A Former Ukrainian Speaks

On the front page of our newspaper was an article about a local woman who was born in Lviv (western Ukraine) and who has a son still living there with his family. She talked about how she watched in horror as Russia started their advance … and that she is terrified for her loved ones.

But she is also angry.

Watching Putin give his speech made her furious. She says he is “sick” and is like a “monkey with a grenade.” She sees him as worse than Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Ladin put together. “Every sentence is a lie.”

She’s also unhappy with Biden and places some of the blame on him. Although he announced new sanctions and that he would send troops to nearby NATO countries, in her opinion, that’s not enough.

She believes the U.S. should stop buying oil from Russia every day. “We can use our own oil. We don’t need to spend even one dollar for Russian oil and gas. We have plenty of resources here.”

She also says that the U.S. should block Russian communications and cut off Putin’s intelligence.

Of course there was more in the article, but I wondered what readers think about her suggestions. Is she speaking strictly from emotion … or is there some validity to her suggestions?

As I mentioned in my last post on this subject, I’m a neophyte when it comes to “world affairs,” so I’m depending on those of you who are knowledgeable in such matters to provide information, studied opinions, and valid evidence.

50 thoughts on “A Former Ukrainian Speaks

  1. The instinct that the US should do more is, I think, emotional.

    Thus far, Biden has handled it pretty well. To be fair, Biden has some good advisors and he has had the sense to listen to them.

    Ukraine is a long way from the USA, and our ability is limited. Most of what we can do depends on persuading Europeans to do what we want. And the Europeans are somewhat reluctant. This is why Biden seems cautious.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I have also read that economic sanctions (and hoping they work) is the preferred option for other countries; the big fear is that as soon as Putin sees himself losing, he’ll unleash nuclear weapons.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Nan, I did read the Russian troops are surprised by the level of military pushback they are getting. The Russians won’t stop, but Ukrainians are fighting for their country against this abusive and deceitful tyrant named Putin. I hope there is some blowback on some folks in the US named Trump, Carlson, etc. who have made inane comments in support of a malevolent autocrat. Keith

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I’ve wondered if it were possible to cut Russia off from the internet. Good idea, if possible.

    As for oil, I don’t think the US buys any oil/gas from Russia. Europe does, and especially Germany.. because they closed their perfectly good nuclear plants (17 of them) and thus became dependent on Russian energy. It’s the one big error made by Merkel.

    If you get a chance, watch Winter on Fire (Netflix). It’s is a fantastic doco about Ukraine’s people’s revolution which, in essence, kicked-started this current clusterfuck.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. “Is she speaking strictly from emotion…”

    Yes, absolutely… as she understandably would being from Ukraine with loved ones there.

    Furthermore, I would ask her WHY she left Ukraine instead of staying their to fight—with whatever means possible—like we Americans did against the British Empire in the 1700’s?

    But again, I do understand her impromptu, impulsive motherly reactions. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work very well against a tyrant like Putin. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry, Pt, but that seems a very stupid and biased question to me. For starters we don’t know when she left the Ukraine, unless it is hidden in a deeper level. She could have left 10 or 20 years ago. Even if she left a year ago, there was no inkling of war o the horizon. Nor do we k owwhy she left. I have no idea what you are assuming, but none of this is on her.
      Second, on whose soil were your ancestors standing when they were fighting British forces in tne 1700s. They WERE NOT STANDING ON THEIR HOME SOIL, they were xtandinb o stolen soil. From your statement about this woman who left her home nation and didn’t stay to fight, why the hell didn’t you folks stay at home and fight Napolean or your own enemies, instead of coming here, stealing our land,then fighting your enemies on OUR SOIL? Your analogy breaks down i so many ways, PT. The woman did what she did, and you have no right to question her! Nor was your question, and my response to it, in any way related to the discussion.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I didn’t mention this in my post as I didn’t feel it was relevant to the point I was making … but the article said both she and her son are American citizens. She has lived in the states since 2003. Apparently, he owns a company in Lviv that produces chargers for electric cars and she said he doesn’t want to leave because he feels responsible for the people who work for him.

      I have to agree with rawgod, PT, on some of the points he made. I feel your comment was a rush to judgment.

      Like

      • Thanks Nan for pointing this out to me. 💕 It seems my free-time to extensively research information placed on the web has gotten increasingly limited, disjointed, interrupted, and hence hastely thrown together due to my home situation & geographical location, as YOU are well aware of Ma’am. 🙄 Though this is no excuse or perhaps a bad one, it appears to me I must FURTHER limit my meaningful time on WordPress. I’m getting into too many tussles as a result and cannot manage well more conflicts atop the ones I’m already deep into here. Apologies. Apology to Rawgod as well, and any others. I’ll humbly bow out.

