They say that to the East there is a cease-fire in place, a promise by the Russian conscripts, special operations forces, and locals allied with them not to shoot at the legitimate government of Ukraine and its representatives; and a promise by Kyiv to reciprocate this guarantee.
Whenever the former break their promises, this is reported as “trouble” or “problems” or “exceptions” to the cease-fire.
Whenever another lawfully-placed police officer or soldier dies at the hands of Russian forces, they — Washington, Brussels, and hundreds of media sources too invested even now in what those hoary and hidebound capitals pronounce — say that this places the cease-fire in jeopardy.
They say this as Ukraine is slowly assimilated in Russia. They say this as blood soaks the ground, as houses burn, as innocents are killed in what is by any measure the most innovative war strategem since Hitler’s. They say this as Vladimir Putin on the one hand promises to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty in English, and then explains in Russian that Ukraine’s borders need adjusting.
Winter is coming, and despite every agreement, the gas likely will not. Women and children will die of cold when not burned alive. And they will say Ukraine is not at war.
The Patriarch in Moscow is silent as his flock are murdered, except to chide the Pope in Rome for daring to pray for the innocent. For the Ecumenical Patriarch in Istanbul, there is icy silence, for siding with the Pope, and against the man who is Tsar in all but name.
Oh, there is talk. There is hand-wringing. There are threats of sanctions. There are promises of useless non-military aid. There is even talk of NATO flying aircraft a bit closer to Russian aircraft; of ships sailing just a scotch closer to Russian waters; of serving the crudite plate before the Russian ambassador arrives, and skipping the wine service altogether.
So if this is the time for talk, then let us talk.
Ukraine’s military lacks nothing for heroism, and much for materiel; nothing for physical courage, and much for doctrine; nothing for a cause, and a great deal for training. For over ten years, the threat Moscow has posed to Kyiv has been a commonplace everywhere but in Washington, Brussels, and those hundreds of media sources too invested even now in what those hoary and hidebound capitals pronounce. Ukraine has needed aid to bring its military capabilities up to, say, Poland’s; and yet, too afraid of provoking Gazprom and the positions it offers retired German officials, the West has remained silent.
Yet the guns, the guns are never silent.
Ukraine stands alone, and the guns are never silent.
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