We Cannot Abandon Them!!!

One of my biggest concerns about Republicans holding a majority, albeit a small one, in the House of Representatives next year is the threat that I’ve heard bandied about that they would cut off all future funding to Ukraine.  Some claim we “need to move on from Ukraine”, but how do you just abandon an entire nation of people?  It breaks my heart to think that this nation would simply stop aiding Ukraine, leaving them to almost certain takeover by Russia, and at the cost of how many lives?  And then yesterday I came across this piece by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and recently-returned New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof.  This article shows us why we must continue to support Ukraine, why anything else is unthinkable from a humanitarian perspective.  The article is a bit long, so I will share only a portion here, but I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read the rest.


I Went to Ukraine, and I Saw a Resolve That We Should Learn From

By Nicholas Kristof

Photographs by Emile Ducke

16 November 2022

IZIUM, Ukraine — Inna Osipova pointed to the 30-foot pile of rubble that is all that’s left of her apartment building. She and her 5-year-old son narrowly escaped when Russian shelling destroyed the structure, but her grandmother did not and is interred somewhere in the wreckage. Osipova hopes her body will be found so she can be given a proper burial.

Her voice cracked with emotion, but she held together until I asked what she thought of Americans who say it’s time to move on from supporting Ukraine.

“We’re people, you understand,” she said, and she began weeping. “It doesn’t matter if we’re Ukrainian or American — such things should not happen.” And then she was crying too hard to continue.

“We’re people, you understand,” said Inna Osipova, in front of the ruins of her apartment building, which entombs her grandmother. “It doesn’t matter if we’re Ukrainian or American — such things should not happen.”

These areas in northeastern Ukraine, recently liberated after months of Russian occupation, show what’s at stake as some Americans and Europeans seek to trim assistance for Ukraine. There are bombed-out buildings, survivors cooking over open fires outside, children injured by land mines, freshly vacated Russian torture chambers — 23 discovered so far here in the Kharkiv region alone — along with mass graves of corpses with hands tied and shattered limbs.

“Right now people are finding graves everywhere in the villages,” said Tamara Kravchenko, who runs the only funeral home still operating in Izium. “The Russians would often just throw dirt on bodies where they killed them. Every day we find someone.”

“We will be dealing with this for a long time,” she added.

While President Vladimir Putin of Russia seems unable to break the spirit of Ukrainians, he is already shattering the will of some Americans and Europeans.

“Under Republicans, not another penny will go to Ukraine,” says Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, the firebrand Republican. The Republican leader in the House, Kevin McCarthy, says that it’s time to end the “blank check” for Ukraine. A Wall Street Journal poll published this month found that 48 percent of Republicans believe the United States is doing too much to help Ukraine, up from 6 percent in March. On the American left and in Germany and France, there are also signs of impatience, though fewer.

“I’m not afraid that Ukrainians will tire of being attacked by missiles but that people in other countries will say, ‘Enough. Time to turn the page,’” said Oleksandr Danylyuk, 47, a former minister of finance who signed up to be a soldier after the Russian invasion in February, was injured in June and is now recovering.

He’s right. Buck up, America and Europe! And take some inspiration from Ukrainians themselves. I see people here suffering enormous hardship — yet ever more determined to fight back.

Anastasia Blyshchyk, 26, was a television journalist whose boyfriend, Oleksandr Makhov, enlisted as a soldier immediately after Putin invaded. After reaching the front, Makhov proposed to her by video call, jokingly proffering a ring from a grenade. “Yes!” she said, and they giddily planned what to name their children.

Then Makhov was killed in May by Russian fire — and Blyshchyk signed up to be a soldier herself. I met her on an icy afternoon near her base. She may have felt shattered, but she projected strength, wearing body armor and walking carefully to avoid land mines. “Follow in my footsteps,” she advised.

Anastasia Blyshchyk, a former television journalist, joined the military after her boyfriend was killed in combat. “They killed the man I love,” she said. “Of course I’m here.”

“Today is exactly six months since Oleksandr was killed,” she said, quivering but not teary. “I’ve promised myself I won’t cry.”

I asked her why she enlisted to fight the Russians.

“They killed the man I love,” she said simply. “Of course I’m here.”

Please do take the time to read the rest, for it is both interesting and informative.

27 thoughts on “We Cannot Abandon Them!!!

