Ukraine Stands Firm
The second day of the war in Ukraine is drawing to a close, and by the looks of things, the Ukrainian citizens and armed forces haven’t budged. The defense of Kyiv is still stalwart, and Russia’s advance has gone slower than, I think, everyone suspected.
I am going to add some of the major updates from the day below (in no particular order):
- Kyiv has suffered bombardment since yesterday, and people are trying to discern what targets have been hit.
Lots of chatter on Twitter is suggesting that the 101st Brigade was hit; the Ukrainian unit responsible for the protection of the Ukrainian General Staff.
Rumors are also spreading of some successes in the Kyiv area.
2. It is possible that two Ilyushin Il-76 planes carrying Russian paratroopers have been shot down near Kyiv.
There are some major updates that go beyond exciting speculation, however.
3. Tens of thousands of Ukrainians have fled to neighboring states. Romania and Poland have taken in thousands of refugees. Romanians were even seen driving their cars to the border to pick up war refugees on the roadside.
4. NATO, for the first time in its history, activated a Response Force on the grounds of defensive deterrence. This is in preparation for an (implausible) Russian invasion of a NATO member-state.
In a similar light, the UN Security Council voted today to condemn the Russian invasion and denounce it as a violation of international law. Of course, the motion didn’t pass, as Russia vetoed and China abstained from voting.
How do I feel about that? Just scroll on!
5. The US finally decided to place individual sanctions on Vladimir Putin himself. Whether this is a day, three months, or several years too late, I have yet to decide…
At least we did it!
6. The White House has requested $6.4 bn from Congress in order to aid Ukraine. I’m fine with my taxes going towards that, I’ve seen it wasted on worse.
Perhaps the most inspiring of all,
7. President Zelensky has decided to stay in Kyiv, on the ground with his countrymen, despite the US offering evacuation.
President Zelensky, at the very least, has a character that commands respect. This is a display of the most genuine, courageous leadership. In the face of uncertainty and desolation, he is choosing to stay with his people and fight if necessary.
A model for aspiring leaders everywhere.
While the fighting is certain to continue into the morning, and for the foreseeable future, there were headlines reporting that both Putin and Zelensky are open to making a ceasefire and peace agreement. Whether this is genuine is up for debate, and we can only wait to see if it happens.
As for the general assessment of the conflict so far — Ukraine is inspiring and Putin, I think, has done two things:
This is truly a historic time.
Follow me on Twitter @thecmeasure for daily updates and commentary on the war in Ukraine and general politics.