From Jamie Peipon: Today, Ukraine marks her 31st Independence Day. Independent from what? Even Ukrainians who remember all 30 of the previous Augusts 24ths will have to admit that it has never been so clear: Ukraine celebrates independence from the Soviet Union, from Russian subjugation, and from top-down dictatorship; whose noxious ideology always naturally sprouts into hatred, jealousy, and oppression; and then flowers into a hideously warped bloom of murder, torture, and destruction. Ukraine celebrates independence from all of that, even as she literally does hand-to-hand combat with it.
But… let the record state that celebrating the fact that those things are not part of Ukraine would hardly be worth celebrating on its own. Ukraine’s most defining characteristic is not: “We’re not Russia.” That mindset would again make Ukraine dependent on Russia even if only to prove what she is not. Ukraine is a strong, capable, independent state. As she has come of age over the last 31 years, that freedom has often been fledgling. But the movement, with a trajectory towards liberty, has remained. Ukraine has no desire to suffer because of some debased desire for making the lives of their enemies worse, but she is willing to suffer and fight in order to secure better lives for her people. Ukraine punches above her weight; culturally, professionally, and militarily. Ukraine would never say that commodities like wheat and coal are her greatest resource. No. Ukraine’s greatest resource are her creative and capable people who imaginatively, innovatively, and ingeniously solve all kinds of problems in less-than-ideal conditions. Yet Ukraine would also never see her people as a commodity to be used and abused for obtaining a leader’s goals. If you’ve been watching these past six months, you’ve been seeing a country proudly standing and fighting. They’re not just fighting against someone or something; they are fighting for something: the truth, the beauty, and the good.
There are quite a few countries that don’t celebrate their own Independence Day. Some have been blessed to never have been occupied or oppressed. Others (you could probably guess one such country in the context of this post) see no usefulness in promoting a value like freedom because dependence (on all the wrong things and for all the wrong reasons) is their ultimate method of manipulation. The countries that have fought for their independence tend to mark the day for celebration because they have paid such a dear price to obtain it. Ukraine values this independence so much that they will celebrate it even in the midst of the fight for it.
Well… there’s almost no space for news… but there are a few things worth reporting.
Sirens have been blaring all night across the country. There are yet to be reports of a more aggressive attack making any real progress overnight in Ukraine, but intelligence all around the world is saying to expect it as day dawns on this Independence Day. US intelligence believes that infrastructure will be the primary target; not military installments.
In good news for Ukraine, the United States is planning to announce a new security package for Ukraine worth about $3 billion. This would be the largest single such investment since the beginning of the invasion and is a welcome Independence Day gift from the States. There have not been official announcements about what all will be included. This aid will bring the amount of US support up to $13.6 billion. In addition, Canada and Germany have prepared another round of military aid which will include air defense systems, rocket artillery, and other needed systems with ammunition.
The rest of the world also celebrates with Ukraine. There are buildings lit up in blue and yellow all around the globe. In the picture above, you can see how 10 Downing Street in London has been decorated for the occasion.
“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!”