I am a Ukrainian
Even though I was in diapers at the time, I can’t help but think of President John F. Kennedy addressing the people of West Berlin in 1963 and saying “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner). The speech was a huge morale booster for the people of West Berlin during the Cold War.
So today, I say proudly that I am a Ukrainian.
Okay, that statement is not supported by my 23 And Me results. (I lean more towards Poland and Czechoslovakia.) But it is supported by the ache in my heart for the people suffering at the hands of a ruthless foreign dictator.
Since the February 24th invasion, I have been consumed with following the details of this war. As of this publication date, seventeen days have passed. In a recent speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the invaders expected their “military operation” to be wrapped up in four days. But these are proud people they have gone up against.
I have relied greatly on a news source I found on Instagram (@WithUkraine). They do a great job translating to English and are updating the news 24/7. In comparisons to other news sources, I have found them to be accurate and incredibly timely.
Here are some of the moments that have touched my heart:
- A Ukrainian woman knocked a Russian drone out of commission by “torpedoing” it from her apartment balcony with a jar of canned tomatoes. By whatever means necessary. She and her husband then wisely disposed of the wreckage in several places so it couldn’t be traced to their building.
- Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is leading his country in such an honorable way, instilling hope and confidence in his people. Call me gullible, but I actually believe what he says as opposed to most politicians I can recall.
- An elementary age Russian boy gave a school report in defense of Ukraine. His government cut the power to his apartment building.
- Zelenskyy delivers daily updates to encourage his citizens and to dispute the propogandists who say he has fled the country. I don’t know if he gets credit for writing the speeches himself but he delivers them with such passion, confidence, and conviction that you believe the thoughts and words are his own. I encourage you to find an English translation you can follow and be inspired.
- A new mother was asked what she will tell her daughter one day, after being born during this war. Her response: We were victorious!
- I have yet to see an interview with an average Ukrainian civilian in which they didn’t confidently claim that their country would be victorious and they would soon return home.
- The NATO countries bordering Ukraine have opened their borders and their hearts to care for the refugees, especially Poland. Makes me proud of my Polish roots.
I’ve asked myself why I am so consumed with this war. Shouldn’t I be worrying about something else like gas prices and inflation? I guess I’m using the problems of Ukraine to put my local concerns in perspective.
And another thing. I’ve always rooted for the underdog. In my view, Ukraine is David. Russia is Goliath. And we know how that story ended.
Come on Ukraine; put another rock in your slingshot!