From Jamie Peipon (Day 313): The beginning of this year will be a defining moment in the war. We are less than two months from the first anniversary of the invasion. Elections are taking place. Governments are changing. People are about as educated as they are willing to be about what is going on. When the invasion first began, nations all over the world were doing what they could to keep Ukraine from being wiped off the map. Javelins, tourniquets, body armor… whatever could be sent quickly was sent. Looking back, it is clear how necessary and helpful this global support was. But we have now reached a different phase. The global community has a choice to make. Will we continue to support Ukraine so that she doesn’t lose? Or will we support Ukraine in such a way that she can decisively win?
There are multiple countries that have main battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles that are just sitting in storage. Those vehicles could tip the scales of overwhelming force in Ukraine’s favor and save many Ukrainian lives. There are countries with fighter jets that could give Ukraine air superiority. There are countries that can provide precision weapons that have a much greater range than the current weapons that have been provided. Currently, Ukraine cannot even reach all of its own territory with the range of the weapons they have. Some fear that Ukraine will use long-range weapons to reach across the border into russia. This is a nonsensical line of argument. The weapons they have received can already reach across the border to many different russian settlements north of the border. They’re not interested in that. They want their own land to be free of occupiers and free from the threat of missile/drone strikes.
If the world does not help Ukraine to win, this war will become protracted. If/when russia brings a new wave of mobilized soldiers, countless more Ukrainians will be killed. In the picture you can see Viktor Onysko with his family. Viktor was killed in action last week on the eastern front. Unfortunately, this is not a rare or unique story. There is not a single person in Ukraine who has not been touched directly by the loss of a family member or friend in the past 10 months. Here is what Viktor’s wife wrote:
“My heart will forever remain in the terrible 2022. Because you remained in it. My hero. My love. My everything. I don’t know how to live and breathe without you. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to dream again.
The only thing I want now is for the russian evil to be punished as soon as possible and for as few people as possible to feel this indescribable and burning pain of loss.
You were supposed to be editing a movie, but instead you ‘edited’ military reality as a company officer. Twice you were at the very front – in the Kherson region and Donbas… You were very tired, but were taking care of your sworn brothers. You worried about every loss. You said that there is no greater torture in war than to inform the families of the dead. Now I feel it myself. My heart was breaking as one of your soldiers sobbed into the phone and swore to me that he had never known a better man or commander.
They say heroes don’t die. Unfortunately, they die. And they are dying now by the thousands, forever leaving their relatives with incurable wounds. I would be grateful for you to have been injured, disabled, to be an amputee, or to have PTSD… anything, if only you were alive. But we were not lucky. I will never again be able to hide in your arms, hear your voice, laugh at your jokes and argue for hours about movies.
All I have left from you is a 9-year-old girl with your gray eyes. Thanks to you, she had a fantastic childhood with motorcycles, bicycles, tents, skiing, music, Balkan Mountains, and Berlin concerts. And when I was choking on my own tears, while on a train for a whole day, she stroked my head and said that dad fought for our freedom, we will never forget it, dad will always be in our thoughts. She’s our little adult. One of the thousands of innocent children whose parents were killed by cursed russia.
It hurts. It hurts indescribably.”
“Be gracious to me, O LORD!
See my affliction from those who hate me,
O you who lift me up from the gates of death,
1that I may recount all your praises,
that in the gates of the daughter of Zion
I may rejoice in your salvation.”