have seduced too many, and seem to have taken hold of so many old and famous states.
For this chance, this clarion cry, this true moment of clarity, the world owes the Ukrainian people an incalculable debt. A red mark in our ledger which we can only hope to repay by unwavering support for however long this war lasts, whatever form the Ukrainian resistance takes, we must be their arsenal, greatest champion, and diplomatic sanctuary. To them we owe the benefit of our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. We must follow their example and seek to challenge, at every opportunity, Putin and all of his tyrant ilk.
Slava Ukraini, Heroyam Slava.
Glory to Ukraine, Glory to the Heroes.
Another day rises and Kyiv stands.