  1. I understand the need to help other nations during hard times…. but enough is enough, 100 billion and counting. You don’t think our homeless and poor, also migrants and minorities can really use that money. Have we not learned anything from Vietnam and Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq?
    Perpetual money pits lead to runaway inflation and food/ energy scarcity. It’s time we pull out of Ukraine and focus on our own internal problems. Fentanyl is killing thousands of Americans everyday, why are politicians not looking into that issue? Tip of the iceberg.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Human life, my friend. Yes, there are needs elsewhere, but perhaps none so critical as in Ukraine at the moment. And just think … if all the wealthy hoarders were to pitch in and help, we could fulfill ALL the needs around the globe.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We are having this war for almost 9 months in front of our front door. Still, it is hard to believe that this could really happen again after all the progress we made. However, due to the sanctions, we are also affected by the consequences. Do I mind it? Not at all. We need to save energy anyway, so what. Unfortunately, not everybody is thinking like I do but I dare to believe still the majority. So, yes, we need to hang in for peace, fairness, compassion, love, and a better world and that takes sacrifices for everyone. This happens when we stand together and it is ok! One world – all for one and one for all!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you. The end of WWII and later the dissolution of the USSR gave us hope that we had made great progress. But, progress is one of those “two steps forward and one step back” things and we seem to currently be seeing the ‘step back’ in more ways than the war in Ukraine! Here, we are taking steps back in racism, misogyny, education, and other areas. Globally, we are all taking steps back from democracy. Putin has long had a desire to establish another Soviet-style empire along the lines of the USSR, and he thought this would be an easy first step. Conquer Ukraine, then Belarus, maybe Poland …

      I applaud you, my friend, for being willing to make needed sacrifices for the greater good. This is what being a part of a global community is about … or any community! Your mind and heart are in the right place … I just wish more were!

      Liked by 1 person

      • True, what you said here. Progress is a process that doesn’t go straight upwards. Oh, yes, Putin’s arrogance was too big, but not as big as the resistance of Ukraine.

        You know the “sacrifices” we need to take are nothing compared to what the people involved in that war have to bear. Of course, some are struggling enormously because the costs for electricity go through the roof. But I am ashamed by people that are complaining but can afford it with only few restrictions. We have been spoiled here for decades.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You are so right! I saw a clip from CNN today where a reporter was interviewing some people in the newly-freed Kherson. They have no water, no electricity, no internet, but they were in the streets cheering and singing their national anthem, some draped in the Ukrainian flag. The ones interviewed all said the same thing “We are so relieved, so happy to be free again!” Even without the war in Ukraine, it amazes me that people will complain and whine over paying more for a gallon of gas or a pack of chicken, but still take vacations, go to movies and concerts, and buy new clothes or furniture. Priorities, people!!! Sigh.

          Liked by 1 person

          • When you come to that point when you are about to lose everything, you realize what is really meaningful in life. I don’t hope that everyone gets to that point to understand it but if you get there you do. Life receives a different meaning. As you said, priorities!!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Sadly, those who need to learn that lesson of humility will likely never find themselves in such dire circumstances. No, I don’t hope everyone gets to that point either, but I think it would be an eye-opener for some who have lived above the fray all their lives. I’ve long said that politicians running for office should have to, as requisite for even being on the ballot, spend one month living in subsidized housing or perhaps even a homeless shelter with no access to their own wealth. It would be an eye opener for them and give them some idea what it’s like on “the other side of the tracks”.

              Liked by 1 person

              • That would be the best preparation for that job indeed. Only when you know where the people come from that you are responsible for, you can stand up for their interests, see the real problems, and can put that in consenent with the development of the conditions.

                Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing!!.. as Mr. Obama said “Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” ( Barack Obama) so with today’s knowledge and technology, the world does not need Marjorie Taylor Greene or birds of like feather to help the people of Ukraine, or anyone else for that matter.. 🙂

    As for elements of the Republican party, there is a saying “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, and they may wish to take heed for the future as I am sure there will be many who will remember… 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

    • President Obama was a wise man and his words carry much weigh, or at least should. Unfortunately, the words of people like Marge Greene and Kevin McCarthy can carry weight when they are sitting in positions of power, as they are. I cannot understand how anybody could turn their back on the people of Ukraine at a time like this. Is the human conscience becoming a thing of the past?

      You’re right … that ‘do unto others …’ phrase is so apt. As is, “What goes around, comes around.” Thanks for dropping by, Dutch, and for the lovely Irish Saying! Always good to hear from you!

