Courage Under Fire – Pray for President Zelenskyy and People of Ukraine
Image from Pixabay
The invasion of a sovereign country without provocation is an act of evil. That is defined as any action that is thought out, which seeks to harm others.
This is the worst European conflict since the Second World War.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is displaying courage under the very real threat he could be murdered. He is not abandoning the people of Ukraine. The true test of leadership is what a leader brings out in others. He is inspiring them to keep fighting.
Putin and those who have financed his acts of genocide should be brought before the Hague and tried as war criminals. There are legal scholars who agree on this point, but it could take considerable time. Judicial authorities of the International Criminal Court (ICC) are amassing evidence to investigate Putin and those who have supported his acts of genocide.
I will never forget the sacrifice of one soldier. His name is Vitaliy Skakun Voldymyrovych. He was a serviceman in the Ukrainian Marines.
“As Putin’s forces raced towards him, Vitaliy realised he did not have time to set a fuse and get to safety.
“The bridge was mined, but he didn’t manage to get away from there,” said the General Staff of the Armed Forces.
“According to his brothers in arms, Vitaly got in touch [with them] and said he was going to blow up the bridge.
“Immediately after an explosion rang out.”1
Vitaliy is being recommended by his commanders for a posthumous honor.
His death gave enough time for The Ukrainian Army to regroup. The Russian soldiers had to take a much longer path to get into Ukraine. 2
The bravery of the Ukrainian people inspires us. Teachers, business people, shop owners, are picking up guns, and are prepared to use them. Truckloads of Molotov cocktails are being made. These are also referred to as petrol and gas bombs or a Molly. It is made with alcohol or petrol mixed usually with some motor oil and ignited with a wick. When the glass bottles explode they become shrapnel. Civilians are ready to throw them at Putin’s advancing army.
“Other flammable liquids, such as diesel fuel, methanol, turpentine, jet fuel, and isopropyl alcohol, have been used in place of or combined with, petrol. Thickening agents, such as solvents, extruded polystyrene (XPS) foam (known colloquially as styrofoam), baking soda, petroleum jelly, tar, strips of tire tubing, nitrocellulose, motor oil, rubber cement, detergent and dish soap, have been added to promote adhesion of the burning liquid and to create clouds of thick, choking smoke. The contents of the bottle may be pressurized to create a stronger explosion, potentially dispersing the broken glass as shrapnel. This is usually done by closing the bottle with an airtight closure and heating them before attaching the cloth wick.
In addition, highly toxic substances are also known to be added to the fuel, to create a suffocating or poisonous smoke on the resulting explosion, effectively turning the Molotov cocktail into a makeshift chemical weapon. These include bleach, chlorine, hydrogen cyanide, various strong acids, and pesticides.”3
A few days ago there were some Russian soldiers caught. One of the first things they did was eat. A proper plan wasn’t put in place for the provision of food to the troops. Some cried after being captured. Putin obviously thought this was going to be a walk in the park. He underestimated the fighting spirit of the people of Ukraine.
There are reports of soldiers sabotaging the gas tanks of vehicles. Many are abandoning their tanks and military trucks. Some soldiers are surrendering to the Ukrainian army. There are videos of Russian soldiers calling their parents. They cry as they tell them they love them. It is clear there are soldiers who never wanted this war,
Putin duped soldiers, many only 19 and 20, into believing they were liberating the people of Ukraine.
“Some of them thought they were on military exercises. They didn’t anticipate resistance,” Artem Mazhulin, a 31-year-old English teacher from Kharkiv said. “A lot are conscripts born in 2002 or 2003. We are talking about 19-year-old and 20-year-old boys.”
He added: “Since 2014 the Russian government has been brainwashing its population with propaganda. They try and make Russia believe Ukraine is not a real country and say fascist monsters have captured it.”4
Many in Russia are protesting against the war in Ukraine. They are risking imprisonment and even death in doing so. Russian legislators are going to enact a law that makes what they falsely claim as “the dissemination of misinformation punishable by up to 15 years in prison. What is known is that Putin’s opponents have a way of disappearing. Those people most likely have been murdered.
I am angry, especially at the traumatic stress, Putin is causing to the children. This disgusts me. In my professional opinion as one who specializes in trauma, the invasion of Ukraine will cause many Ukrainians to develop PTSD. No matter how strong we are within ourselves, we all have a breaking point. Putin knows this. This is one of the many things he learned as he trained to be an intelligence officer in the KGB.
We should also say a prayer for the Russian people who are protesting and being imprisoned for standing up to Putin. I hope international pressure is put on the Russian government to have them released.
Russian forces murdered priest-chaplain Maksym Kozachyna of the Orthodox Christian Church in Ukraine. He was killed in his car. Below, is the report of his death.
Why aren’t more journalists covering this story?
No doubt you are struggling with feelings of being helpless to help the people of Ukraine. I have felt that way. In addition to donating to humanitarian relief efforts for providing things such as food and medicines, you can pray. When rage rises in you, pray. When you cry for the people of Ukraine, pray. With Putin’s saber-rattling the threat of nuclear war, pray. He is playing psychological head games with you. He knows if he presses the nuclear button, there is no going back from it. Putting is messing with your head. Don’t forget he learned the art of psychological warfare in the KGB.
The number of dead and injured on both the Russian and Ukrainian sides continues to rise. Ambulances, schools, and apartment buildings are being shelled.
If President Vladimir Putin invades any NATO country, according to President Biden in his state of the union address, he will be met with the full force of NATO. He may become emboldened by claiming victory over Ukraine. He longs for days of the United Soviet Socialist Republic (U.S.S.R). He envisions having a Russian empire as large or larger than Stalin’s.
