Archive for February 26th, 2022

Acts of Defiance

Zelensky in Kviv

We are all here.“– Zelensky in Kviv

Who is left in the ghetto is the one man in a thousand in any age, in any culture, who through some mysterious workings of force within his soul will stand in defiance against any master. He is that one human in a thousand whose indomitable spirit will not bow. He is the one man in a thousand whose indomitable spirit cannot bow. He is the one man in a thousand who will not walk quietly to Umschlagplatz. Watch out for him, Alfred Funk, we have pushed him to the wall.

― Leon Uris, Mila 18

The fight is here: I need ammunition, not a ride.

-Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky 

These were the words from Ukraine President Zelensky in response to being asked why he didn’t flee to another Western nation in the face of the Russian army’s advance on Kviv.

Words that will no doubt have some place of honor in history.

It was but one example of the many acts of defiance by the citizens of Ukraine in recent days.

There was the lady who confronted a Russian soldier on the street, his automatic weapon across his chest. Dropping multiple f-bombs, she asked him who he was and why he was here, uninvited. She threw sunflower seeds at him and told him to put them in his pockets so that at least flowers would grow from the Ukrainian soil where he would soon die.

Or the Ukrainian soldier in a video who spoke in Russian so that the Russian soldiers would understand. Working on his weapon as he spoke confidently with wide smile to the camera, he said, Dudes, you are fucked.  

More words that might go down in history.

It is early in the conflict and my heart hurts for the people of the Ukraine as well as for the young conscripted Russian soldiers who have found themselves in battles they did not expect since by Russian law only volunteer soldiers are to be on the frontlines.

It seems so unfair to those on both sides who are left to suffer and die for an invasion that has no apparent purpose nor legitimate rationale.


But it is a conflict that seems symbolic of the struggles taking place here and around the world between the forces of democracy versus those of autocracy and oligarchy. It demands our attention as it may be more than symbolic– it may be the beginning of a struggle on a much wider stage.

A note: The Umschlagplatz mentioned in the excerpt at the top from Leon Uris’ novel of the Warsaw Ghetto of WW II, Mila 18, was the staging area adjacent to the railroad stations where the Jewish people were herded and kept while waiting for transfer to the various concentration camps.

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