On February 24, Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine, then immediately sent missiles flying across the country. Russian bombers, fighters, paratroopers, tanks, artillery, and infantry followed. Vlad the conquer thought that Ukrainian people would crumble under the might of Russia’s 200,000 man invasion force.
However, reality immediately set in as the Russian army experienced more resistance than expected.
“The Ukrainian government was still in control of its capital city Kyiv Saturday after a night of explosions and fighting in the streets.” A senior United States defense official reported to NBC News. The official continued, “the Russian assault continued to be stymied by stiffer-than-expected resistance.”
With Russia’s main battle force less than 20 miles outside of Kyiv, they have been unable to penetrate the first lines of defense around the city. Moreover, reports indicate that the Ukrainian Air Force is still intercepting Russian aircraft in the skies despite Russian efforts to ground them through more than 250 short-range missile strikes on their bases.
The Battle of Kyiv is the one to watch because if Kyiv falls, so will Ukraine.
So far, the Ukrainian Army is doing better than expected by everyone, especially Vladimir Putin and the Russian army. The resolve to remain independent was demonstrated soon after the invasion began. The defense of snake Island sets the standard of Ukrainian resistance.
The tiny, but strategic Snake Island, is located about 30 miles off the southern tip of the Ukrainian mainland, near the Romanian border. It’s less than a square mile in size but vital to the country’s territorial claims. According to Ukrainian government posts, 13 Ukrainian border guards held the island when Russia attacked.
The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet — the missile cruiser Moskva and the patrol ship Vasily Bykov, were in the area of Snake Island and ordered the defenders to surrender, or the battleship would bomb them.
According to the Ukrainian government, the defenders’ reply, “Go f–k yourself,” declaring their defense of Ukrainian sovereignty. Finally, the ships opened fire, and all of the defenders died. In America, we “Remember the Alamo,” but Ukraine will remember Snake Island forever.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced,
“We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities.” Zelensky added, “We will lift sanctions on all citizens of Ukraine who are ready to defend our country as part of the territorial defense with weapons in hands.”
There were also multiple reports that citizens were encouraged to manufacture Molotov cocktails using a mixture of gasoline and Styrofoam. The locations of Russian tanks, or targets, shared.
There is no lack of fighting spirit among the Ukrainian people
But will that be enough to withstand the fourth largest armed forces in the world? Truthfully, no one knows. History is replete with smaller forces that resist larger armies. You never know how war will end once it has begun.
So far, Ukraine is making a good showing of itself. According to NBC News, some of the heaviest fighting has been in and around the city of Kharkiv. Kharkiv is the second-largest city in Ukraine and sits only a few miles west of the Russian border, just north of the Donbas region.
Kharkiv is a significant producer of tanks and has a nuclear power plant.
Chernobyl, the power plant that suffered a meltdown in the 1980s, is said to have been captured by Russian troops. The situation remains in flux, as wars change rapidly and cannot know the outcome. However, both Russia and Ukraine have opened the path to peace talks. But, unfortunately, those overtures broke down.
Nonetheless, as is world politics, Europe is changing the minute the first missile left its launcher on its way from Russia to Ukraine.
The future of America and the world hangs in the balance right now, as it did in 1938 when Germany seized Czechoslovakia. And no amount of isolationism on the part of Americans would change that then, nor is it now.
As Ukraine fights for its sovereignty, isolated and alone because everyone is afraid of Russia, remember that freedom is not free. Not in Ukraine, not in Poland, not in Canada, and not in the United States.
When a challenge to freedom is made globally, the whole world, including us in America, because tyrants always want to enslave people, only those willing to fight for their freedom will have it.
Tyrants watch as other tyrants abuse their power, then follow suit. We only need to look to Canada to see how quickly democracy turns into tyranny. We must forever be vigilant to protect our freedom, or someday what’s happening in Kyiv today could be happening on the streets of Chicago, Nashville, or Sparks, Nevada.
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