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Slava Ukraini

by Nicholas R Yang 6 months ago in history · updated 6 months ago
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Everything donated to me through this piece will go to Ukraine. Slava Ukraini.

Slava Ukraini
Photo by Tetiana SHYSHKINA on Unsplash

As I sit here at my PC to write this on a sunny and fairly warm March afternoon in North America, I find myself at a loss for words. Nothing I say can take the pain away from those who suffer needlessly at the hands of a maniac dictator-wanna-be’s attempt to rebuild a failed Communist state. All those soldiers fighting through the bitter cold, watching their people get slaughtered indiscriminately because they are winning a fight brought to their doorstep and refuse to bow to a bloodthirsty Tsar want-to-be.

Those people aren’t going to care about this piece, and it won’t help them directly. I write this in hopes that somehow, someway my thoughts and feelings on this will inspire someone out there who reads this to go and do something, be it donating money, food, or medical supplies. If this inspires someone to protest, write an article, or compose a letter. Then I will know that I have helped in some way by doing this.

Anything I make off this article will go towards relief funds and aid to the Ukrainian people.

Truthfully, I had no intention of writing today. It seems that this piece has decided to write itself through my hands, I have no idea what this is going to turn into. All I can say is that whatever drove me today to fire up this word processor during one of my long breaks in between stints of writing, wants me to write this as an exercise of thought, or a philosophical piece maybe? Only it knows where this will end.

As most writers know, you don’t choose what to write (or when for that matter. Shout out to those annoying 3 am sessions.) Something else writes through you.

I can’t go and fight in Ukraine, I’m too old and broken to do that now. Gods know that I have thought about it many times in the last few weeks as I’ve worked out, or watched those people from across the world pick up weapons to go and help fight tyranny on the news.

I’ve thought very long and hard about un-caging the soldier inside me, picking up a rifle, and helping fight. I thought about bringing all that stuff to the surface again and surrendering to being an instrument of war, but I didn’t like who I was back then and have worked long and hard to not be that person anymore. Granite, if it came to it, me having to let that beast free to protect those I care about. I would not hesitate. As any soldier knows, that part is always inside of you, gnawing at your soul. It rattles the cage, so to speak, but you do your best to keep it locked away.

Nowadays I have obligations to people, and my body isn’t how it used to be. So I’ve decided to let others better equipped to go and fight, I have all the faith in the world in those that are fighting in Ukraine and I am behind them, 100 percent. I digress, however, as this piece isn’t meant to be about me. I just wanted to place this in here so people understand why I am taking this course of action instead of picking up a rifle and fighting.

When I speak about those people suffering in the bitter cold, I don’t only speak of the Ukrainian people, but those Russians that have been forced into fighting a war that has rapidly descended down a dark pit of madness.

What started as an attempt at taking over a sovereign nation and absorbing it into some sort of new Dictatorial Conglomerate, quickly changed into a war against a people who refuse to bow and give in to a maniac dictator's wishes and are being wiped out because of it.

Don’t get it wrong, the Ukrainian people have been targeted for Genocide because they wouldn’t allow a flaccid bully to tell them they can’t be a country anymore. This pathetic lifeform that has some sort of complex attempted to flaunt his self-perceived “power”, only to crash against the immovable will of a people who refused to be ruled by a warmongering dictator.

I don’t know what the point of this is, to be honest. I have no idea why I’m writing this. Maybe it’s because I feel so helpless? Or that I can see the parallels between what's happening in Ukraine and what happened in Poland in 1939 and it drives me nuts that it seems I am the only person who can see this.

This War on the Ukrainian people has all the hallmarks of an event in a historical context that could be a precursor to a Third World War. I know I am not the only person who can see these parallels, but I wonder why so few of our politicians refuse to acknowledge this clear red flag.

They all seem to be sitting around while Russian Forces commit Genocide against the people of Ukraine on a scale not seen since Assad's assault on his people ten years ago, and refuse to attempt any sort of protection aside from sending weapons to profit from this terrible event. This helps, but in my opinion, it isn’t enough. War is inevitable, and delaying just costs more people’s lives.

Like King Leonidas and his Spartans who stood against the overwhelming force of Persia, attempting to prevent a massive war in the Adriatic. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, his people, and Ukrainian Defence Forces stand against an overwhelming force of Dictatorial Aggression as the last line of defence against a full-fledged war in Europe.

These are my own personal thoughts on the matter, however, and now I will step back from my personal beliefs and look at the situation as a student of Modern History and a Soldier, then we will wrap up with some inspiring thoughts.

