Russia's decision to invade Ukraine came swiftly, less than twenty four hours ago. Civilians have been forced to evacuate as missiles continuously launch across the border on Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, as well as other major cities.
On the ground near Kyiv is Dancing With the Stars' Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who had recently returned to his home country to judge Ukraine's World of Dance series. He shared on his Instagram a video about the situation, where he stated,
"There's ALWAYS another way. WAR is NEVER an answer! I will never be the same. This is stressful and I'm getting old feelings back, like I've done this before."
Russia has been posturing invasion for the past month. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, they've sought to reunify the USSR, eyeing Ukraine in particular for its natural resources and access to the Black Sea. In response to Russian aggression, Ukraine has previously sought entrance to NATO, the defensive military alliance, which they were denied by NATO out of fear of Russian retaliation.
Chmerkovskiy and his family fled the Soviet Union in the '90s, when the original conflict was taking place. He added in his video's caption,
"This does feel like the way it was when and why we left in the 90s. Like my old PTSD I’ve finally fixed is coming back. I literally only just forgot about those “always on the edge” feelings and actually started worrying about things like bbq grills. I’m crying as I’m typing this because all man deserves to worry about 'bbq grills' and not fucking war. Hug your loved ones."
Despite being rejected by NATO, and being an autonomous nation with the freedom to decide to join whatever alliance they so please, Russia still views Ukraine's desire to join as a threat to them. Using that as an excuse, along with a myriad of false justifications, president Putin gave the order for full scale invasion last night.
Chmerkovskiy posted a second video, which showed air raid sirens blaring across Kyiv. He continued,
"Honestly, I'm getting really emotional. It's a little difficult. You know me, you know me I stay strong, and I don't show it, but I want to go back home…And what I'm realizing is that my friends, whose kids are here and whose moms, dads are here—and elderly people are here, and they can't just escape."
President Biden previously committed to not send any US troops into Ukraine directly, but has agreed to supply them with armaments. World leaders from across continents have called for sanctions against Russia, cutting them out of global trade. Biden and others seek to fully isolate Russia from the world bank, a decision Putin has stated Russia will view as an act of war.
Is nuclear war impending? Unfortunately, nothing is impossible. Though, it's unlikely Russia will use nuclear weapons on Ukraine, as they possess a fraction of Russia's military power, and to do so under those circumstances would isolate Russia from their remaining allies, China and India. What's most concerning is Putin's attitude to the sanctions, and his disregard for Ukrainian life.
Chmerkovskiy finished his posts with the following:
"I am not at this point someone who is pleading, you know, for someone else's safety from a far distance, from a safe distance. I'm somebody who's about to go into a bomb shelter because s--t's going down."
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