Ukraine’s finest hour

Thus spake Winston Churchill in 1940 after the Nazi’s overran France:

“I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.’”

Ukraine is not Britain. Ukraine lies not as a naturally protected island of civilization, but at the crossroads of cultures – the juncture of two continents, Europe and Asia. It’s a precarious place.

Ukraine is largely Slavic in an anthropological sense, as is, to varying extents, Western Russia along with Romania, Serbia, Hungary, Poland, Croatia, Slovakia and, to a lesser extent, the Baltic republics . But that doesn’t mean Ukraine is Russian. Russia is a nationality; Slav is an ethnicity.

Russia’s claim to Ukraine is approximately the same as Britain’s claim to the United States or Ukraine’s claim to Poland. Which is to say, Russia’s claim is no claim at all.

And so, to my friends who say that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine rightly seeks to “reunite Russia,” I say you’re full of it. You know just enough about anthropology and history to be dangerous, and just enough about morality to be impenetrably amoral.

Ukrainians know this. They know who they are, and they know they’re not Russian. They struggled under the yoke of totalitarian Russian rule for the better part of a century. They finally broke free along with the rest of eastern Europe upon the inevitable but long-awaited fall of the Soviet Union. They have no desire, and do not deserve, to become a vassal state of backward, tyranical Russia again.

The Ukrainians want freedom, and they’re earning it every hour. They’ve risked everything in defying one of the mightiest armies the world has seen. They’ve driven them out of Kyiv, they’ve denied them Kharkiv.

Women in basements are assembling Molotov Cocktails (how fitting is that?) and old men and women are arming themselves with assault rifles (a weapon that the New York Times suddenly salutes) even as the Russians rain missiles down on children in apartment buildings.

The Ukrainians are standing up for their heritage, their land, their culture, their families and their nation. They’re standing for freedom.

A tiny Ukrainian island in the Black Sea manned by 13 Ukrainian soldiers was assaulted by a Russian warship. The Russian captain demanded the Ukrainians’ surrender. They answered, “Go f*ck yourselves.” Those Ukrainians are now in captivity or, more likely, dead.

The Ukrainian President was formerly known as the guy who won the Ukrainian equivalent to “Dancing with the Stars.” This Jewish man whom Vladimir Putin has called a “neo-Nazi” has grown in office, it’s fair to say. Most recently, the U.S. recommended to him that he flee the country, and offered to fly him to safety. His answer? “I don’t need a ride, I need ammunition!”

He’s getting it. The European Union – even Germany – has suddenly grown a pair. Sweden, Finland and Kosovo (yes, Kosovo) are talking about joining NATO. Economic sanctions of Russia and more armaments to Ukraine may be turning the tide. If Ukraine can hold another week, freedom rings. For Ukraine, maybe freedom rings.

I’m an old-ish man. But I have half a mind to make my way to Kyiv. It’s Ukraine’s finest hour. I’d love to live it, and I’d be honored to die in it.

35 thoughts on “Ukraine’s finest hour

  1. Homer, thou shouldst be living in this hour;
    Mere scribes and scholars will have need of thee,
    To find the words that can tell this tale.

  2. Hey Glen!!
    Haven’t got an email in sometime, love the articles in this last one… spot on as always!
    I especially like the one “Send In Mossad” nobody in their right mind would wanna mess with Israel. I sure miss having you on the David Bach show! Russ Andrews has been back on Thursdays. I’m not driving a truck anymore so I don’t get too much airtime anymore, i’m working for the Carbondale water department. I just wanted to pop in and say hi and I miss hearing you on the radio! We still have to have lunch someday
    Keith Olson The dump truck driver

