Ukrainian Heroes, Zelensky & Russian Protestors Shame Putin.
Make no mistake, the odds are heavily stacked in Vladimir Putin's favor, but the stories of Ukrainian heroics in their battle to save their homeland will inspire the world to isolate and humiliate the Russian dictator. And the protestors across Russia who are defying Putin and risking their freedom represent the beginning of a new democratic opposition to authoritarianism.
Thirteen Ukrainian border guards were killed after refusing to surrender Snake Island in the Black Sea to a Russian warship, but they sent a clear message about the resolve of Ukrainians to protect their homeland.
"I am a Russian warship," a Russian sailor can be heard saying on the recording. "I ask you to lay down your arms and surrender to avoid bloodshed and unnecessary deaths. Otherwise, you will be bombed."
The Ukrainians responded: "Russian warship, go fuck yourself." The Russian ship then bombed the tiny island, killing the border guards.
In the Kherson region a Ukrainian soldier named Vitaly Shakun blew himself up along with the Henichesk bridge to stop the advance of Russian troops, allowing the rest of his platoon to regroup and redeploy.
Russians are taking to the streets to protest a war that can't understand and clearly don't support.
Washington Post: For a year, the streets of Russia have been relatively quiet. Protests in early 2021 in support of opposition leader Alexei Navalny were met with arrests, beatings and prison sentences. But after President Vladimir Putin announced war against Ukraine this week, the streets swelled again with thousands of protesters. These courageous people, making themselves heard despite the fear and risks, demonstrated vividly that Mr. Putin faces opposition at home for what has quickly become known to be a war without a cause.
The Guardian: More than 1,800 people were arrested at rallies across the country on Thursday night as prominent Russians from the worlds of entertainment, business and journalism have risked their livelihoods in order to speak out.
The Economist: “The sombre, shamed mood in Moscow could hardly be more different from the euphoria that gripped it in 2014 when Mr Putin seized and annexed Crimea." ...
“This time opinion polls by Levada, an independent pollster, show that the country is divided, with less than half of the population supporting Mr Putin’s recognition of two Potemkin republics in Ukraine–a precursor to the war. There are no public displays of support for Mr Putin’s invasion.”
Thus far, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has refused offers of evacuation to escape Russian soldiers closing in on the capital.
Zelensky: "The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride,"
Jonathan Last: “He declined an offer of evacuation from the United States. Ukrainian forces held Kyiv into Saturday morning and Zelensky emerged onto the streets of the capital, walking with his countrymen. This is a level of personal bravery that we are utterly unaccustomed to seeing from heads of state. Zelensky’s conduct over the last few weeks—which has been utterly extraordinary—has substantially buttressed Ukraine’s resolve. He has become more than a man. More than a leader. He has become a symbol.”
Putin may win his cruel war of aggression against Ukraine, but there will be no honor in it, just shame and years of crippling sanctions that will wreck the Russian economy and impoverish its citizens.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content