Sash thoughts: Why I love Ukraine and her People.
Let me start by saying, I had a small break from my medication (lisdexamfetamine) for a few days and have just started taking it again. It's just kicked in, so that drive is making me positive and wanting to create some content for my website again (in the middle of a huge stint playing Satisfactory, but I digress). Sorry for the off-topic start, but I needed to clear that up. This focus is from the medication driving my thoughts into something I can work with, to create a coherent post on how I feel.
Please forgive me if this post is a bit... grasshopper-y with topics because I'm rather hyperactive. I will have a sort of summary at the end with the primary point if you want to just skip to that without the Sash-Thought-Complex-Backstory. I often type from my Heart & soul, so keep that in mind. It doesn't always come out in "sensible order".
I also want to admit that before the Russian Invasion of Ukraine on 24th February this year (2022); I didn't know a lot about Ukraine or her People at all. Most of my knowledge of this country, its culture and people came from the S.T.A.L.K.E.R games, since they are set in Ukraine, this is not a joke, I am a fairly isolated individual - I often refer to myself as 'uncultured', which is technically true, even concerning British culture. That said, as a Brit, a European (yes, I am, I am not afraid to admit it was a big mistake); I have European values such as respect for Human Rights, Democracy, Freedoms and Liberty, and the sovereignty of nations within International Law.
So, really, I am just a decent human being, or I like to think I am. When Russia invaded Ukraine, it opened up a Pandora's Box of suffering, destruction and violence directed at innocent people, something which hasn't been seen on that scale in Europe since World War 2. Whilst on the subject of World War 2; the absolute despair inflicted on human beings during that blight on our history as a species has caused, and continues to cause me, emotional pain, especially if I study events concerning the Holocaust. In part this is due to my Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotional Dysregulation. But stands in stark contrast to the apparent lack of Empathy that having Autism often creates.
Anyway, the point is, I feel despair and hopelessness when I think of the suffering and violence humanity (all of us) endured in World War 2. Since it happened so long (relatively speaking) ago, I often find it difficult to relate to the positive events such as liberation of occupied Europe, especially the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps in Poland. Though they do offer me some comfort, it's too distant and my brain just feels too negative thinking about the whole thing. That's why I don't dwell on the subject of the Holocaust for too long.
That is also why I tend not to watch the news; since the news is often negative, and only serves to inform me of suffering and violence going on in the world. When Russia Invaded Ukraine, that Pandora's Box of suffering so close to home, in Europe (I am going to admit to you now that while I do care about suffering of ALL people including those in the Middle East, China, Africa, everywhere; they are so distant in terms of culture and geography that many people like me feel de-sensitive to it. That's just how my brain works. I can't help that).
I couldn't follow the war in Ukraine for weeks, because I couldn't cope with the negative emotions from the stories of suffering from innocent people from the barbaric actions of the Russian army, essentially marauding through Ukraine, raping, killing, stealing, torturing any and all. I couldn't handle it, I'm weak, I admit it. I spent a few months just ignoring the news, pretending it didn't happen. Not that I don't want to care, but because I can't care if my own mental health was to be preserved. I donated to some Ukrainian charities for humanitarian aid and called it a day. What was going to happen was going to happen...
But then I started looking at the news again, but this time with a different perspective.
Despite all the bullshit the Russian invading scum inflicted, all the violence and suffering, the Ukrainian people resist. They show such admirable resilience in the face of such horrors that I re-aligned my perspective to learn something from Ukrainian people during this conflict. I learned that there is hope.
Let me explain what I mean. With humanity, comes suffering and violence, it is part of our nature. Conflict, that is. Russia, in this case, represents the anti-humanity; the vices that claim so many of us, all accumulated into one state. I am talking about greed, lust for power, intolerance, hatred, inhumanity, lack of compassion and empathy and disregard for human life. I am talking about censorship, suppression of freedoms and oppression of liberty and expression. All that I despise about humanity and that gives me depression is embodied in Russia's actions in Ukraine and its government, since, well, Soviet times.
It's enough to make me so depressed I would stop caring and turn off the news, and isolate myself from sources of information again. But the thing is, I don't. I read the news, I follow Social media accounts with information on Ukraine and her people, and their struggle against this disgusting tyrant state of Russia.
And do you know what I see? I see a people united, standing strong and fighting for their way of life. I see Ukrainian soldiers with high morale on the front lines fighting for their loves ones and homes, and it inspires me. The bravery, courage and heroism of the men and women of the Ukrainian army really inspires me. In recent times, with the Ukrainian counter-offensive, the news has been so positive I find myself saluting and shouting Slava Ukraini when I read about how Ukrainian troops have liberated another village or town, and watch the videos of the residents coming out, many in tears, to hug and greet the true liberators, waving Ukrainian flags, singing with joy, hugging the troops. THIS gives me hope. This is what I need to see. Those people under russian occupation suffered yet they endured. We cannot ever forget what they suffered and we cannot ever forget the ones that didn't make it. But for the ones that are alive, they give me so much hope and it's a beautiful thing.
I even saw a video of Ukrainian troops tending to a gravely wounded Russian soldier and doing what they can to save his life. Even in the face of all they have endured and seen, the Ukrainian soldiers uphold humanity and compassion rarely seen in today's world. I have so much respect for those soldiers, their professionalism, their courage and determination to liberate their home and protect Europe from the Russian aggression. And still keeping their humanity, not violating the Laws of War unlike the scum they fight.
I see the fundraisers on Reddit and other platforms to buy luxury items for the troops, drones, torniquets and other things they need (on top of their already decent supply, more is always better), and it shows me that in times of crisis and suffering, humanity can pull together and help each other, and fight on to protect the things we love and hold dear.
I love Ukraine and her People because they have showed the fighting spirit, they have shown humanity and such courage, bravery and heroism against such disgusting barbaric aggression and overwhelming odds, they have shown that there is hope for humanity.
Ukraine as a state, a people, a culture, represents the side of humanity I admire and love, and hold dear. And that is why I cheer for Ukraine with each and every kilometre they take back from russia's invasion. That is why I salute and cry for each hero lost in the war, not just soldiers but the everyday people of Ukraine.
I know you are suffering, Ukraine, but my heart is with you. You got this. Thank you for showing me that I can have faith in humanity once more.
Russia's existence as a tyrant terrorist state creates huge depression for me and our species, but Ukraine's existence more than counter-balances it in favour of hope and determination that humanity is worth fighting for.
When this war is over, and Russian is put back in its place (in its own territorial borders) and when Ukraine is being rebuilt to be greater than ever before, I will try and go on holiday there. I really want to visit this nation and meet its people, and tourism will help its recovering economy. Learning so much about Ukraine and her people, culture, natural landmarks and history, so much beauty left previously undiscovered. Russia may try and suppress it, but they WILL fail because Ukraine stands with humanity. Ukraine IS humanity, russia is the evil. There is no hope for our species if Ukraine doesn't succeed, so it will. I believe it so much.
That is why I fly a Ukrainian flag in my garden. Because it reminds me that I can have hope even in times of such suffering. I just hope that my own people could have the bravery and unity that Ukrainians have shown, if my country ever has a time of such hardship.