Today, Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky made a passionate plea to the people of Russia to avoid war. He gave the speech in Russian, his own primary language, and, reminding Russians of their shared border and history, told them to “listen to the voice of reason”: Ukrainians want peace.
"The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time", British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey remarked to a friend on the eve of the United Kingdom's entry into the First World War.
Woke up this morning at 6:30 to find out the world has gone to hell. Of course we were expecting it but still hard to grasp. Ukraine will now experience what the people of Donbas have endured for 8 years, thanks to Putin.
We are organizing to hunker down but have packed go-bags just in case. Even Lucky knows something is wrong as he wouldn't eat, just ran around his yard barking at everything. He'll eat tonight.
Gas stations are closed here to conserve fuel in case of evacuation. We are safe so far but who knows how fast the front will move west or north.
Do not believe unconfirmed videos or tweets as Russia is spreading a great deal of misinformation to panic people. For example there is no confirmed amphibious landing in Odessa. Some of the videos of explosions are faked.
Tell Biden to keep on keeping on!
"Trump and his supporters praise Putin and dismiss Biden as crisis unfolds
By Meryl Kornfield
February 23 at 7:45 PM EST
As the United States seeks to rally its allies and impose tough penalties for Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine, a vocal group of Republicans and right-leaning commentators is expressing praise and admiration for the president’s strength and shrewdness. President Vladimir Putin, that is."
We should not underestimate the aod, comfort and encouragement that former President Donald Trump and his supporters have given Putin to undertake this assault o. Ukraine both when Trump was in office and up through today. Not only has Trump incited an attack on our Capitol that threatened US Congress men and women, which led to the deaths of Capitol police. But Trump is now responsible for giving Putin the expectation that he can get away with the deaths and destruction of Ukainian citizens and their country.
Right wing US media, probably with Russian support, has concocted all kinds of fake history and reasons why Russia is justified. Such as, Ukraine has always been part of Russia. Or that "Nazis" and "fascists" took over Ukraine, oppressing the people of Ukraine. Stalin and Russia attacked independent Ukraine in 1917, taking possession of this independent nation, starting the formation of what would become the Soviet Union. Russia has dominated, oppressed and imposed itself on Ukraine for 100 years. Russia starved Ukrainians for a period as it destroyed Ukraine's farming culture, to force development of state owned farms while sending people off to work in state factories. Ukraine's economy crumbled along with Russia's. After WWII, Stalin persecuted, rounded up and sent off to the gulags everyone in Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, who were not loyal to Stalin. Thus included both those labeled "Nazis", people who might have attachments to Germany and Europe, and national communist party members loyal to their country. These were countries ravaged by Nazi Germany and then by Russia as WWII was conducted back and forth.
Ukrainians deserve to live in peace in their own nation. This is why they on good terms with Russia after the dissolving of the Soviet Union, gave up their nuclear weapons, with promises by Russia to protect them. Now every smaller nation in the world from Morth Korea to Iran and Isreal will not give up their existing pr potential nuclear weapons. What Putin with support from Trumo and other right wing extremists around the world has done is make our world that much more dangerous. The dangers are both potential for severe wars and total distraction of attention and resources needed to address all of our domestic and international challenges like sustanable economic development and climate change. Our own Republicans have been selling us out, to covid19, to rewriting our elections for o e party control, and now to the expansion of Russia and other authoritarian nations. In the end, Americans may well kill ourselves with misinformation, supporting the spread of pandemics, oppressive authoritarianism and destruction of our climate and planet.
The parallels between this and the Nazi invasions at the start of WWII just leap out at us.
Putin's flimsy pretexts for an invasion are equally as contrived and hollow as Hitler's, and his intentions were clear from the start. Listening to him only bought him time to prepare.
What is also noticeable is how the Quislings embedded in the supposedly 'neutral' countries voice their support for Putin and his actions. Tucker Carlson...Donald Trump...Pompeo... All of them are diligently earning their pay. We see you and know your names; no one is surprised.
It's time for the good people of this world to come to the aid of Ukraine. This will be hard.
Don't turn away.
I hear it in Professor Richardson’s voice. It never matters how much one is warned of “imminent danger and attack”. When it begins, fight or flight kicks in. Peace has been broken in Europe. I feel afraid but I am not scared. More than ever, I refute any effort to create broken peace and to deny democracy here in this country. Woe be to the person who quotes any hateful and perverse misinformation to me on this day. I spit on any traitorous alliance designed to conquer and enslave people to authoritarian rule.
