Fleeing my hometown. Again.
I'm sorry but 80 year-olds are grabbing weapons and joining the fight. You ran away. I get that you're scared and have a family. But so are the people resisting in Kiev right now. I am not impressed by this story. This seems like what the woke in our country would do. The Ukrainian patriots have shown us another path. A brave and noble one. I would have preferred their story.
What a tragedy. Awful. This is what happens when we have a weak, feckless president.
Thank you for the post and perspective. As an American who frankly knows very little about Ukraine, I have been deeply moved and disturbed by this conflict. I can’t take my eyes off the news. I’ve been watching every video I can find.
I would like to believe that despite whatever political and ideological differences we may have, most of us can agree that this is an assault on our own way of life. I would like to believe that if it came to pass, I would stay and fight to preserve the freedoms that I once took for granted. Honestly I can't say for sure. I say that as someone who has served in times of conflict. That experience taught me that none of us are sure. At least not until the time comes. Kid yourself if you like. It doesn't matter if you're a patriot. It doesn't matter if you have family. It doesn't matter how many houses or cars you own. It doesnt matter how many guns you own for your defense or amusement. Death is the greatest equalizer of our hopes and fears.
Like others, I would love to hear from those who stayed to fight. Especially the bankers, doctors, politicians, tech workers, waiters, and many other everyday people who have likely never held a weapon before. But they're too busy acing the ultimate test of a free people. I support them and honor them and wish them the grace of God or good fortune that they may prevail. And I pray that their sacrifice free their children and own children from this burden.
I sympathize with Mr. Katchalov and the many other civilians caught up in this horrific conflict, but I do not sympathize with Ukraine as a whole. The previous regime had an understanding with the Russian Federation regarding Nato and other thorny issues; when Zelensky took power, he moved to join Nato and to militarily oppose the Russian separatists in the east. This is what triggered the conflict.
Nato membership is unacceptable to Russia, and they will oppose it even at the cost of economic relations with the West, as they are making eminently clear. China, also interested in limiting the power of the West, is graciously underwriting the expedition by purchasing Russian wheat and oil/gas, in Euros rather than dollars.
Meanwhile, the entire world is watching the United States flounder, sputter, and essentially do nothing. The outcome of this debacle will be a diminished American influence in central Europe, as they realize that the Americans will not lift a finger.
The Chinese will be emboldened as well, though dire warnings of an imminent invasion of Taiwan are pure fantasy; even though Biden's team has apparently written off Taiwan as a necessary sacrifice to preserve the Biden family's investments, Taiwan remains a powerful, stubborn, and well armed country that would likely inflict huge casualties on a Chinese invader, and then there is the possibility that Taiwan possesses proto-nukes that they might choose to assemble and use. Japan has already warned China that such an action would be unacceptable, and it's hard to imagine Australia, Philippines, South Korea, Indonesia and Thailand just sitting by idly either.
What is emerging in the post-Ukraine world is a multi-polar power structure, with a shriveled United States, a newly aggressive Russia, a dominant China, and the rest of the world hoping they won't be China's next target.
Ukraine is about the become the most popular nation on the planet. The outpouring of support is amazing to watch. The resolve of the citizenry is remarkable—the stuff of legend. #standwithukraine
The next time anyone says "Why do you need so many rounds?" let's use this as exhibit A.
Please make a note that the only thing giving Ukraine a chance of surviving is their nationalism, which appears to be fairly hardcore.
To those calling this man a coward or criticizing him: I don't understand you. It's so easy to sit in the comfort of your homes, out of harms way, pontificating about what you would and/or wouldn't have done. NONE of you, even if you were Ukrainians, can be certain what you would have done. Read the article again, put yourselves in his shoes; understand the psyche of this man. He was 10 years old when his mother fled with him from Ukraine, in 1991. That's all he knows in a time of war. His mother fled with him. 31 years later, he fled with his wife. I doubt if it even occurred to him to stay and fight, especially because they left before it became mandatory for men his age to stay put. They left Ukraine on February 24th, BEFORE Zelenskyy and co issued orders for every man between the ages of 18 and 60 stay and fight, AND when the American Embassy had been telling Americans to leave for weeks.
When the order came from Zelenskyy, they were already more than halfway to Hungary. What would you have him do? Leave his wife at the roadside to find her way to Hungary and head back with the other men in the truck? They passed through and around numerous roadblocks to get to Hungary. Do you think they could have gotten back to Ukraine, now that the war was in full force, with so many borders and roads now closed for the duration of the war??? Think!!!
