“Days like these are far too rare to cheapen with heavy-handed words.”
I don’t really know why this quote from one of my top five favourite movies came to mind as I prepared to write this, other than I feel at an absolute loss that any words I put down could do justice to what we are witnessing happen in Ukraine.
I follow the news closely, and I had my own comprehension about what was happening, but having had conversations with Ukrainian Svitlana Palahuta, who now lives in Back Bay with her husband and three children, I have a better understanding of what it means to Ukrainian people.
Speaking with Svitlana, I found myself emotional, which for me is rare. I cannot fathom what it is like to watch these atrocities unfold in your home and have no ability to help, nor can I fathom the grip of terror you would carry as you wait to find out if your friends and family have survived, or made it to safer ground.
For those who applauded bouncy castles and cries against mask wearing, I invite you to take a long hard look at what the stripping of freedoms actually looks like.
And to those Russians who stood in their own cities to protest the Russian war on Ukraine, who have been arrested; that is what truly standing for the freedom of others looks like. Those who were arrested, carried often for four Russian police, will likely spend significant time in jail, unlike those who were arrested in Ottawa and released without charges.
And while I grasp there are political intricacies at play here, the truth is Putin is making a flex, a useless show of power, in an attempt to retake a country that has been independent since 1991, and clearly has no desire to be back under Russian rule.
And yes, as sanctions are piled onto Russia, and a financial squeeze so tight occurs it impacts those of us in Canada through oil prices, I for one will happily pay the extra dollar if it means starving Russia of the funds it needs to carry on. Of all of the ridiculous reasons we have endured price hikes at the pumps, this is the first I can understand and accept.
Svitlana asked us to show our support by talking, donating, and pushing our governments to help as much as they can. I for one am happy to do it.