A mishmash of thoughts on Ukraine

Showing solidarity with Ukraine

Earlier today, I noticed a Ukrainian flag graphic on WildChild47’s (Pat’s) blog, and, liking the idea, I added a flag to the right-side column of my own blog with the words (borrowed from Pat):

in solidarity with Ukraine –
на солідарність з Україною

Well, I suppose that now everyone can be certain that I’m a kind, compassionate person, right?

Still, this symbolic gesture does make me feel better… at least I’m not pretending that this disastrous, evil, pointless war isn’t happening, as some people whom I personally know would have us believe. Can you fathom that there could eventually be some four million Ukrainian refugees⁉️

This is also why much of my recent poetry here at The Skeptic’s Kaddish and on my Twitter account have related to the megalomaniacal Vladimir Putin and the cruel death and destruction that he’s been wreaking on the sovereign State of Ukraine and its citizens for the past week-and-a-half.

I simply can’t go about my days as if this war isn’t actually happening.

My amazing wife

While I’m posting Ukrainian flags and poems, my wife has been actively involved in helping people in Ukraine. She has colleagues in Kyiv whom she is good friends with; and she has been asking them what supplies are needed.

Just last week, she successfully raised enough money to purchase 32 first aid kits in Israel, which she sent to Ukraine with some Ukrainian construction workers who were returning home to fight for their homeland. Inspired by her efforts, I personally donated 1,000 shekels ($300), which is the equivalent of one such kit.

Even before that, using her network of contacts in Kyiv, my wife was arranging logistical support and transportation for Ukrainians who were stuck in various places around the city and couldn’t get home. Additionally, she organized a hotline for Ukrainians in Israel (there are many) who might need emotional support during this time, and she’s been running it with a friend of hers since the very start of this war.

Incidentally, as she continues to ascertain the continued and urgent needs of Ukrainians in Kyiv, she will almost certainly be raising more money for additional supplies to be sent to Kyiv in the near future – if this is something that you’d like to contribute to, please let me know, and I’ll be in touch with you directly.

My connected wife

As I’ve mentioned before, my wife’s entire family lives in Russia, as do childhood friends and acquaintances of hers. She personally knows Russians who are in complete denial that there is a war going on in Ukraine, let alone that Putin was the one who launched it. Some others she’s spoken with are less certain of this, but they believe the blame for the conflict lies equally with both Ukraine and Russia.

This is very hard to hear, given that my wife speaks to her friends in Kyiv on a daily basis and hears their vivid ongoing descriptions of the war. In fact, one of my wife’s best friends here in Israel (not related to her work) is originally from Ukraine (& we know other Israelis from Ukraine). Her elderly mother still lives in Ukraine, and out of sheer terror and depression has locked herself in her apartment and refused to seek shelter elsewhere.

The trauma we are hearing of is real. Ukraine is being destroyed. Ukrainian civilians are being senselessly and brutally killed.

Putin’s war on truth

Going back to what I wrote about many Russians being unaware of there being an actual war in Ukraine and also being unaware that it (Putin calls it a ‘Special Operation’ to keep peace) was Putin’s initiative…. Well, Russia has blocked Facebook and restricted Twitter.

Since then, many Russians have installed VPN software on their computers and telephones so that they can circumvent these restrictions, but many, many more either don’t know how to do so and/or simply believe everything that comes out Putin’s propaganda machine and aren’t seeking alternative sources of information.

Beyond this, and perhaps scarier still –

On Friday morning, Russian lawmakers passed a law introducing jail terms for anyone who publishes so-called fake information about the country’s armed forces.

The law carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison for journalists or other people who spread military information that the Kremlin deems to be untrue.

… anything that is not being published by official Russian sources.

The Kremlin will not allow the fighting in Ukraine to be referred to as an invasion or war…

CBS News, March 4, 2022

Now, I know that some people in Western democracies do not trust mainstream and/or alternative media sources in their own countries; and many believe that their local media outlets have anti-Russian biases and/or are explicitly fanning the flames of war against Russia. I don’t deny that any of this is entirely true.

However, you and I in the free world can opt to search for alternative channels of information, whereas those channels are being shut down and/or restricted in Russia, where there exists state-enforced censorship.

Oh – and thousands of anti-war protestors in Russia have already been arrested by Putin’s government since the start of the invasion…

59 thoughts on “A mishmash of thoughts on Ukraine”

  1. Kudos to your wife, David. She’s doing all she can. God bless her. To be helpless and in a hopeless situation is the worst fear realized. Greed can never be satiated. What a shame!

  2. Wonderful work your wife is doing, David. This is devastating. Each day, new horrors… As for censorship and misinformation, over here in the States we have right-wing media actively praising putin and his war, republican politicians embracing this war, and increasing censorship by the right with regards to book banning/burning and eliminating basic civil/human/voting rights of citizens belonging to minority and marginalized groups. What’s happening in Russia and Ukraine can happen here or anywhere else. I think current events are proving this. Thank you for standing up for Ukraine, and for your and your wife’s work in helping Ukrainians during this awful war. Thank you for using your voice to raise awareness of this atrocity.

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