A Lost Ukrainian
There are two things that I want you to consider about the current Ukraine situation, but first, we need a brief back story (if you can believe anything I write could be considered brief). I come from two families. One was English and Italian. The other family was Ukrainian and Polish. I was raised by the Polish and Ukrainian sides. I will die without ever seeing a photo of my father and thus the English and Italian sides died with him.
Do I have a stake in the Ukrainian side of my heritage? Not really. My ancestors came to Canada in 1914 and 1915 at the outbreak of WWI. I may be part Ukrainian but I didn’t even know how to pronounce my last name properly until I went to Finland in 2016. I have done some research into my family history and over the last six years, I have been researching and getting personally embroiled in the issues with this ancestral homeland.
People have asked me many times how I feel how about Russia invading Ukraine and the only thing I can say is that I hate war. At the same time, I do understand that it is necessary. I do not condone bullies or bullying, and hypocrites make my blood boil. And I despise communism for the same reason Abraham Lincoln hated slavery; it is tantamount to theft.
People do not like that answer.
But then people want to push it farther. They want to know what I have done to help and what I’m willing to do. And there are two problems with this because firstly, I am a Canadian who loves freedom and I donated money to the truckers who were protesting across our country. If you are not aware, our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, declared war on these truck drivers and seized the bank accounts of hundreds of people who donated to their cause. This is a huge problem for me because suddenly I can be treated as a criminal for aiding a peaceful protest while I am celebrated if I donate money to violent activist groups.
Secondly, and more important to this post, is the fact that everyone who asks me is assuming I want to give money to support Ukraine. While I certainly will never donate money to a communist government, I hate bullies and if the last six years have taught me anything, it is that the Ukraine government is right up there with America on the world stage of bullies.
A short story will hopefully put this whole thing in context for you. If you don’t know anything about Canada bring up a map.
Imagine a world where Saskatchewan residents voted to leave Canada in 2014. Saskatchewan became the 51st state in the United States of America and the event barely made the news on the world stage.
Jump forward eight years to 2022 and Alberta residents decide they want to leave Canada. But this time Canada decides that they do not want to allow these rednecks out West to become Americans. The Canadian military has spent much of the last eight years in confrontations with western Canadians and has continually interrupted their power and water sources. Thousands of western Canadians have died in these conflicts, and nobody cared. But now in 2022, America decides to intercede and sends troops into Alberta to help liberate them from the Canadian government.
This is not a huge stretch of the imagination considering the fascist activities of the Canadian Prime Minister in 2022. He declared war on peaceful protesters. These are Canadian citizens who were using their constitutional freedoms and rights to protest government overreach with vaccine and mask mandates who were, at the simple declaration of the Prime Minister, turned into enemies of the state. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used his new powers to seize bank accounts and arrest Canadian protesters at will.
If the Canadian government attacks those American troops and those American troops start attacking Canada, where do you side?
How do you feel about American troops on Canadian soil? The Canadians asked them to be there. The Canadians were being persecuted by their government.
If you are from Europe, do you send troops to Ottawa or money to help them defeat the superpower next door?
Now for a brief history lesson about Ukraine. The country we know as Ukraine has only existed for 30 years. For over 70 years the borders we now call Ukraine were part of the Soviet Union, greater Russia if you will. I can’t think of a single country that took a greater hit in WWII than Ukraine. When Germany attacked Russia (the USSR back then – Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), the Russians had a unique way of hurting the Germans much the same way they hurt Napoleon in 1812 using their ‘scorched earth’ tactics.
In 1941, as the Germans advanced on the Russians retreating through Poland and Ukraine, the Russian army burned everything in its path, leaving no resources for the Germans to use to sustain their troops. Between the Russian ‘scorched earth policy’ and the German ‘annihilation zone’, almost 7 million Ukrainian civilians and military personnel were lost. About 28,000 Ukrainian villages, over 700 cities and towns, and the vast majority of Kiev and Kharkov city centers lay in ruins.
Over 19 million Ukrainians were homeless at the end of WWII. There was no industrial base and almost 30,000 farms were erased from the face of the earth. From 1945 to 1991, the Soviet Union, or Russia, rebuilt this country from the ground up. I am not sure if there are five people alive over the age of 30 who weren’t born as Soviet citizens. There is a ton more history that I know about this region, and my knowledge barely scratches a scratch on the surface of its history.
Crimea was a province in the Soviet Union until 1991 when it became part of the newly formed country of Ukraine.
In 2014, Crimea had a democratic election in which the result was that Crimea wanted to become part of Russia again. You might think the vote was close, but 97% of Crimea voters felt the urge to become Russian again. Ukraine did not like this outcome and continued years of mistreatment of this ethnic region. At this point, Russia sent in troops and effectively annexed Crimea as a province of Russia. Ukraine still cut off electricity and water to the region.
We all remember the western media’s outrage at Russian expansion into Ukraine, but did anyone do anything about it? Of course we didn’t. It was a democratic election. I remember being upset about it, but I don’t recall hearing anything about the Crimean people wanting to leave Ukraine. I believe that was all a subtext because the headlines were all about the big red threat of communist expansion.
So here we are in 2022. In the past eight years, more than 14,000 people have died in the fighting in eastern Ukraine because separatists want to become Russian. Is Russia supporting them? Absolutely. Is Ukraine killing its own people? Absolutely. In February of 2022, Vladimir Putin sent Russian troops in calling them, peacekeepers.