I’m calling my “armies” today. We must work harder and give it our all. I begin every effort today with a thought of Light to the people of Ukraine. May it sustain them, these warriors!
What a dark day for Europe and for democracy. My prayers are with all Ukrainians in these very difficult times.
Dear God, calamity again!
It was so peaceful, so serene;
We had just begun to break the chains
That bind our folk in slavery
When halt! Once again the people’s blood
Is streaming …
From the poem, "Calamity Again'' written in Ukrainian, in 1859, by Taras Shevchenko.
This poem opens an essay by Anne Applebaum in The Atlantic, and is worth the time it takes to read it.
I asked permission to copy this from the Quakers:
All of our public communications can be shared with whoever you like!
Here are a few more ideas, thinking especially about the situation in Ukraine today:
Quakers in Ukraine https://www.facebook.com/QuakersKyivUkraine
Download the newsletter of Friends House Moscow here: https://friendshousemoscow.org/publications/newsletter-winter-2021/
News from Quakers across Europe and the Middle East is shared in our newsletter:
“Today’s invasion of democratic Ukraine by authoritarian Putin is important. It not only has broken a long period of peace in Europe, it has brought into the open that authoritarians are indeed trying to destroy democracy.”
Our souls are sickened, though not surprised, by Putin’s gambit. The destruction and misery he’s personally responsible for must not be tolerated, our push back must definitively push him back, and IMHO, he must be held accountable for his executions and imprisonments of political adversaries, and for instigating this damned war.
Our own treasonous idjt actually used the words savvy, smart and genius to describe his good buddy Putin. His fat fingers are in this someplace.
Trump praises Putin as 'savvy' amid new escalations on Russia-Ukraine border - https://www.npr.org/2022/02/22/1082478790/trump-praises-putin-as-savvy-amid-new-escalations-on-russia-ukraine-border
Heather, I look forward to your continued analysis on the attack on Ukraine. This is devastating.
War is not a polite recreation, but the vilest thing in life, and we ought to understand that and not play at war.
- Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
[The Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva wrote in witness to Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia. I chose a few stanzas and changed Germany to Russia and Czechoslovakia to Ukraine.]
O, rosiest virgin
among the green hills—
Before the Ukrainian peasant woman—
you don’t lower your eyes,
as you roll on your tanks
through her rye, her hopes?
Before the huge grief
of this small country,
what is it you feel, Russian,
[In 1942, the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova wrote in Moscow.]
We know what trembles on the scales,
and what we must steel ourselves to face.
The bravest hour strikes on our clocks:
may courage not abandon us!
This week easily contends as one of the worst weeks in my personal life. But, watching the president of Russia have a psychological meltdown, then invade Ukraine yesterday topping it off with bombing Kiev and other cities all on live TV is more than gut wrenching. Two statements I heard tonight stood out to me. A Ukrainian friend emailed former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul who said, I can’t believe we are facing the Russians alone. Then, at the UN Security Council, chaired this month, ironically, by Russia, the Ukrainian UN ambassador who was justifiably angry and gave a wonderful oratory this evening, also said later to the Russian ambassador, War criminals do not go to purgatory, they go straight to Hell! AMEN
One factor in this horror is that the other authoritarians and their acolytes will now be forced to break cover as we see with Trump and Carlson. They are exposed as anti democrats irrevocably with no excuses plausible or credible. In the UK also the laundromat facilitation which is Londonograd [and the Russian money laundered through Dublin - Fintan O’Toole in the Irish Times in Tuesday] will be shown up, but hopefully the tentacles can be slain and excised. Hopefully…..
Thank you, Heather. This direct and somber letter tonight, conveying much dreaded news, exemplifies why we subscribe. I grieve for the Ukrainian people.
Please HCR - get this into the Guardian too (great to see your latest piece!) - and keep posting there!
As I watched Nora O Donnell question Anthony Blinken on CBS News last night , I was sickened to hear her line of questioning which focused continuously on “Biden’s failed sanction efforts” WITHOUT A WORD to shift blame away from Biden to Putin
I thought, what the hell is happening to our sources of news. Why would she pursue this line of questioning. I got a chill in response
The propaganda machine is an infection and we have little antidote