From Jamie Peipon: Today felt much like a repeat of Day 1. It seemed likely that putin would have to respond in some way to the explosion on the Crimean Bridge (which, to my knowledge, Ukraine has yet to officially claim responsibility for). As of 5 pm Kyiv time, russia had launched over 80 missiles into Ukrainian cities. The day was filled with checking in on people, just making sure they’re still alive. Let me tell you, this is not a great way to spend a day. Uniformly, I haven’t heard any panic; just anger, frustration, annoyance, and resolve. One man in downtown Kyiv was asked what he thought they should do in light of these attacks. His response: “Bomb the Crimean Bridge again.”
The kremlin wasted close to $400-700 million on missiles just today. They launched more than 80, but Ukraine shot down over half of them. That is impressive considering they really don’t have modern air defenses in place. In a phone call with Zelenskyy today, President Biden pledged to send modern air defenses to Ukraine. How many units, how much ammo, and how quickly are still unanswered questions.
So what did russia spend half a billion dollars destroying? Playgrounds, universities, parks, the building that houses the German consulate, apartment buildings, and civilian infrastructure like power plants and water heating facilities. In the picture above, you can see a pedestrian bridge with absolutely zero military value. I walked across that bridge one month ago while in Kyiv. That explosion occurred about 500 feet from where I used to work (no, not a top-secret military facility… a concert hall) and it was damaged in the blast. This is just terrorism, plain and simple. At least 11 people are dead and 89 are injured. There were also over 100 miners trapped underground near the city of Kryviy Rih as a result of the attacks.
A famous Ukrainian tv presenter/actor, who now is more famous as a Ukrainian fundraiser, began a new campaign this morning for new weapons with which to respond to these attacks. Within the first hour, he had raised $485,000 in Ukrainian currency. At the seven-hour mark $5.6 million had been raised. The effect of these attacks, and every other russian attack, are to galvanize the Ukrainian people. If they stop fighting, they will have to become part of the country that is attacking them… there’s just no way that is going to happen.
So far, the international response seems to be a doubling down on support for Ukraine. But people are still talking about the danger of escalations. What is more escalated than killing civilians throughout an entire country? There is only one side who is escalating, so the strategy of not doing certain things in order to protect from escalation isn’t working. The historical precedent actually points to the reverse. When russia gets kicked in the teeth, it backs down. What happened when the USSR lost in Afghanistan? The world did not end. What happened when russia lost the first war in Chechnya? The world did not end. If Ukraine is supplied in such a way so as to liberate and protect its land, I’m confident that the world will not end.
“The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.”