As I write this, I’m sitting warm and well fed in the safety and comfort of my apartment as I watch Alexander Prokhorenko, an incredibly courageous and articulate restaurant owner, speaking live from Kyiv on the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC on Feb 25, 2022.
His is only one of the many thousands of lives affected by this horror and devastation as he huddles, with a few of his neighbors (most have fled already), in the basement garage of his apartment building as a kind of bunker to protect them from the explosions and gunfire that can be heard even through the walls of the garage.
His English is amazingly good which humbles me because I can only speak one language. But I do know the language of courage and that is the other language that he is speaking—courage in the face of overwhelming danger. The lives of the people of Ukraine are on the precipice of unspeakable harm and peril in the face of this David and Goliath moment. All the world is watching in horror as we see this unfolding on the world stage. Vladimir Putin shattered the peace in Europe by unleashing an invasion of the sovereign nation of Ukraine. History may rank him with such despicable dictators as Stalin and Hitler, who were willing to subjugate and enslave whole populations.
Mr. Prokhorenko says, “To the world I say, don’t stay aside. We are looking to the world for support. We are a small country compared to Russia. We are waiting for the whole world to support us!”
In the ensuing month since I first wrote this, Ukraine has continued to be under assault. Theatres, hospitals and schools have been bombed and more than three million refugees have abandoned their homes and country for an unknown future.
Blessings to us all and most importantly to Mr. Prokhorenko, his family, all Ukrainians and to their courageous leader, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his family. May they be safe.