My father had just finished college and returned home to western Ukraine when he was murdered in 1941, two weeks before I was born.
Moscow sent NKVD (later called KGB) to Ukraine many months before the German army invaded. My father, for no apparent reason, was interrogated, tortured, and then taken out and shot. Between 1940 and 1950, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians were also murdered. It is important to honor my father, and those who lost their lives by speaking out now to prevent this from happening again. I am driven by righteous anger and vengeance to tell the truth.
There was a mass extermination of intellectuals throughout Ukraine, not by the Germans, but by the KGB. Priests were also tortured and brutally murdered.
We left Ukraine after my father’s death to avoid the same fate. We were lucky to escape because the Russians were right behind us. We survived in displaced persons camps until we immigrated to this wonderful America in 1950 when my aunt and uncle sponsored my mother, my sister, and me.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was a lieutenant in the KGB, and it is obvious this renegade and bully is well trained in spy craft, propaganda, and military strategy. He is certainly outfoxing the world community.
Putin believes that Russia’s hour for new greatness has come due to the country’s vast resources. Europe needs their energy. That’s why they are reluctant to put sanctions on Russia.
The idea that Russia is special has spiritual significance to Putin and has a purpose. Putin believes the West is weak, rotten, and materialistic and responsible for all the world’s ills because it is not spiritually pure. Russia is not a normal country that can be threatened by economic and diplomatic sanctions. Putin is motivated by a deeper ideology. He wants the power of nationalistic Russia. With the Olympics he wanted to show the world he is civilized, but when you break treaties you’re not civilized. You become a cancerous pariah.
Ukrainians and Russians are two separate peoples because Ukrainians are European minded. We believe in the rule of law, democracy, freedom, and respect for personal property. Most Russians believe in autocracy, or one leader, and not in international treaties.
The world did nothing when Russia invaded Crimea and broke the international treaty with Ukraine to keep their territorial sovereignty. Putin said he was trying to protect his Russian people in Crimea, although they weren’t in any danger. What he really wants is to put a base in for his air force, nuclear missiles, and a much larger naval base. Talks in Geneva didn’t even address what had happened in Crimea.
We saw it before with Hitler, the evil mind of an enemy and swift action by his troops. Unless we can destroy the ruble and stop trying to bow to an enemy bent on power, we will all pay. In my opinion, Europe will have to spend a trillion dollars on defense if Ukraine falls.
“The one who tries to protect the current state of affairs is hopeful that the crocodile will eat him last.” Winston Churchill was so right when he warned about the danger of appeasement.
Appeasing Hitler didn’t work. After the 1936 Olympics, he started moving very fast. “We just want to get our German speaking people together.”
Putin uses the same propaganda.
There is a reason so many Russian-speaking people live in Ukraine. Between 10 and 11 million Ukrainians were starved to death from 1932 to ’33 by Russia in what the U.N. considers genocide, and then Russians were sent there to replace them. These people were never Ukrainians. Russian nationalism is fervent in that region, and the people believe they will soon be part of a new Russian Empire, bigger and stronger than the Roman Empire.
Ukraine is the only country that can change the course of history. If Ukraine is not in the Russian Empire, then Europe and the world will not go down the drain. Putin knows that the huge modern industries of Ukraine are essential if he is to sweep across Europe.
Threatening Russia and its assets is useless. Diplomacy doesn’t work with a person who is not normal. We think we can manipulate the economy and give diplomacy an opportunity, but Russia is an autocracy headed toward nationalism.
What can Americans do to help Ukraine?
Investors should sell all investments in Russia so their currency is devalued and that country hurts. Visa and MasterCard and bank sanctions would cost the Russians hundreds of billions. Hopefully this will change the course of history. Let President Obama and members of Congress know Ukrainians should be provided with defensive arms like anti-tank, anti-missile, and anti-aircraft to protect themselves from the eventual invasion.
I predict the democracies of Eastern Europe will fall under Russia’s sphere. Expect chaos in all of Europe. Poland will be divided. Nuclear missiles will go into Ukraine so Russia can control Turkey, Iran, and Eastern Europe.
The “Evolution of Evil” is just beginning. Putin is not going to stop.
God bless America.
Ihor H Taratusky lives in San Luis Obispo County. Send comments to the executive editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.