  3. A couple of technical points. The Baltic States are not Slavic. That region along the Baltic was controlled by Sweden until Russia’s first naval victory in the Battle of Ladoga, prior to which Russia did not even have a Baltic port. The Baltic States themselves owe ther existence to the Teutonic Knights, and I can attest from personal experience that even in the modern day, most people in countries like Estonia can speak German, which they prefer to use over Russian if you don’t speak Estomian.
    Second, Ukraine was first granted a measure of autonomy under Nikita Krushchev, who was himself Ukrainian. The USSR comprised a number of ethnically diverse republics (Stalin was from Georgia, for example), and the fact that a Ukrainian was the third Premier of the USSR attests to Ukraine’s historical ties to Russia — for better or worse.
    Putin has chosen Ukraine as the hill to die on in defense of Russian purity. If you listen to his speeches, he resents the broader imposition of Western decadence on Russian culture — beliefs and practices he considers unnatural. In that regard, Putin has not changed. I met him in 1975 in Leningrad, when every American in the Soviet Union had a KGB tail. I recall his speaking passionately against the decadent state of American society, which he argued was the inevitable outcome not having strong leadership, which he used to justify the lack of personal freedom in the USSR.

  4. Ukraine is scrambling to join NATO, but I’m not sure about NATO anymore. Especially when it includes the USA, currently afflicted with Feckless Joe as president. O wasn’t much better. Trump tried, but his opponents on both sides of the aisle and the swamp in between tried to cut him off at the knees. I guess the major cause of TDS is mean tweets.

    I’m thinking that Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine need to form their own alliance (FELLPU) against Russia and, now, Belarus. Give Putin the space he wants without disarming. Sign a treaty with Russia/Belarus (the Axis of Evil) and NATO (the Axis of Stupid) such that if Fellpu is attacked by either Axis, they get help from the other Axis, but only if needed and invited.

    • It’s amazing how some people (you Boligat) use any opportunity as an excuse knee-jerk reaction to spout predetermined conclusions. No matter what President Biden said and did in the face of this (or any) situation, you know in advance that it’s all wrong; no thinking necessary. He’s always the bad guy who’s ruining MY America. SUperman good, Lex Luther bad. What more do I need to know?

      The fact is that if Joe Biden deserves a F for Afghanistan (he does) he gets at least an A- for this one. This time he had good intelligence and he used it to paint Putin into a public corner weeks before the invasion started. He had sanctions ready to go, but didn’t jump the gun. Since this is basically a European problem, he didn’t get out ahead of Europe. he worked with European leaders to support and replicate their every move. He acted like a leader, not like he thought he was boss of the whole world and needed no partners. He’s still doing that. When Putin tried intimidating the West by going to DEFCON-3 President Biden, the Commander-In-Chief of a Military that dwarfs Russia’s (including nukes) reacted in the best possible way. He did and said nothing. He didn’t show fear and he didn’t bluster. He didn’t stand down and he didn’t escalate. He ignored the Bully’s taunt. His quiet, behind-the-scenes leadership is apparent by the Corner in which Putin now finds himself.
      (For details on this corner, read https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/2/28/russia-ukraine-war-what-is-putins-endgame )

      I couldn’t agree more with Glenn about the Ukrainian people’s bravery. I can’t be sure, but Biden may have been gambling on the possibility of it. If Russia manages a military victory in the next week Putin will have won himself some big problems, bigger I think, than the ones he went in with. If Ukrainians can somehow hang on for another week smaller counties that have been too afraid to distance themselves from Russia will gain courage. That’s already happening. Another week of unprecedented Ukrainian bravery and sacrifice just may be enough to eventually bring Putin down. He will suffer embarrassment that will last a decade and either way, Russia will suffer economic problems that will make most Russians very angry. Putin will try to spin it as the West’s fault but Russian soldier are reported to already be saying they didn’t sign up for this. They don’t want to kill civilians, much less those civilians who speak Russian as a primary language.These soldiers will go home to tell their stories.

      Do your really think the Biden Administration had nothing to do with all that? How partisan can you get? How does such partisanship help unite our country? You don’t have to like or vote for Joe Biden because he did this one thing well. But unless you are stupid enough to believe the 2020 election was fraudulent, he is our President for now. What he does represents our country. Be proud when he does something well.