I thank him for his story. His wife paid her employees for two months in advance. How laudable! They are co-ordinating with many of the refugees to get them places to stay and helping with food and whatever else is needed. His path was to leave and help from the outside. Others were destined to stay and fight. Some to lose their lives, sadly. All their stories will be part of history. I don't respect him any less for the path he chose in a time of extreme stress and desperation.
As for you armchair supermen and women who fancy yourselves as Marvel heroes, continue having little sympathy or empathy for the hard choices some people make in times of war. May you never have war appear at your doorsteps so we all can see just how cowardly you would have behaved.
I'm sorry to the people of Ukraine, because my opinion is that this happened thanks to how badly divided America is and the absolute debacle of a presidential administration we have right now. Maybe i'm wrong and it would have happened if Trump was still in office, but I highly doubt it. It's easy for anyone to see that those in power are far more interested in going after their political opponents here at home than defending America or her interests. Hell they've practically made it racist just to say you love America. Putin and Xi are well aware of this, it has consequences. It's just too bad that the people of Ukraine have to pay for them.
There’s 10 year old girls holding guns in some of the pictures. There’s also groups going back in armed to the teeth. Your essay seems like it’s ridden with guilt and trying to explain away your leaving. Lots of American citizens died so you had the freedom to leave. Grab a German stinger and go back in. Do it for yourself. Might even be safer than Budapest.
Gotta love all the brave keyboard warriors chastising the author for not picking up a gun and fighting, as if they'd have the balls to do so if shit ever actually hits their fans. Boy, do we love to talk big from behind our comfortable, blue-screen anonymity. Real tough, guys, real tough.
Thank you for this. I feel more connected with the people of Ukraine after having read it. The problem with most of us is our lack of general affinity with humanity as it has been replaced by myopic tribalism. But I was you in this story... reliving the same scenario in my own life.... even as it is not (yet) my life. And with that I just donated to causes to help the Ukrainian people as it now feels like I am also helping myself.
I don’t respect this coward. He should have stayed to fight. That is your country you say? You’re a man, why did you run away with the women and childern? I’ve put my life on the line for my community and country. Yours needed you and you didn’t answer the call. Sometimes as men we have to knowingly go to our death in war. It is what it is. Nobody talks about the burden men shoulder anymore. Don’t run, have courage, go back and fight. Your city needs you.
I’m not going to bog down in the disgusting politics of everyone scrambling to give China Joe credit for uniting Europe and getting Germany to boost their military spending going forward. Obviously it was Putin invading a country that did that. Psychotic to claim otherwise.
All I will say as a non-interventionist conservative is that Poland needs to be converted into a goddam weapons depot right now.
Deal with the people who failed later. We all know who they are.
And yes, the fact that I follow a couple of Eastern European swimsuit models on Instagram has shaped my ability to grasp how horrifying this is. That city looks like my city. What the actual hell is going on.
When we heard that the government was handing out weapons to citizens who wanted them, we didn’t think anyone would get in line. But we’ve been told thousands of people are standing in line, old and young, to get these guns.
My first thought was you wouldn't have to stand in line to get weapons if you were already armed and prepared. I hope once they receive their weapon they know how to load it and handle malfunctions.
I assume that tomorrow we're going to hear a personal story from a "Russian separatist" (i.e., Russian-speaking Ukrainian) who lost a loved one in eastern Ukraine when the Ukraine government continued shelling that area and never really adhered to the Minsk cease-fire. Or maybe you'll do an article about the open presence of neo-Nazis on the Ukrainian government. Or maybe you'll print an article about the Maidan coup, where US "intelligence" helped overthrew a democratically elected government and put this government in power, handpicking its members. Or maybe you'll print an article on how when Germany was unified, the promise was made that NATO would never expand any further east. Or maybe you'll do an article on how Zelensky has jailed opposition journalists in Ukraine and turned his country into a US client state. Or maybe you'll do an article on how this "war" benefits US energy interests and deflects mightily from the problems here, which just seem to be coming to a head after two years of twisting "science," the CDC and FDA being politicized and bought out, and common people suffering while the wealthy grow wealthier and our "elites" don't obey their own rules. I can list a couple authors for you to contact: Aaron Mate or Max Blumenthal to start. Should I hold my breath? So is my subscription really worth it, or is "Common Sense" just more "Common Propaganda lite"?