The punishing sanctions of numerous countries such as the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, are taking their desired effect. Many countries are stopping imports of oil and gas from Russia. Russian officials and the oligarchs who financed Putin’s war in Ukraine are being blocked from their ability to do international banking. Putin’s assets in banks have been frozen. This means the money fueling Putin’s war machine is being cut off. The Russian ruble has fallen to one cent. Experts say Putin has most likely stashed away billions privately, but even if that is true, the money will run out fast when you consider how costly Russia’s war on Ukraine is becoming.
This story in no way can fully describe the magnitude of suffering that is occurring in Ukraine. My wife Karen and I lost hot water this morning while our old hot water heater was being replaced. It was a minor inconvenience. I washed a plate with the small amount of water remaining in the tank. It shows how we do things out of habit. Imagine not having access to water. You can’t take a shower or have a bath. If this goes on for days you stink.
Putin is wearing down the Ukrainian people. It’s all very strategic when you think about it. Whittle away at the things that we largely take for granted in Western culture. We turn on the hot water to wash our dishes. We get cold water to make up juice from a concentrated form of it in a can. We turn on the microwave to heat up a meal, make popcorn, or warm up a cup of coffee. We have electricity for our computers, TVs, to charge our Smart Phones and Tablets, heating, and to turn our lights on in our homes and apartments. Ukrainians are freezing because Russian forces have bombed the apartments they were living in. The shelling is affecting the electricity grid in cities such as the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.
Putin is isolating Ukraine from the world by shelling communication towers and the ability for Ukrainians to have internet and watch TV. He is using cyber-attacks to affect the ability of the government to conduct its business.
The BBC has set up two shortwave radio frequencies that will allow Ukraine to hear its BBC world service four hours a day. Millions of Russians are tuning into the BBC Russian world service as they get more cut off from the internet by Putin. 5 He will be furious about that because it means he will be less successful at getting Russians to believe his lies.
The images of people laying on sleeping bags in underground subway stations and bomb shelters are heart-breaking.
I saw a photo online of a father crying over the body of his dead son. It saddened me.
Vacuum bombs that take up the oxygen within a thousand feet of it are in Putin’s arsenal. Basically, they also release pieces of metal n the air. If for some reason you should survive the loss of oxygen in the space of air it takes up, pieces of metal the bomb releases will kill you internally. Reports indicate a vehicle that had one of these bombs was left abandoned.
It is highly likely that Putin will have these vacuum bombs unleashed on Ukrainians.
Putin is spreading misinformation to the Russian people that this is a war to liberate the Russians who don’t want to be a part of Ukraine. If that was true why the shelling of ambulances, apartment buildings, cars, and trucks? He is also trying to fool the Russian people into believing only civilian targets are being hit.
Putin’s atrocities are being compared to those of Adolf Hitler. Given the terror he causes in people’s minds, I agree. We must stand with Ukraine and against Putin and the oligarchs to make sure the physical number of deaths in Ukraine and the possible invasion of NATO countries don’t match or exceed Hitler’s.
What Putin will do next only he knows. That is a scary thought.
Hopefully, his ability to continue hurting and killing people will be stopped by economic sanctions. If life gets rough enough in Russia, there may be increasing pressure to turn Putin and those who helped finance his invasion of Ukraine over to authorities, This could occur once an official charge of war crimes has been filed.
I commend the neutral countries of Sweden and Finland for being a part of the effort to freeze the assets of Putin, the oligarchs, and Russian officials.
If Putin has learned anything from history it’s that dictators fall. It happened to Hitler. He is thought to have committed suicide when he knew that allied forces would soon arrest him. Italy’s dictator, Benito Mussolini, and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were executed by Italian partisans. She didn’t participate in any wrongdoing. She was reviled for being Mussolini’s lover. Here is a photo of the wall they were shot in front of in a village near Lake Como. Shortly after, they were both hung and stoned in the Square of Milan.
Dictators trust no one. Anyone could be out to get them.
“A crushing defeat is the most humbling inoculation for arrogance.”― Lennox D. Lampkin
Let’s hope Putin gets a permanent inoculation.
The humanitarian efforts of many countries and organizations such as the Red Cross and The Salvation Army are of enormous scope. They are supplying food, medicine, and clothes to Ukrainian refugees who fled with nothing but the clothes they were wearing. According to CBC News, there are now over 1,000.000 people, an estimated 500,000 of them children, who have had enough. They are fleeing the unrelenting shelling. This number is expected to climb much higher into several million people. Creative ways are being used to let Ukrainians know we are hearing them. CBC News reports there re people who are donating stays at an Airbnb who are not staying there. It is a gift for the people of Ukraine. Here is the social media post about this.
“Countries in the midst of a war are not typical destinations for travelers, but that didn’t stop Cheryl Andrews of Edmonton from recently booking an Airbnb stay for April in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv — which is currently under siege by invading Russian troops.
But Andrews, like many others who’ve booked accommodations in Ukraine on the home rental firm, has no intentions of actually visiting.”
This action is turning into a global movement. People across the globe are booking vacation stays for Ukrainians, so they will feel the love of the world for their plight.
Attempts of a ceasefire in parts of Ukraine for the delivery of humanitarian aid so far have failed. Russian forces continue their merciless attack. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been shelled. BBC reported that a flare lit up the sky. Thankfully, the projectile hit a training building rather than the reactor.
“The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) later said a Russian projectile hit a training building that was not part of a reactor, causing a localised blaze that was later extinguished.”6
The need is immense, but the world is showing Putin that love wins over hate.
Sadly, thousands more could die as Putin uses vacuum bombs and the full measure of the deadly weapons.
In the darkness, sunflowers, Ukraine’s national flower, will bloom again. It’s difficult to see now, but it will happen because sunflowers always grow again.
I’m a sinner saved by grace teaching others about it.
Image from Pixabay