        Like

        • I would much prefer that you do NOT “bow out.”

          Rather, if you feel inclined to comment, why not simply respond from your personal take on what has been said? “Validating” your stance through research is fine for really serious topics, but sometimes, a personal opinion or reaction to a situation works perfectly. ❤

          Liked by 2 people

        • I’m grateful Nan for your usual grace in matters like this. Thank you.

          But it has become apparent to me now that since last August I simply do not have more than MAYBE (at most) 1-hour of uninterrupted free-time, solo time. This is an entirely “new life” I’m being forced to adapt to and manage as a 12-16 hour Caretaker every day of the week. I do need to reassess (again) what I can actually manage. That’s no one’s issue but mine. I have to be realistic here. 🙂

          P.S. Nan, just composing THIS reply took me 45-mins+ with 6-7 interruptions. And this is every single day and night since Aug. 29th.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Can I suggest looking for a new job. I have workef 16 hour days and more, 7 days a week. And I was young then. Still it destroyed my marriage, cost me friends, brought me enemies. It WAS NOT WORTH IT! Though at the time I felt it was necessary.
          It really wasn’t. Even “I” ending up hating myself for awhile.

          Like

  6. I cannot speak inteelligently to your question, Nan. I do not understand war, nor do I want to. But having said that it seems to me that economic and monetary sanctions are appropriate when diplomacy is a possibility, but once bullets start flying those tactics should be thrown out the window. What is needed is a swift and decisive response, one that should have been prepared for a month ago. Putin does not give a shit about diplomacy, but he would understand a million man response sitting across the border from his troops. No bullets had to be fired at anyone! The other thing to do is lay a smart missile in Putin’s lap. How many of his generals are going to go to war knowing their lives can be so easily snuffed out? I don’t like murder, but if one death can stop a whole bunch of unnecessary deaths, then it is worth the price. If this conflict turns into a global war, which it easily could, the the time to stop it is NOW, with whatever force necessary! But ONLY THAT AMOUNT OF FORCE THAT IS NECESSARY! That is MY opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The US has done plenty. In real time, the situation at present means the Ukranians are standing alone. (Much like the Finns did on eve of the Winter War – if you have ever heard of it.) No western power actually has troops ready to deploy in Ukraine. Such operations need carefull planning and preparation in advance, or they will turn into total disasters in short order. Equipment is being send and if the Ukranians want to fight for their country, now they have the opportunity.

    Finland – my country – is sending bullet proof vests, helmets, a field hospital and an allowance for Estonia to export Finnish artillery, sold to Estonia recently, to Ukraine. Finland can not send weapons, because our constitution denies us from selling weapons to a warzone, or a country at war. It was discussed in our parliament if we could send weapons, but the constitution is very strict and besides our military said we may soon need our own guns and we have none to spare. (Having one of the strongest artillery in Western Europe, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I see their point.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, by the way, Finland has now decided to send thousands of assault rifles. Apparently the law about exporting weapons to conflict zones was made to stop war profiteering and it had been worded so, that it did not apply in this particular issue. So since there was an universal consensus between all our political parties, both in government and in opposition, that this sort of aid should be sent, so we did.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m sorry, I didn’t record who said this, but it was a response to Russia’s threats to Finland last week. To paraphrase:

        “There are over 100,000 Russian soldiers graves in Finland. I’m sure we can find room for more.”

        And a response to that was:

        “And those 100,000 are only the one’s we bothered to bury.”

        Liked by 2 people

        • Yes. We Finns have grown up and learned to live with this threat. We do not expect any of our other neighbours to invade us ever, or even that the US would invade us (as we have no significant natural resources). “The Unnamed Enemy Approachin From Eastern Direction” as my army instructor called it, is why we keep the conscription system running ad while our active reserve is about the same size as the now invading Russian force in Ukraine, our total of trained reserve is close to a million men. In a poll a few years back close to 70% of Finns said, that they preferred to fight even if we could not have a chance to win. I am guessing that number has gone up since Putin started his war.

          Liked by 2 people

  8. Okay, Nan. I’m not sure blaming Biden for Russia attacking Ukraine is rational. The animosity between those two countries is nothing new. I don’t have answers, but I have feelings. Putin knows we will do nothing much militarily. Same for Europe. Sanctions are fine, but the Russian government probably thinks they don’t matter. And if Trump is reelected (or any Rep), my guess is sanctions would be quickly lifted. What a mess!

