Stand with Ukraine

Delaney Brenner, Staff Writer

Mussolini, Hitler…Putin?

If there is one thing that I have learned in history class the past year it is this: Appeasement does NOT work. The United States has moved away from its isolationist policies of the 1920’s providing hope that Ukraine will not be the next Abyssinia (Ethiopia) or Czechoslovakia. Maybe the world is finally learning to not repeat history.

So far the United States (and other European nations) have imposed severe economic sanctions against Russia and provided military aid to Ukraine following the Russian invasion of the democratic, sovereign nation. NATO activated its Response Force for the first time ever, but all that means is that other NATO countries in Eastern Europe will be receiving troops, NOT Ukraine (not a part of NATO).

Of course, nations cannot just jump into war willy-nilly, especially with the threat of nuclear war hanging overhead. On top of that, if one NATO nation declares war, all the others will be dragged into the war as well. Now despite the extensive World War III jokes, which really need to stop because for the people of Eastern Europe this war is a devastating reality, no one wants that large of a conflict if it can be avoided. 

But can we talk about the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, for a minute? Now that man is one inspiring leader. When offered evacuation from Ukraine by the United States, after being named Putin’s number one target, he said, “The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride.” Not running, not hiding, but fighting for his country and his people. He reminds me of pirate captains in old stories, going down with the ship, not to say that Ukraine is going down, but he is not abandoning the fight. Despite wanting to avoid war, Zelenskyy warned, “When you attack us, you will see our faces. Not our backs, but our faces.”

Speaking to NATO’s actions he remarked, “We’re defending our country alone…Who is ready to fight alongside us? I don’t see anyone. Who is ready to give Ukraine a guarantee of NATO membership? Everyone is afraid.”

While NATO nations have given both the formal reason, meeting member requirements, and the unspoken one, fear for relations with Russia, for Ukraine’s lack of membership, it takes courage from a leader to call out such a powerful entity in the hopes of saving his people. 

Speaking of saving people, shout out to Poland and the other Eastern European nations who are enthusiastically taking in Ukrainian refugees.