These are unprecedented times.
It’s been a long road, and we’re finally beginning to feel the effects of a pandemic nearing its ugly end. So while life is starting to get back to something resembling normal, we hold our breath and shudder at the possibility of WWIII?
It’s hard to stay focused on the day-to-day, and writing about a recent meal experience or travel plans seems unimportant. I get it. And for some, these unsettling times call for a distraction. I’m more of a “let’s talk about this” and soak up the facts as they become available. My TV is on with breaking news, and I think it will help calm me as I try to make sense of the Ukraine invasion. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. Instead, I find it more frustrating, and cursing at the TV doesn’t help.
I cannot imagine what it must feel like to have your home, your life, and your family stripped from you—running for freedom and safety, with only the bare essentials, to borders unknown, and for no apparent reason. Men, women and children (who only know fighting from a PS4 controller) are left behind to fight for their country. The idea is inconceivable to me.
While everyone is aware of the tragedies in Ukraine, it has opened my eyes to other conflicts around the world which have not had the same media attention. Death tolls climb daily with ongoing violence worldwide, through civil wars in Syria and Afghanistan, political instability in Lebanon, Egypt or Venezuela, criminal violence in Mexico, and more recently, riots in Corsica, to name a few. It can be overwhelming to keep track of so much happening globally.
I was born and raised in Canada, have a Russian last name, and am a third-generation Canadian. I’ve never been to Russia, I have no family (that I’m aware of) living there, and I don’t know what it is to be a Russian today. My Russian heritage is very far from Russia of today, assuming it’s not an easy life compared to the rest of the western world.
With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, what are the repercussions of being Russian? And then I remind myself that most Russians are victims themselves. Unaware of the attacks happening right next door in the neighbouring country of Ukraine. They’ve been fed lies, total and utter bullshit from their leaders for YEARS! The Russian attacks on Ukraine are horrific atrocities and have caused immense suffering, fear, and heartbreak.
I’ve watched enough news to cause me anxiety and lay awake late at night, thinking about Putin (sad day, really). So instead, it’s a nightmare, except I’m awake. Nuclear War? This is scary shit! Haven’t we been here once before? It’s history repeating itself. Sadly, I ask, when will we get it right?!
I want to think there is still good in the world. I applaud President Zelensky for his leadership and perseverance to keep his people united. Hopefully, for Ukraine, we will have a peaceful resolution soon. But, that said, I feel helpless, sitting here, watching a war from the comforts of my home, taking reality TV to a whole new level.
It’s heartbreaking to watch while Russia demolishes parts of Ukraine and civilians scramble to survive. I understand there are many complexities to this war, but we need to continue those conversations about humanity, keeping the peace and stopping this senseless war.
Ukraine is facing an unfolding humanitarian crisis. Here’s how we can help.