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  4. Pingback: We Cannot Abandon Them!!! | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  5. Jill, it became a wedge issue. PR people look for these all the time. The locate one, play it up, get talk show host to play it up and it does from 6% to 48%. I am not saying we should not consistently check our spends, but this is how I see this evolution. I still find it bizaree that the party of Ronald Reagan has a crush on Vladimir Putin, an autocrat and parasite. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure you’re right about that, but … I cannot understand how so many people could turn their backs on an entire country of people … human beings … who are in such horrible circumstances! Ronald Reagan … I wasn’t a huge fan of his political ideas, but he was a decent human being, he cared about people. Like you, I have a hard time reconciling the Republican Party of 50 years ago with the one of today, but parties do evolve. Both parties have evolved in a variety of ways … hmmmm … perhaps I’ll do a post on that soon. Putin is no hero, nor is Orbàn of Hungary who the Republicans also adore. It’s beyond me … the only explanation I can come up with is they have shifted from democracy to an authoritarian regime, or at least hope to.

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  6. It does not surprise me, if these religious right wing head bangers hate LBGT people and women’s rights but love guns regardless of who is killed and follow Trump so why would they give a damn for people in Ukraine?

    Until it happens to them they will not want to know and as many of them dislike an orderly democratic system of government Putin’s dictatorship and his bloodbath of the Ukraine people must seem to be more desirable and acceptable way to live, so who do the right claim the communists are?

    I hope none of these 45% of idiots come to Australia because I would….better left unsaid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have a point there — they are narrow-minded and not particularly given to compassion or humanity, so why should I be surprised.

      I think we can all relate more easily to those things with which we have personal experience, but … all one has to do is look at the pictures, read the stories about of the survivors … and those who didn’t survive. See the children. I cannot understand how anybody would want to say, “Oh well, we’ve spent enough money there … let them all be killed.” What has happened to empathy and compassion and humanity??? Sigh.

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  7. “Under Republicans, not another penny will go to Ukraine,” says Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, the firebrand Republican. The Republican leader in the House, Kevin McCarthy, says that it’s time to end the “blank check” for Ukraine. A Wall Street Journal poll published this month found that 48 percent of Republicans believe the United States is doing too much to help Ukraine, up from 6 percent in March. ”

    OK, all you ‘devoted’ Christians….
    31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

    34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
    40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

    41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

    44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

    45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

    46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • How people can turn their backs on other people who are in such dire circumstances is beyond me, but given what little I know of the bible and what Christianity is supposed to be about, it’s even more mind-boggling when those who claim to be devout act without compassion, without humanity. I’m not a believer, yet I could not turn away a person in need if I had the wherewithal to help them. What is happening in Ukraine … perhaps it needs to happen here so that people will get a taste of what it’s like.

      Liked by 1 person

      • In war there is always the question of who can hold out the longest, who will support them and who on the sidelines will lose the inclination to carry on participating.
        That said, since the end of WWII the USA has historically always, for better or for worse taken a stand against any side Russia supports. It’s the simple dynamics of two large powers of conflicting views each intent on maintaining its stance….nothing new there.
        That said for American folk of an essentially conservative base to be doing the opposite is Hypocrisy and a cheap sort at that. The knee jerk ‘If the Democrats are for it. I’m against it,’ demonstrates an ideology bereft of any value.
        Ironically like their fellow travelers on the European Left who always follow the Kremlin Line, they will find systems like that will consume them.
        For Russia may eventually come completely unstuck in its Ukraine adventurism but Russia’s traditional monolithic system will prevail, using up supporters like troops on a battlefield.
        When it comes to this subject, Greene and the rest are simply for The Kremlin Useful Idiots…

        Liked by 1 person

        • All true. And yes, there are a number of those useful idiots in this country today, most residing in the GOP, starting with the 3-time loser who just announced his candidacy for the office of president. The really sad part is that so many ordinary people believe the lies.

          Liked by 1 person

          • One of the dangerous facets of politics Jill, is that there are no truths, but sets of ideas, point of view, ambitions, arguments and of course scams.
            Whoever can convince or coerce the best wins the contest and for the majority that becomes ‘The Conventional Wisdom’ of the day.
            This may be for better or for worse. Better being that it benefits the vast majority of the population irrespective of race, religion, gender, social grouping etc.
            Worse is when a bigoted or corrupt cabal get hold.

            Like

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