As an ex-Canadian Forces Member and a student of Modern History, I do understand that War is not something anyone should strive for; but there comes a point when you have to look at the situation and realize that even though it is not what is wanted, it is what is going to happen whether you sit back and watch and try to delay it or not.

How many lives does it take for someone in charge to say: “Okay, now we have to do something to stop this.” Every life matters and the more that is lost the worse it is, a third world war would bring a lot of destruction and death. I have no doubt about that, but at this point, it seems that it is an inevitable conclusion to the story unfolding currently.

This begs the question, Do you just cut out the middle of the book and skip right to the end to prevent further loss of life? Or do you sit there, waiting and watching the death toll rise and hope that the Ukrainian Forces inflict enough Damage to the Russian Military that when the time comes to take that inevitable action against the aggressor, their military has taken enough losses that they have lost the will to fight, thus making it easier for your own armies to clean-up, so to speak, and bring a swift end to the inevitable conflict looming on the horizon.

The second choice, which seems to be the route world leaders have opted to take, means NATO and its leaders are essentially using Ukrainian Forces to thin out the Russian Military, which is what they are currently doing, and don’t get me wrong, they are doing it well. As of March 29th, Ukrainian Military Forces have taken back many cities from Russian Invaders.

This route isn’t surprising, it has been used many times before in the history of Warfare. I hate to keep quoting World War One and Two, but those wars are the ones that seem to stick out in most people's minds and are what people know the most about.

As we all know, it took the United States many years to get involved in World War One and Two. Though I personally think that this decision was made purely for profit by the United States, and it was a selfish choice by both US Presidents at the time. You can’t deny that it was an intelligent and tactical choice that put their country at the forefront of the world economy and established their long-running “Empire” for years to come.

Though the USA’s “Golden Age” is currently in its twilight years, the choice to sit back in World War One and Two manufacturing arms and such for the people fighting in Europe definitely helped catapult them into the power they were for so long.

This is not to diminish the effect the United States had on World War One and Two as they were indeed an intricate part of Entente and Allied victories, if the Americans hadn’t reinforced Allied Armies in World War One, who knows how long it would’ve kept on going for. Their planning and assistance in World War Two Also helped cut the fighting short. For this, I will focus on WW1 however.

By the time the United States joined the First World War in 1917, Allied and Axis forces had been fighting each other for 3 years, 1914 being the start. Through those three years, Millions of Casualties were incurred by both Entente and Central Axis Powers, on top of billions of dollars of debt owed to the US.

In 1917 the Central Axis Forces had already incurred millions of deaths and were running out of fighters, as were the Entente Forces. When the US declared war 3 years into the vicious fighting, committing a force of 4 Million fresh fighters to the Allied War Machine against a dwindling Central Axis force, you can imagine the impact on the morale and fighting spirit of those people that already had a fading will to fight and lost so much in the three years prior. When that many reinforcements start to show up on the battlefields after you’ve fought so long and hard, it has to be devastating to your military members.

You can probably see where I am going with this point. NATO countries that are sitting back and profiting off of Ukraine’s fighting, seem to be content in letting the Ukrainian military fight the Russian military. This works out for them in the long run because when it does come down to war with Russia, at that point Russian Military Forces have already taken many losses from the invasion of a single, unaffiliated country. Just imagine the devastation to morale and fighting spirit when an Allied military force of 3.37 million shows up at the party after you have already been fighting for months or years against a small force and struggling to get anywhere.

Every single person out there fighting is fighting their hardest for the rest of us and doing a great job at stopping the Russian Military in its tracks. This is why Russian Commanders have opted to embark on a campaign of genocide against the people trapped in the warzones, they are attempting to break the will of the Ukrainian Military through something akin to the London Blitz or the Carpet Bombings of civilian centres by the Allies in World War Two. This tactic is outdated and illegal but is currently having the opposite effect on the Ukrainian Military.

As with most things pertaining to the existence of humanity nowadays, there is a grimly ticking clock and World Leaders will have to make some important decisions in the next few months. It seems to me, with the current events unfolding in Ukraine, that the Ukrainian Military has a great chance of actually stopping the Russian Advance. The Russian Military clearly has no will to fight this war and morale is one of the key components to having a successful fighting force. So the choice by NATO to sit back and reinforce Ukrainian Fighters with weapons, food, and meds is a logical step to avoiding a Third World War.

