I have lived in Ukraine for 13 years and moved to Canada in 2019. I’d like to tell you more about Russia’s war on Ukraine.  

Ukraine is an ancient European country, continually inhabited since 32,000 BC with beautiful culture, detailed history, and friendly people. Ukraine was part of the USSR and Ukrainians, like other nations living nearby, had the misfortune to live next to a Russia wanting to return the bygone era of the Soviet Union. These nations were subjected to despotic colonial policies of oppression, repression, and punitive actions. Perhaps you are familiar with Russia through Dostoevsky, the Bolshoi Ballet, and Tchaikovsky. In truth, Russian culture was created by enslaved people who were denied the right to free speech. Over hundreds of years, they stripped the Ukrainians of its historical and cultural identities, appropriated our cultural heritage, and brought terror, death, and humiliation with them. The narratives about Ukraine and Russia being brotherly nations and having deep historical connections serves only Russia, and is an exaggeration of the truth, which is of one nation bullying another. 

Ukrainian buildings before and now

This false narrative of re-joining the ‘brotherly’ nations has resulted in Russia dropping bombs on its ‘brother;’ in effect, killing thousands since this war started on February 24. At first no one could believe what was happening. Then the first photos appeared of destroyed buildings and streets on which I walked, which were now shattered to pieces. My Ukrainian classmates posted photos from bomb shelters on Instagram.  

 It left me thinking, why would the biggest country in the world, with 17.1 million km² area, need to enlarge itself by invading Ukraine? Russia itself is offering a variety of justifications. At first, they said that the government of Ukraine was taken by national socialism , and that they came to save Ukrainians. Then they said that Ukraine wanted to attack them, so they attacked first. Then their theories became even more insane, saying that in biolaboratories Ukrainians developed a serum to destroy Russians and wanted to infect them by sending the serum to Russia on military geese. All these are false narratives that the Russian state media (propaganda) feed to the Russian people to justify the war. At the root of the problem is the desire to return to the Soviet Era, which means continued East – West hostilities and an intolerance to let an independent nation, such as the Ukraine become part of NATO. 

I thought for a while and came up with a theory of my own. Have you ever heard about Herostratus and the Temple of Artemis? The temple was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, but it was destroyed in 365 B.C., when a Greek citizen named Herostrasus burned it to the ground. When asked why he did it, he said that it was to ensure that he would not be forgotten by history. He was executed but just as he hoped, his story has survived. Perhaps Putin has the same reason. He is old, probably sick and will die soon. He knows that he will never be brilliant enough to do something important so, he wants to put his name in the history books by causing genocide and killing as many Ukrainians as possible. Maybe he’ll even outdo Hitler.

As the world watches the tensions mount, the horrors of war reveal themselves. The human rights violations that Russian army committed are beyond count. An example is what happened in the Ukrainian city of Bucha. U.S. President Joe Biden said in a video, “This guy is brutal, and what’s happening in Bucha is outrageous.” And after coming to Bucha, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, “We know that thousands of people have been killed and tortured. Their limbs were cut off. Raped women, killed children. I think that this is … actually genocide.”  

 The number of victims of Russian aggression during the past three centuries of occupation of independent countries is estimated in the millions, which is why Ukrainians today are so desperately fighting for their freedom. The Ukrainians are standing strong for victory and freedom and our common safety. The question is, how will Putin be stopped? Where will this end? Perhaps Putin’s ideological dream of a return to the Soviet Era will include further invasions into other independent and free democracies? Dragging all of Europe, and by extension other NATO countries into another world war.  

Слава Україні, Героям Слава!! 🇺🇦