      • You give slow Joe an A- for his handling of the Russian and Ukraine? I’ve heard of grade inflation, but this tops the cake. Joe is directly responsible for Putin’s aggression because the idiot spent his first day in office and every day since trying to shut down the fossil fuel industry in North America, which has increased the global price of oil and gas and made the US and Europe more dependent than ever on Russian oil and gas. Thus thanks to slow Joe the otherwise bankrupt Russian “empire” now has the money and leverage to send tanks and missiles into the Ukraine.

      • What more do you need to know? How about for starters you need to know that you don’t know me. It’s too early to determine whether or not Biden has been right about Ukraine. As you mentioned, though, it is pretty evident that Biden royally screwed up Afghanistan. It is also pretty evident that he royally screwed up the border. It is also pretty evident that he royally screwed up when he jumped on the green bandwagon and cut our own ability to be energy self-sufficient. His own history amply demonstrates that he is a royal screw up. That’s been his track record, after all.

        I do not know how much Biden’s administration has to do with the current situation. The jury is still out. I do not trust Biden at all, and I trust his handlers even less. I will say, though, that I agreed with him on one score. During the Iraq War, he said that Bush should have arranged for Iraq to be divided into three parts, Sunni, Shia and Kurdish. I agree, but given his prior performance, I think Biden was right by accident. He was just going against Bush just so he could go against Bush. But, I do think Biden was correct even if it was by accident.

        You are right that he is our president for now. As to the election, I, for one, do not think that we know for sure whether or not it was fraudulent. A lot of things happened that lend credence to the idea that there was a lot of hanky panky. Lest you jump to conclusions, I did not vote for Trump the first time around. I voted third party because, Hillary. I did vote for him the last time, though, I mean, I cringed a lot (ant still do) at a lot of the things Trump says and tweets, but, just like the last time around, look at his opponent.

        Now, lest you mistake my intent. I was not necessarily commenting on Biden in conjunction with NATO. I was commenting on NATO. Better that the countries bordering Russia and Belarus form their own alliance so they can deal with the most direct threats without trying to pacify the rest of the world.

    • About NATO, Victor Davis Hanson says it well — it was created to keep America in, to keep Germany down, and to keep Russia out. Now the U.S. is out, Germany is up (in the vanguard of the anti-Western New World Order), and Russia is in (as a critical source of energy).

      Meanwhile, Ukrainian Parliament member Kira Rudik tells us that Ukrainians are “fighting for this New World Order”! Are they all that stupid? That comment makes Putin almost understandable.

      As for Biden, his border policies show that he’s bent on the destruction of American sovereignty. And he’s gonna Corn Pop Putin’s ass?

      “1, 2, 3, what the hell are we fighting for? Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn . . . . “

    • I recognize the limitations of Wikipedia, but I’m not all tribal about it — I don’t believe that if Wikipedia says something then it must be wrong. In particular, I find that in non-political matters they are reasonably reliable. In any event, my comment that you’ve criticized was not about the ethnic makeup of Ukraine, and so I’m not sure why you’re offering cites on that subject. It was about the ethnic makeup of the Baltics.

      As for the content of your cites, the first is a source I’m not familiar with and the second is not a source at all but a forum where people can say whatever they wish. In any event, neither disagrees with Wikipedia’s report that there’s a substantial minority of slavic blood in the Baltics.

      • I just read the Wikipedia account of the Soviet Union shooting down Flight 007 in 1983. It’s an interesting read, and it leads anyone with an open mind to understand that the Soviet Union, and now Russia, have a well-tuned, but unwise, paranoia about the rest of the world. And, that they will lie, even when telling the truth would be acceptable.Also, there’s this:
        What we are witnessing in Ukraine today will be our future as long as policies are made to appease the global warming-anthropogenic climate change-climate crisis-anti fossil fuel cabal.
        “The environmentalist movement uses climate change to achieve its primary objectives: undoing of the West’s economic foundations, reshaping the Western way of life, dismantling capitalism and transferring wealth to the Third World. They will pursue these aims at any cost — whether crippling inflation, energy blackouts, even the strengthening of Russia and China.
        If you really believe climate change poses an “existential threat” to human life, there is no price too high to pay in order to eliminate fossil fuel-based energy. That includes empowering and enriching evil men.”
        By Dennis Prager, a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist

      • Phil, I agree completely with you and Prager. As for Russia’s paranoia about the rest of the world — the Russians aren’t woke, God bless ‘em! Their quasi-medieval mindset knows evil when it sees it. That doesn’t redeem Putin’s terrible misadventure, but the West has been asking for it! Chickens coming home to roost, and all that.