That being said, how long do you sit in a holding pattern before you have to make the ultimate decision to act? How much time is left before Russian Command starts to get desperate and use their banned methods of warfare on Military and Civilian targets to try and save face in this failed invasion of a sovereign nation?

It is clear that the stories everyone has been told since the 80s about how Russia’s Military is a well-oiled Modern Military Force were false, it’s clear now that most of their Modernized Forces are sub-par and aren’t able to function without Conscripts throwing themselves at fighting lines as meat shields. The last stats I saw came before the War. If memory serves, Russia had about 300,000 Professional Combatants (Less now, because so many of them have been killed in the fighting.), to Ukraine's 800,000 Recently Modernized Military. It seems that this War was doomed to fail from the start.

Compound the lack of Professional Fighters with Russia’s outdated military tactics, you have a recipe for disaster. This is why we are now seeing Russian Command adopting the World War Two tactics of Scorched Earth and the hammering of civilian targets with artillery pieces. If you can’t win the fight, make sure the enemy has nothing left when you lose.

Granite, no Modern Military Force has ever engaged in Warfare with another Professional Military Force since the 50s (Korean War.) and All-out Warfare like what we are seeing in Ukraine hasn’t happened since the 40s. But in my personal Military experience, the CAF’s warfighting theory has come a long way since 1950. Though we’ve been focusing on anti-insurgency tactics, due to the current needs of Military Personnel across the world, my country isn’t stuck in some strange WW2 Esque modern cross classic methodology of fighting wars.

The point is, Russian Military Command has had nearly 74 years to update their brutal and villainous tactics of fighting and has refused to do so. This has left them weaker than any other fighting force in the world. This is why they are flailing in the current situation, and have fallen back into old, archaic, and brutish ways of fighting a superior force by targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure.

There are no excuses for Russian Military Command’s choices in fighting the War in Ukraine, they chose to use these outdated tactics because of a failure in the Russian Federation’s Government to better themselves and any of them who are left alive when the dust settles and Ukraine has marched its way through part of Russia to make a point, every single one of those people who chose to command their troops to fire swathes of missiles into civilian structures and batter medical centres should be treated like the Nazi Leaders were in Nuremberg. But I digress.

Due to Russia’s failure to update its military, and its choice to use scorched earth tactics we have come to a point where it is only a matter of time before the Russian Commanders get desperate and start using things like Chemical Warfare, or, Powers Forbid, something more drastic…

The reality is Russian Forces are failing, and they only have a few cards left in their hands now. How long do World Powers wait to step in…Chemical and Nuclear Warfare is a stark reality we are currently facing, if something isn’t done before these options are utilized there will be no going back. The damage will be beyond anything anyone has seen in our history. This was written as a thought-provoking article, I am not advocating for War and I don’t want to see Chemical or Nuclear warfare ever used. I do think non-combatants need to be protected and NATO militaries need to figure out a way to do this and soon. Be it UN Forces or something more like a no-fly zone.

I will close with this little tidbit of history. In the first and second world wars, it took the Entente and the Allies until the Axis Forces had made it halfway across Europe at the cost of many lives before assistance was rendered to those that needed it. Poland was lost, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands were all promised protection of sovereignty in World War Two but it took the Commonwealth Forces way too long to assist them. Most of their countries had been taken over by Wehrmacht Forces, resulting in a long and drawn-out, four-year World War.

History is there for us to learn from so we do not repeat the same mistakes as before. The parallels between the Ukrainian War and the beginnings of the Second World War are stark in contrast. There is no way we are the only ones who see this, my question is why let it happen again… Russian Aggression will not stop with Ukraine, it is the reality of someone who wants to be a Dictator. They want and want, they don’t stop. It has happened countless times over the history of our race and it won’t be different this time. Something needs to be done, and it needs to be done soon.

I am rooting for the Ukrainian People and their Military Forces. They are heroes and should inspire us. Stories will be told, and songs will be sung of their bravery for ages to come. Maybe they will be able to defeat the tyrant and scare him away from any further aggression. If the Tyrant is able to be defeated by a single, small, unaffiliated country. What chance will they have against an Allied force of Modernized NATO countries? Let us hope that the Ukrainian Military is able to stop this beast in its tracks. Don’t get it wrong, they are everyone's military right now, Ukraine is the only thing standing between the World and the horrors of a World War…

history

About the author

Nicholas R Yang

An Archaeologist and aspiring Doctor, I am a part-time writer from the East Coast of Canada. Written multiple plays, poems, and short stories.

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