Ret. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who is originally from Ukraine but has long since been a U.S. citizen, rallied observers to the defense of Ukraine this weekend, pointing people’s attention to a new video message featuring remarks from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. In the video, Zelenskyy discusses some of the already devastating implications of the currently unfolding war in Ukraine, where Russian forces recently invaded — thousands of Ukrainian civilians have died, and the destruction wrought upon infrastructure across Ukraine has been immense, making getting back to any sense of security after the war eventually ends even more difficult. Zelenskyy also said, however, that “Ukraine will win.” Ukrainians have launched what has been widely characterized as a stronger defense than the Russians expected, and they’re not backing down.
Let us be close to this martyred people, let us embrace them with affection with concrete commitment and prayer. And please let us not get used to war and violence, let us not tire of welcoming them with generosity, not only now, but also in the weeks and months to come. #Ukraine
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) March 20, 2022
Alongside the video, Vindman wrote on Twitter: “Must watch! [Zelenskyy] with a powerful message. Ukraine was beautiful… Ukraine will win… Ukraine will rebuild. In English.” In the video itself, which was shared on Twitter by sources including the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, Zelenskyy says:
‘Everyday Ukrainians simply cannot say “was” without bursting into tears. This was my home. This was my friend. This was my dog. This was my car. This was my job. And this was my father. And this was my daughter. The millions and millions of fresh wounds are bleeding with that “was.” Russia has drowned Ukraine in tears, and blood, and children’s corpses. But there is one thing Russia doesn’t get. “Was” is the word that describes its life, and we Ukrainians already know what will come next. We will win. And there will be new houses. There will be new cities. There will be new dreams. There will be a new story… Those we’ve lost will be remembered.’
See the new Zelenskyy video below:
— Alexander S. Vindman (@AVindman) March 20, 2022
As for the progression of the war, the expanding atrocities suffered by Ukraine are immense. In one example of many, Russian forces fired on a nursing home in the Luhansk region, killing 56 people. Russian personnel forcibly moved survivors of the attack elsewhere. In another horror out of the besieged city of Mariupol, Russian invaders struck a school where hundreds of people had been sheltering, not long after they struck a theater where hundreds had also been sheltering. The Russian word for “children” was written in large letters on the ground outside of the theater in an attempt to keep invaders from striking it. As of this past Friday, hundreds of people were believed to remain trapped beneath the theater wreckage. Russian forces have been largely held back from making certain key strategic gains, such as taking the Ukrainian capital (Kyiv), but they’ve nonetheless been inflicting horrors on the civilian population. The steep losses in equipment and personnel that Russia is believed to have suffered — a recent conservative U.S. intel estimate put Russian troop deaths at over 7,000 — also threaten Russia’s ability to pursue strategic goals. The Ukrainian defense has been robust.
Due to the failure in the offensive, Russians use more destructive artillery — Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the head of the President's Office. Russia is also panicking in search of manpower reserves — pulling everything from the Pacific and asking the CSTO countries for help
— Hromadske Int. (@Hromadske) March 20, 2022