      • Chad reports that, “[T]he Russians aren’t woke — God bless ’em! Their quasi-medieval mindset knows evil when it sees it.”

        OK, let’s play that out. If the Russians that Chad is talking about are the average ones on the street, then one might think that this ability to know evil when they see it would enable them to see the evil in Putin. However, most of them seem not to have this ability.

        On the other hand, if the Russians that Chad is talking about are the oligarchs like Putin, then one might think that this ability to know evil when they see it would give them pause about terrorizing, invading and conquering a neighboring country.

        There’s a tendency here to engage in tribal thinking. It goes along the lines of, “Putin hates the decadence of the West, though his way of expressing that hatred is a little crude, and so do I, and so we’re allies.”

        I hate the decadence of the West, but I am not Putin’s ally. The fact that Putin is the West’s enemy does not make him my friend, nor does it excuse or even lessen his atrocities.

      • I don’t wish to sound like those who said that “the great Satan” in the West “deserved” what Islamists did on 9-11. All I’m saying to those calling Putin a madman is, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the maddest of them all?”

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  6. As recently as 2011, the American media had a group hug against Communism on the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Wall. But that was just smoke and mirrors. Less than 10 years later, Americans – Joe Biden among them – falsely accused their own president of collusion with Russia and branded millions of Americans as enemies of the state. That was a scheme worthy of the Cheka.

    But now all those “anti-fascists” – who behave like some weird amalgamation of international socialists, fascists, and anarchists – want us to believe they’re “standing up” for a foreign country that’s being sucked back into the reanimated corpse of the Soviet Union.

    And oh, yeah, the 1980s called and wants its foreign policy back. Workers of the World Unite.

  7. Glenn, please stay home. Ukraine is not worth it. The propaganda wars being waged over this have obscured some significant points. First and foremost, Ukraine is corrupt; it is governed by the same kind of oligarchy that governs Russia (and seeks to govern us). The ordinary Ukrainian knows this. That is why Ukraine has such a high rate of emigration and low birth rate. People who can are getting out, and those that remain see no future, hence produce no offspring. If our current crop of “leaders” is successful in continuing to govern this country into the ground, it is the template for our future as well. Stay here and keep fighting!

  8. You’re last line indeed is noble or at least of noble intent and I do get it but in all this IT APPEARS the Ukrainians know who they are, we do not as a Nation and before we go off Nation Building we ought to teach our youth and a shit load of Adults exactly who the hell we are. If Ukraine is this astute in their patriotism, how many Americans cheer on our failing? Good, in the end, may come of this and am ever hopeful but I do wonder if the right lessons are being learned. The prosecutor was fired and Obama/Biden handed over tons of aid, so we go through this so Money Laundering may continue? No this is not the peoples fault but I do not think the few are learning the right lessons of this. We have much going on here to be of greater concern, OUR Constitution is being trampled and we have January 6th detainees that are the exact thing political prisoners are in Countries we’ve decried for like ever. We are in no position to cast moral stones!

    • Who’s “we”? I did not money launder, I did not fire the prosecutor, I did not trample the Constitution, I did not detain political prisoners.

      I therefore reject the notion that I have no standing to condemn the war criminals in the Kremlin. The fact that I have Americans to condemn as well (and readers know that I frequently do) doesn’t immunize foreigners who deserve condemnation. And by the way, at least the Americans deserving condemnation are not launching cluster and vacuum bombs at civilians.