This is absurd right. This is more communist propaganda. I have been hearing about this since my childhood.
If you were a child in 1962, you will probably remember the Cuban missile crisis. Anyone over 40 remembers learning about it in school (hopefully). In the fall of 1962, Russia was delivering missiles and military aid to the newly communist country of Cuba. This is a whole other story about how the United States helped put Fidel Castro in power and then he turned his back on the US in favor of communism… like I said, another story.
In this story, President John F Kennedy created a naval blockade to prevent the independent nation of Cuba from accepting military equipment from the independent nation of Russia.
In either 1962, or at any time since, can you ever remember hearing a person complain about how the US prevented Cuba from receiving Russian aid? Of course not! We were preventing communist expansion. It was America’s right to interfere in Cuba because they had an opposing ideology, and we could not allow a foreign nation to put weapons so close to America in a country that didn’t share its political ideology.
Now that you have heard a couple stories, and hopefully feel more informed, where did you stand on the US invasion in Alberta? Would that change at all if 97% of Albertans wanted to become Americans? Would it be the same opinion if it were Russians invading Crimea at the request of 97% of Crimean residents?
Eight years later, were the Russians actually entering eastern Ukraine as peacekeepers in an effort to save ethnic Russian people that the Ukraine military has been killing for almost a decade? I have no idea. I am not Ukrainian or Russian. At the very most, I am a lost Ukrainian with a penchant for reading and research.
What I can tell you, is that western tech companies are censoring the crap out of all the news coming out of Russia. It is very reminiscent of the communist propaganda that I grew up hearing about, except of course it is us that is doing all the censoring. It is Western countries that are afraid of the other side of the story being heard. You would have to be an utter fool to trust the likes of CNN or Fox for news as the media has shown that it is all here for entertainment, and journalistic integrity is as rare as a nun in a strip club.
I have come to find that good, honest research with a splash of common sense has proven very effective in helping me guide my moral compass. They have helped me when doctors disagreed about a vaccine mandate… When scientists disagreed about global warming… Or when anyone disagreed about the value of an honest election.
So when you ask me how I feel about the Ukrainian situation, I hope you can understand my hesitation in giving you the answer that I know you want to hear.
I can tell you that if 97% of Albertans vote to leave Canada, I will not be donating money to the Canadian government to help them kill more Canadians.
I can tell you that I was previously okay with JFK stopping Russia from putting their missiles 150Km from Miami… but now I am not so sure that was a great position as a youth just blindly trusting the Western narrative. If I am okay with JFK interceding, then I need to be okay with Russia preventing Ukraine from putting a US military base 500Km from Moscow.
If I want to object to Putin’s actions today, then I might have to admit that the USA should have been chastised by the whole world in 1962 by preventing two independent nations from doing business.
It is possible that the Western media is telling the truth when they say that Putin is the next Hitler just trying to expand into Europe. Only Putin knows that for sure right now, but time will prove somebody right and somebody wrong. On the side of caution, I would probably do whatever possible to avoid interfering in the business of other independent nations, especially two nations with so much history.
I would also weigh the threat of war against the loss of civilian life. In this case, it seems like a Russian invasion might save more Ukrainian civilian lives over the next eight years than an invasion might incur. The Ukrainian government doesn’t seem to have been handling their situation much better than Justin Trudeau handles Canadians who speak out against him. If Justin Trudeau started killing thousands of Canadian citizens, I think I would have to back another government stepping in to prevent this.
If the western media is not telling the truth however, which would go with all their censorship, then it’s possible that Vladimir Putin it’s just a crazy-ass communist dictator who wants what’s best for the Russian people. It is possible that this is not some red communist threat to all of Europe and the rest of the world.
We don’t need to trust the western media to spread more fake news (as is their track record), we could test this theory with some common sense on its own. If Russia is a threat to all the freedoms that Western countries used to enjoy, the freedoms we used to enjoy before COVID anyway, we should be able to use some common sense and count all the Russian military bases throughout the world. By my count, there are 12 outside of Russia. If I look outside former Soviet states however, there are zero. No Russian bases in Cuba. No Russian bases in North Korea. No Russian bases in China. No Russian bases in Venezuela.
If Putin is telling the truth, or more truth than the western media at least, then the western media might be lying to everybody and spreading propaganda of their own. And we should be able to see evidence of that propaganda with a little research and common sense. According to Putin, it’s the West that is expanding and encroaching on Russian space. Well, it doesn’t take long to find over 500 American military bases in foreign countries. It doesn’t take long to find many reports of conversations about expanding US military bases into Ukraine.
I liked it better when I believed the media, that Vladimir Putin was the evil communist who always lied and was seeking world domination. I liked the world where I could trust the western media and my government to tell me the truth. But it seems all these Western countries are attacking Russia with economic sanctions for doing basically the same thing that JFK did to Cuba, and potentially what the USA would do if a Canadian province asked to join them. Clearly, Russia has the added benefit that its actions may save civilian lives. US sanctions against Cuba have lasted over 60 years and drastically hurt civilians in that country.
At the end of the day, I can tell you that I hate war… but believe that sometimes it is necessary.
I can tell you that I don’t donate to causes anymore without serious consideration (and potentially hiding the donations) because at the drop of a hat, our Prime Minister can disagree with my donation and seize my life savings and crush my business without any repercussions.
Such is life in a country where the people don’t value their personal freedom and fear their government.