Special Report: Crisis in Ukraine 2022

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Due to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine 2022, I’m interrupting my originally scheduled plans for today to talk about this. Because this is happening in real time, I will update this to reflect the latest news from reputable sources. What’s happening in Ukraine is terrifying, traumatizing, and upsetting, so if you need to, reach out to the people at the Crisis Text Line. If you’re outside the U.S., this site has resources specific to your local area.

Earlier this morning, Russian forces launched a multi-pronged attack on Ukraine, which was the latest in a series of events dating back to 2014. However, the groundwork was laid long before then.

Ukraine is a developing country in the European Union, and one of the poorest. According to this site, they’re also under a rogue government. Formerly part of the U.S.S.R until its’ dissolution in 1991, Ukraine and Russia had a fairly amiable relationship in the years that followed, by and large. Ukraine’s leaders complied with various requests, like setting aside their nuclear weaponry, and signing various memoranda.

In late 2013, then-President Yanukovych rejected a deal that favored improved integration with the European Union, and as a result, there were mass protests. In 2014, things went sideways, with the Revolution of Dignity, and anti-government protesters overthrew the government and ran pro-Russia Yanukovych out of town.

This was also the same year Russia annexed Crimea as a way to regain control of Ukraine, and pro-separatist rebel forces invaded the eastern part of Ukraine. According to the Vox article, this is the same group responsible for shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

Today, Russian forces struck Ukraine by land, air, and sea. CNN has a timeline of the attacks. Putin’s doing whatever he can to justify it, including calling Ukraine a Nazi state. Never mind that there’s no evidence of any type of National Socialist ideas going on among their government agents, at least none that I’ve been able to find while I was researching this post. Never mind that it was Germany who invaded what was then known as the Soviet Union.

Also thrown into the mix were accusations of genocide going on in Ukraine, but there’s no proof, and if there was anything like that going on, we’d have heard about it already.

However, President Zelenskyy turned their baseless claims back on them, and compared their actions earlier today to the tactics the Wehrmacht used during World War II when they invaded the Soviet Union. This article states that Russian officials have tried to accuse Ukrainian officials of Nazism ever since the end of the pro-Russia government in 2014.

So, what can we do to help the people of Ukraine? Great question. This post has a list of agencies to check out and support.

As of 8:30 CST/Chicago, reports state that 137 civilians and military personnel have been killed in the attacks.

As of February 26th, there have been reports coming out of Ukraine regarding evacuations, and the barriers that various ethnic groups are dealing with. This article talks about how thousands of African students have been stranded in Ukraine. Due to the unavailable help from their embassies, students have pooled resources to get out of the country to safety. This article outlines a journalist’s adoptive sister experiencing racism while trying to get out of Ukraine, including a driver who tried to scam her and the group she was with. The driver came up with lame excuses, and left them stranded. They duked out the walk to the border, only to get turned down. There were lines dedicated to separating Ukrainians from everyone else, and it left thousands of people to sleep outside in the cold.

The journalist’s sister and her friends finally got on a bus to the border, and when they got there, there was an announcement that stated that “all Blacks” needed to get off the bus. It’s sad to even have to get into this, but the journalist’s sister’s experience is nowhere near an isolated incident.

Racism and discrimination have no place in society, it never did, and it never will. Other ethnic groups in Ukraine, as well as expats on visas, have come forward with similar stories. According to this article, Filippo Grandi, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, acknowledges the stories of racism while evacuating Ukraine, after certain commentators wrote off their lived experiences as propaganda from the other side. The U.N. has plans in the works to make sure everyone gets out of the country safely.

This post will be updated as more information becomes available. Stay tuned. If you’re in Ukraine or know someone who is, know that you’re in my thoughts, and that you matter to me. Stay safe. If you need to use my blog as a check-in, I’m more than happy to let you do so.

Over to you, readers. How are you holding up? I’d love to hear your thoughts and takeaways, or to lend an ear if you need it. Either way, drop it like it’s hot, and let’s support each other.

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