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From Where I Stand: to all the bullies of the world, beware!

As a result of this unprovoked Russian invasion, things have become so unbearable for the Ukrainian people

ASSINIBOIA - Like most people in the world, I was totally stunned a couple of weeks ago to hear of the recent Russian invasion of the Ukraine.

To be perfectly honest, I never really thought it would happen. Like so many folks, I threw my hands up in the air in absolute shock and utter disbelief. How could this even happen in 2022? Unbelievable. And impossible. Or so I thought.

Yet it happened, nonetheless. And there didn’t seem to be much the world could do to stop it, at the time. It made us all realize how helpless and vulnerable we are, and how inadequate we were in the moment.

What’s most disturbing to me is that there is yet another World-Bully alive and living on the planet today - Vladimir Putin - the likes of which have not been seen since Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi dictator, who was ultimately captured, convicted of unbelievable war crimes, and finally hung on December 30, 2006.

Perhaps, like me, you’re left standing there, scratching your head trying to understand how one single, power hungry bully, could cause so much pain and suffering for so many people in the world today. It’s not possible for him to justify such blatant disrespect and disregard for human life and suffering.

As a result of this unprovoked Russian invasion, things have become so unbearable for the Ukrainian people, that nearly three million souls have fled to neighboring towns and countries for refuge.

Before February 24, 2022, when Russia invaded, the Ukraine was home to more than 43 million people. Today, terrified men, women, children, and seniors are fleeing for their very lives - many, with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. Imagine, if you will, having to run for your very life. Leaving behind everything that you worked so hard for all of your life. Heading into a dark, uncertain future. With no hope in sight. All because of one sick, demented, and crazy man.

How is it possible, that a dictator - a tyrant really, and a monster - could even think that such behavior would be acceptable in the eyes of the world?

Thank goodness that the Ukrainian people - at least those who are able - are standing up to the terrorist Putin and are determined, against incredible odds, to never give up. Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyi, stands tall and defiant in the face of such a formidible enemy - the Russian ‘Bear’. He, and his courageous countrymen have become heros in the midst of this devastating nightmare they find themselves in. And in so doing, they have become an inspiration to those of us who fear bullies, dictators, confrontation, and war.

What they have taught us is, that no matter the cost, it’s best to stand up to the bullies of this world. What Russian president Vladimir Putin failed to understand was the resolve, determination, and incredible strength of the Ukrainian people who are not about to lie down and die without a fight. What he failed also to recognize was that the world, even in the midst of a paralyzing and crushing pandemic, would rise up to stand beside the Ukrainian people and offer them much needed help and support.

I was ‘taken aback’ a short time ago as I viewed a somewhat concerning internet meme. It showed a photo of the elder Clint Eastwood sitting quietly on his front porch in the cool of the evening, drinking a beer. The photo was taken from one of his most recent films called “Gran Torino”, and warned: “Wait until the people who just want to be left alone get involved”.

The world is now involved - reluctantly - in this tragic, senseless battle against tyranny. If the Ukrainian struggle and people have taught us anything about this war against their freedom, it would be that it’s time to send a message to the bullies of this world: “We’re done. So be warned. And beware!”

That’s how I see it at least. From where I stand.