Ukraine Hangs Tough

Posted on Tue 03/01/2022 by


The outmanned and outgunned Ukrainian David has thus far outdone the Russian Goliath.

What a difference a day makes. Just a week ago, with 150,000 Russian troops arrayed along his country’s border, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a former actor and stand-up comic, was seen by world leaders as a neophyte and a lightweight. Today? Not so much.

When war broke out on Wednesday, and when Russia made clear its designs on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, the U.S. offered the 44-year-old husband and father of two safe passage out of the city. He declined. “The fight is here,” he said. “I need ammunition, not a ride.”

As it turns out, Zelensky is no joke.

With those words, and with his subsequent smart-phone exhortations to his fellow Ukrainians, Zelensky etched his name into Ukrainian lore. It’s rare indeed when man and moment come together as they have for Zelensky, rare indeed when the words of a foreign leader make everyday Americans say, “Hell yeah,” but that’s what we have here. And if Vladimir Putin thought his superior forces would roll right into Kyiv and snatch up the young president, he was badly mistaken. Putin’s special forces may yet get Zelensky, but every minute until then is an inspirational one for millions of his fellow freedom fighters.

Take Anastasia Lenna, for example. She’s a beauty queen and a former Miss Grand Ukraine, and she’s apparently grabbed a gun and joined the fight. “Everyone who crosses the Ukrainian border with the intent to invade will be killed!” said one Instagram post. “Our army is fighting in such a way that NATO should apply for entry into Ukraine,” quipped another.

We’re not sure whether she can shoot, but her verbal game is weapons-grade.

Or take a young Ukrainian mother, Olena Gnes, whose moving plea for help came from a makeshift bomb shelter — with two young children by her side and a five-month-old baby in her arms. “They will not control us,” she said. “Ukrainians will not surrender. … Right now, again, we are ready to die for the sake of our freedom and our independence and just to be Ukrainian.”

Replying to @JonathanTurley

……I deleted the tweet from a few minutes ago with an article juxtaposing the images because it fails to note why the president has left for Delaware. I am sorry for raising the optics issue when the president is responding to a family matter.
Jonathan Turley
…Here is part of that interview that was so moving this morning for many of us:
Ukrainian mom pleads for help from bomb shelter: Putin won’t stop,…
11:40 AM · Feb 26, 2022

As the Wall Street Journal editorial board writes: “Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine invasion isn’t going according to his script, and for that the world owes a great debt to the heroic people of that besieged country of 41 million. Their resistance against fearsome odds is an inspiration and has awakened the world to the menace of the Kremlin autocrat. Ukraine deserves more support to raise the costs of war for Mr. Putin with arms, the toughest sanctions, and global ostracism.”

As for Zelensky, the Journal’s editors came to his defense against a New York Times op-ed that questioned his leadership under a headline that read, “The Comedian-Turned-President Is Seriously in Over His Head.” It seems to us that the Times is, as usual, over its head where journalism is concerned. And, as the editors continue, “[Zelensky’s] pleas on behalf of Europe’s principles have helped to persuade European leaders that Ukraine’s fight is also theirs.”

That fight is certainly in doubt, but if the claims of the Ukrainian military can be taken at face value, Russian forces have already paid a heavy price. Four days into the conflict, the Ukrainians claim to have killed some 4,500 Russian personnel — which is nearly as many as our nation lost in nearly 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.

If that’s the case, and if talks in Belarus are indeed taking place, Vladimir Putin would be well advised to look for an off-ramp.

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Posted in: Politics, Russia