From Jamie Peipon: In the picture, you’re seeing Ukrainian doctors performing open heart surgery at a hospital that has no electricity. Power is cut off for large portions of the day all across the country, but life continues. Pastors still prepare sermons, musicians still have to practice, teachers still have to teach their students, and, as you can see, surgeons still have to operate.
I talked to a friend in Kyiv for a while today. He said, “The power outages are generally planned but can also happen as an emergency if there is a missile attack.” He said it as if this was a normal sentence. I don’t have the verbal dexterity to express how much I hate hearing the equivalent of: “Someone is randomly shooting high-precision ballistic missiles in the direction of me and my family,” from a friend. Hearing different variations of that phrase over and over again is like listening to a miserably disturbing playlist on never-ending repeat. Over the course of 266 days, you almost get used to it, and then, for some unknown reason, you hear a variation on the phrase again and it “just hits different.”
In Odesa, at least parts of the city had been without power for over 48 hours. Video surfaced of the moment that power was restored today. Someone took video through their window as lights began to turn on in apartments throughout a building. More profound than the lights beginning to appear were the shouts of joy and thankfulness from the whole community as power was restored.
The temperatures are beginning to plummet across Ukraine. This is much later than normal for the first snowflakes to be falling and for freezing temperatures to be settling in. Historically, winter has been one of russia’s greatest military allies, but even winter has thus far been working against russia this year. The unseasonably warm temperatures across all of Europe have helped keep energy consumption down across the continent and have prevented russia from making life on the continent miserably cold, expensive, or both.
There has been unusual international drama over the missiles that landed in Poland two days ago. Polish investigators came to the conclusion that it was most likely Ukrainian anti-aircraft missiles that were fired in self-defense which malfunctioned and landed across the Polish border. No country blames Ukraine for this tragic occurrence. All have reiterated the fact that russia bears the blame. It is like shouting, “Fire!” in a crowded theater. You might not have been the one doing the stampeding, but you are still liable for causing the deaths that result from it. Somewhat strangely, Zelenskyy was not satisfied with the preliminary results of the investigation and briefly insisted that the missile could only be russian. Ukrainian investigators were invited to the scene to participate in the scrutiny of the evidence. I expect that Ukraine’s position will soften on this topic.
Back in russia, Vadim Boyko, the russian navy’s deputy head of the Makarov Pacific Higher Naval School in faraway Valdivostok was found dead in his office today. He was a major figure in the recent mobilization effort. There are conflicting reports, but all seem to agree that his death was the result of five bullet wounds to the chest. In miserable russian fashion, the worst propaganda sources are reporting that the cause of death has been ruled a “suicide.” I’m no crime scene investigator, but I would be pretty shocked if death by five gunshots to the chest was often confirmed to be a suicide. This, however, is pretty much par for the course for suspicious deaths in russia.
“You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
Then my enemies will turn back
in the day when I call.
This I know, that God is for me.”