    I posted the following on FB page.

    In 1919, American actor Jack Palance was born in in Lattimer Mines, Pennsylvania (my original home state and near my birthplace–same county). He was the son of Ukrainian immigrants and for a time worked in the coal mines there.
    When Palance was offered an acting award by Russia (Putin), he declined saying that he was Ukrainian. I’m inspired by that.
    Today, I am Ukrainian! To hell with Russia!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It all depends on the Ukranian reserve and volunteer right now. The Ukranian professional military is too small to stand against the Russians. Less than 50 000 men. The Russians have allready deployed some 200 000 men. That is not much for a prolonged campaing against a nation of 40 million, but it is enough to achieve goals to controll and cut the defenders into smaller groups. The Ukranian standing army has some 245 000 men in conscription service and the active reserve is something like a nother 220 000. If those men and patriots all over Ukraine are ready to fight, this is only the beginning of a long standing war. In any case, in modern history no professional army has been big enough to stop an overwhelming onslaught of a determined enemy. It was not so for the French in the Franco-Prussian war in 1870, the “Great War” or WWII. Only if a cadre of national troops can be assembled fast enough to repell the invader may such invasion be stopped.

    The Red Army is a shadow of what it used to be in Soviet times. For example of the six Typhoon class submarines (the size of an aircraft carrier) only one remains in service. Almost all of their equipment is Soviet designed. They were much more advanced than the gear rest of the world used at the time, so they are not antiquated and Russia has developed many of those further. Yet, the striking capability is not the same by far.

    During the first hours of the war the Russians have established a total air superiority. That is a great advantage, but as we know from Afghanishtan it may mean much less, than expected, against a well organized and co-ordinated guerilla type of force. Some have suggested, this may be the Afghan war of Putin, but it is not that from the Russian perspective. To them this is much more like the wars in Chechenya. Remember those? The Russians may see themselves establishing their controll over a land that belongs to them and taking it back from “terrorists”. The Ukranians are not terrorists you may say, but in international politics it seems someone else than the Russians has set an example for “pre-emptive strikes” and attacks on other sovereign nations by mere allegations of terrorist connections, or weapons of mass destruction. That the national interrests of some big nation override the interrests of the smaller nation and therefore it is just fine to send in troops to “pacify” the other nation. Sound familiar? Have those attacks been condemned by the international community? Have the guilty been sanctioned, not to mention punished?

    If the Ukranians unite behind their comical actor become president (who at the moment seems to be rising to the occasion) in the great tradition of their cossack forebears and can withold the Russian attack for a few months, then the Russians become the decisive group of people in this tragedy. I am not talking about the Russian soldiers – who undoubtedly will fight to the best of their training and ability, not for their country, not for their president, or for some cause, but for their comrades in arms right beside them – I am talking about the common Russians back at home. The people who voted Putin into power in the first place. Not his most fanatical followers and base, but the average Russian, who either sees the war as justified, or not.

    Putin is like any populist leader. They offer the people what the people want to hear. That they are special because of an accident at birth. That this particular group of people are somehow more deserving and better than other people, because of where they were born. Because they have the one “true” religion, the one higher “race”, the one right “ideology”, or any of those. None of it is of course ever true, and it seems there is only one way left after the lie starts to crumble – violence. It is a clever way to unite (or at least silence the opposition of) the people who have lost their trust in the lying leader, by claming that “if you are not with us, you are against us”. Remember that line of thought? That incorporates the idiotism of, you are not a patriot, if you do not support the efforts of our brave young men abroad, no matter what they are doing, or what they are ordered to do, lest why they were sent in the first place.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Coincidentally, I just finished reading the novel “Never” by Ken Follet. It’s about the ongoing conflict with North Korea and that country’s close links with China. Anyway, the point of the story is how quickly a small incident escalates into an outright nuclear war between the USA and China. This can easily happen in the current situation, and the USA (and Biden) is very aware of that fact.
    The world needs to thread carefully and not do anything rash because that monster cant be put back into the bottle.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’m sure she speaks from emotion as well as her take on real events. I’m glad she chose America, for whatever reason. I don’t know why she blames Biden while there is no mention of the number of Americans speaking on behalf of Putin. It was not us who voted against Ukraine joining NATO.

    So far, we are still a democratically governed Republic, and Biden will have to work with the legislature as well as our allies if we do anything constructive. I don’t know if she has been an American long enough to know how that functions.

    I don’t remember if she asked for thoughts and prayers, but arms and ammunition work much better, at any rate.

    Liked by 1 person

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