Real People Live in Ukraine and Want to be Free
In the 1980s, when I was still active in the vibrant writer’s community in and around Detroit, one of my close friends was a Ukrainian poet/activist who spent a good part of her time smuggling out and translating into English the works of dissident Ukrainian poets living under Soviet rule.
Ukraine was still a Soviet satellite and censorship was in full force, but their artists, their creative voices, held strong. Much of the work my friend translated and helped to publish spoke of the cruelties of life under the Russians, of the daily deprivations and humiliations, of their longing for freedom. They were eloquent and beautiful and heartbreaking. She cried as she edited their works; she cried as she read them aloud to us. And we cried with her.
Then, in 1991, as the Soviet Union was falling, Ukraine officially and without bloodshed declared their independence, with 90 percent of the people approving. They’ve had their share of tumult and turmoil since then, but their art, their architecture, their literature, their churches, their tourism industry — all thriving. Full of life.
And now it’s about to end. Again.
Most of us here in the United States know little about Ukraine, but we know enough about Russia to be able to side with the Ukrainians without question. Putin is a vicious brute intent on reclaiming Ukraine, no matter what hurdles the world might put in his way. He tells us it’s for Ukraine’s own good. He tells us Russia held that country once and they deserve to hold it again. He warns us to back off.
President Biden, NATO, and the rest of the civilized nations don’t agree. Our hearts are in our throats as we watch the stand-off. War is at hand in Ukraine and we as a nation recognize Russia as the aggressor. Will sanctions and diplomacy work, or will the Russians call our bluff and force the NATO nations into an all-out war? Nobody knows yet, but the threats are real and our involvement in some way is inevitable.
But over at Fox News the strangest thing is happening. They’re siding with Russia. The entire news network is on Russia’s side in this. How do we know? Because…