I glanced at the headlines today, and realised I couldn’t handle the news without coffee.
Coffee in hand, I try again. All the headlines are about the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. The desperate race to evacuate the cities. Russia bombing hospitals, Maternity Hospitals, Schools. Putin is trying to eliminate tomorrow’s resistance, today. Russian airstrikes on Mosques and Churches, proving Putin is not discriminating in his genocide; he will kill anyone and everyone if it is deemed necessary to achieve his goal. Russia bombing Nuclear Power Plants, because you can never have enough chaos and destruction.
I need to add some whiskey to this coffee.
The level of resistance in Ukraine is inspiring. Putin thought he’d roll over Ukraine in a matter of days, it’s taken him three weeks. Ukrainian forces are attacking Russian convoys, cutting off some supplies, and because they expected it to be a short campaign, Russia didn’t bring enough food. I’ve seen images of an old man with a cigarette hanging off his lip moving a landmine out of the road. These are a tough as nails people and they will not lie down until they are dead.
Zelensky is proving a capable leader, committed to his country and his people. He has been offered asylum in other countries and has refused, saying he needs ammunition, not a ride. And he is doing his best to counter the Russian propaganda campaign and call out the lies in the plainest terms. He recently slammed Russia’s assertion that Ukraine was developing biological or chemical weapons, and says he now fears a chemical or bioweapon attack from Russia, since projection is their thing. And we know there is no bottom to what Putin will do.
As I tip more whiskey into the coffee cup.
So I look at the response from around the world. No one is sending troops yet. Putin as been very free with his threats of Nuclear retaliation against what he deems an act of war. I worry that HE will decide what constitutes an act of war. Troops would definitely count, but so could an off hand remark, a poorly written tweet, or a suggestive pause in a statement. What about Aid? Is supplying arms an act of war? what about supplying food? When you’re dealing with a cold-blooded madman, you have to assume the worst.
Apparently, There’s a Russian Nuclear missile that can reach London in 5 Minutes. I’m actively trying not to think about that.
Refugees are fleeing to Western Countries. I find the UK response…. interesting. The government has offered UK households £350 per week to house a refugee family. 48000 household have signed up for the scheme, an excellent response. There is also money to help local authorities and councils house/feed/process incoming refugees. The UK will look after arriving refugees.
Once they get in the country, that is. The UK requires refugees to have a Visa. Initially, visas were only available if you had family already in the country, but public pressure forced them to lift that requirement. But still, the visa process is glacially slow, with only 3000 visas issued so far (despite Michael Gove’s assertion it was 300,000). The government can look very generous and welcoming, safe in the knowledge they won’t have to spend the money. They are safe behind the Red Tape Curtain.
And I don’t know what’s going on with American Media and Government. Fox news is flat out repeating Russian Propaganda, to the point where Tucker Carlson is shown on Russian State Television. Congressman Madison Cawthorn called Zelensky a thug and the Russian troops, Liberators. He wants to put ‘America First’ which is utterly meaningless in the context of this conflict.
My Coffee cup now contains straight whiskey.
There are a couple of stories that give me some hope.
In London, Squatters occupied the house of Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska and decorated it with Ukrainian flags and banners declaring the house ‘Liberated.’ Eight people have now been arrested, but it was defiance in the face of Government inaction and it was good to see,
A Russian News Producer, Marina Ovsyannikova, photobombed a broadcast with a sign that sad “Stop the war! Don’t Believe the propaganda. They are lying to you here.” She has been arrested and faces up to 5 years in prison. She knew the potential consequences of her actions, but she did it anyway.
These small acts of defiance are necessary, and heartening, because often the great machine of money and power seems too much to fight. Defiance, Resistance, power of the people must slip into the cracks like water, then freeze, expand, and shatter the whole machine.
I’m now drinking straight from the bottle, but I’m raising a toast in support of the Resistance.
A great read Sheila now go down that bottle of whisky to dull the reality !