Confused and unaware of the severity, Ukrainian citizens began conducting their days as normal. For a country that has known nothing but battlegrounds, scrimmages, and body bags, an overwhelming number of citizens have become desensitized to the sense of danger. Just a regular day. It was not long before some cities in the most eastern regions of Ukraine were flooded with Russian military vehicles, tanks, personnel, and convoys of weapons. In Russia, things also appeared as normal, with the curtain pulled over the media. Citizens suspected nothing. That same curtain veiled the media from what was going on in the Eastern Bloc. Russia’s war extended all the way from the cold, muddy slosh of Ukrainian forests in the winter, to the censorship of news, media, and information from being released to the world. Stateside, the informed public knows that mainstream news is no longer credible and is much too versed in Russian Cyber Tactics. A war was waging in Eastern Europe and in an attempt to find credible sources, people all over the world had to conduct a personal treasure hunt for news. Once again – “Is this happening?” The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, addressed his country and delivered the grim news that their eastern neighbors had declared war on Ukraine, but not only on the country – on the Ukrainian people. This sent chills down the spines of Ukrainians who fought for their land and to be recognized as a group of people. Recognition of nationality and sovereignty sparked a war nearly seven centuries ago. It is this very same war that has dehumanized and discredited the Ukrainian people today. Ruthenia, a historical kingdom that dates back to the Middle Ages, developed into what you recognize today as Russia and Eastern Europe. A kingdom once united, was divided by differences in nationality, sovereignty, moral, and religious views. Freedom eventually came but it was not long before a new “kingdom” was invented: the United Soviet Socialist Republic. Under the USSR, WWII left Ukraine in ruins with the population massacred and the culture ethnically cleansed. Ukraine saw a rebirth and rebuilding period after the country was recognized as a sovereign state. Though the birth of a nation is always a struggle, Ukraine was more susceptible to the influence of its former Soviet neighbor because of their intertwined economies and geographical resources. In usual form, the Russians influenced individuals by means of media to cause political insurgence against a pro-Ukrainian government. As a result of constant influence, people began to see the familiarities in their current government and the government it fled from. Corruption was abundant amongst the Ukrainian government officials and the public no longer recognized their president as their leader. The Ukrainian people fought for their sovereignty on the streets of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, against a Soviet martyr. A successful election was held in 2012, and the people of Ukraine elected a president to represent them. As Ukrainians began to look to the future for Ukraine, Soviet nuisance once again challenged its comrade. Crimea, a 24,000km peninsula connected to both Ukraine and Russia, was invaded by the Russian Federation nearly two years after the insurrection in Kyiv. Ukraine once again was left robbed, discredited, and with a loss of sovereignty.
Nearly seven years later, on the 23rd of February, on Defender of the Fatherland Day, Putin looks to unite the people of Ukraine with the people of Russia. The same unity that has stayed weft into the fabric of society for more than seven centuries.
Meanwhile, on February 26, 2022 New Yorkers gathered at the historic The Stonewall Inn to protest the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
NOTE: Citations linked within interviews are also used as a sourse for the foreword.