      In short, my hate for the American left doesn’t translate into a pass for foreign war criminals.

      • You’ve taken this personally and I was talking of our Nation in generalities. Condemnation of Putin is a no brainer but we got an S-load of problems that have yet to be dealt with and this WILL be their perfect distraction as they tout OUR Democracy, everything is a tool in their hands except the truth.

  9. Ukrainians are grateful for all the Javelins that Trump sent. They love them.

    Remember the 2014 Obama coup: the Maidan Revolution? The same Obama team — Blinken, Susan Rice, and .. are back in charge..

    Joey, two scoops spent the weekend in Delaware. Did you see him shuffle from the helicopter, across the lawn, alone wearing a mask?

    No Ukraine invasion by Russia over the Trump years.

    Whenever Soros, the New World Order / Klaus Schwab, Hillary, big media, and .. all line up on one side, pay attention.

  10. In Churchill’s speech he casts Britain as Christian Civilzation’s last stand on earth. I hope the irony is not lost here that this is how Putin now characterizes “Holy Russia,” seeking to bring the holiest sites in its history — Kyiv and the river Dnieper, where the people of the Rus were baptized in 988 — back into the fold. Seeing the fruits of atheism in the Soviet Union, he now holds the spiritually and morally declining West in contempt.

    The moral complexities and ambiguities here are far beyond my pay grade to resolve. It seems as though the wrong will prevail, no matter the outcome of this.

  11. If you believe that “sanctions” are a good offset to invasion of sovereignty, carnage, and murder…then yes, Biden is your man.

    Me? The debacle of Afghanistan 2021 (I deployed for this mess); the less-than-lucid commentary; and the totally incoherent policies broke it for me.

    I can hardly wait for this administration to sunset…

  12. By reverse engineering this whole mess … I think it is becoming crystal clear that this is what happens when the U.S. and much of Western Europe cede their energy policies and national securities to an angry, ignorant and self absorbed Swedish teenager with a creepy stare.

    Nations “going green” with ChiCom manufactured windmills/solar panels and purchasing their oil and natural gas energy from autocrats and totalitarians seems to be creating lots and lots of Villages of the Damned.

    Just look at the villages now in Ukraine …

    More unintended consequences. A significant recession is in the near future.

    • I would just point out that “going green” is but one facet, or dimension, of “going global,” whereby the leadership of the Western World is ceding (forsaking, rejecting) its very identity as a culture, creating Villages of the Damned such as New York and San Francisco.

      Obviously, Putin is less enamored of cultural suicide, although his desperate measures may well facilitate it.

  13. So much propaganda flying around no real truths varifiabl. Here’s a video of McCain and Graham meeting with the Azov battalion known to have raided the Donbass and Eastern areas. Search the historical on these guys. Asov or Azov. Not nice guys with their own people and the US led an overthrow of the Government there in 2014 putting in a Comedian as Prez. Nation building again.

    And also many false flags used for propaganda. These are the people that masked us up and pushed the Clot Shots now known to have been very harmful and deadly. I smell a rat here and it’s not Putin. Don’t get me wrong I don’t Putin either but look at the other choices there.

    Poke at the bear enough times he’s going to eventually swipe at you. Let’s see what happens and try to ignore all the news coming out of there. It’s all looking pretty falsified if you ask me. Ghost Kiev, Snake Island, blah blah blah. Bagdad Bob all over again. Star Wars movie footage shown as advancing Russians. WT#$%!

    By the way does the public know that the US Department of Defense has 15 bioweapon labs in Ukraine? Ouch,

    Like the clot shots I’m gonna weight before I get in line to fight Ruskies. Be careful with the news, absolutely none of it true both ways and all ways. Remember click bate and motive. War is a powerful emotional thing but never solves anything. Political agendas and we lose lots of 19 year olds on all sides. Learn.

    Good take however, I see your points mine is beware of fake news flying all over the place. Not real just like IRAQ and Afghanistan. We were the invaders, US> 🙂 have a good weekend.

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