By Ernie Williamson
I can’t watch television news these days without admiring the bravery and patriotism of Ukrainians.
As of this writing, the outcome is unclear, but one thing is certain: Vladimir Putin is messing with the wrong country.
From sharing food to taking up arms, Ukrainians across the country are united in repelling the invaders and protecting the homeland.
According to the New York Times, the Ukrainian army’s ability to destroy enemy tanks and intercept missiles has been remarkable. And behind the military are legions of ordinary Ukrainians who have made camouflage netting, dispatched humanitarian aid and raised funds.
Others have gone further, joining territorial defense forces. Using conventional arms and Molotov cocktails, they have apprehended saboteurs, shot down drones and stopped enemy tanks.
As I watch the news and admire Ukraine, I can’t help but wonder how Americans would respond if attacked. Would we be as united?
While Ukrainians in the besieged city of Mariupol live with mass graves, empty supermarkets and freezing cold, our divided nation fights over face masks and worries about the price of gasoline.
If attacked, would we come together like we have so many other times? Let’s hope so.
Meanwhile, a new Ukrainian hero emerges every day.
There’s Vitaly Skakun Volodymyrovych, a Ukrainian military engineer, who had volunteered to place mines on a strategic bridge in order to stop the Russians from advancing. Running out of time, he sacrificed himself by detonating land mines.
And there’s the man who stepped in front of a Russian convoy, forcing tanks to swerve off the road. As a clip went viral, many on social media likened the Ukrainian to the “tank man” protestor in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Then there’s the elderly Ukrainian woman who confronted Russian soldiers.
“Who are you?” she screamed at the soldiers. “You’re occupants, you’re fascists? What the (expletive} are you doing on our land with all those guns.”
The defiant women went on to suggest the Russian soldiers wouldn’t leave Ukraine alive.
” Take these seeds and put them in your pockets, so at least the sunflowers will grow when you all lie down here.”
Then, of course, we have the well-publicized Ukrainian border guards defending Snake Island in the Black Sea.
As two Russian warships approached the island, an unidentified voice said: “This is Russian warship. I propose you lay down your weapons and surrender to avoid bloodshed and unnecessary victims. Otherwise, you will be bombed.”
“Russian warship, go (expletive) yourself,” the Ukrainians replied.
Ukrainians have an inspiring leader in Volodymyr Zelensky, the president who rejected a U.S.
offer of evacuation by reportedly saying: “I need ammunition, not a ride.”
Finally, no discussion of heroes in the Ukraine war would be complete without mentioning the thousands of war protesters that have taken to the streets and squares in Russian cities.
Thousands have been arrested, including Marina Ovsyannikova, who worked at one of the Kremlin’s favorite propaganda outlets.
Ovsyannikova burst on to the live broadcast of Russia’s most watched news show yelling “Stop the war” and holding a sign that said, “They’re lying to you here.”
(Please contact Ernie at email@example.com. Or, send letters in care of The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516)