I’ve always done my best to ensure this blog doesn’t become political. Even during a hotly contested presidential race, almost ten years ago my post was about America's ability to transition government peacefully. What is going on right now in Ukraine is not about politics, it is about a madman who has invaded a nonaggressive neighboring country to suit his own ego. I don't care what party you belong to; there is only one way to see this.
As a storyteller, I know one of the richest storytelling environments is a war zone. There is a claim the first casualty in any war is truth, but in every legend which comes out of any battle there is a truth at its core. Today's essay is about four heroes that have emerged from the battle for Ukraine's sovereignty. There may be some exaggeration, but at each story’s core is a truth that will not be denied.
The Ghost of Kyiv
As of the time of this publication, Ghost of Kyiv's count is eighteen Russian fighters destroyed.
Once the mines were in place, the advancing armor was already upon the bridge. When Volodymyrovych realized he had no time to get to safety, the brave soldier made the ultimate sacrifice on the bridge, which connected Russian-occupied Crimea and mainland Ukraine. He informed his unit he was about to blow up the bridge, and then did so, preventing is use by the Russian armor.
A statement the Ukrainian Army read: “Our brother was killed. His heroic act significantly slowed down the push of the enemy, allowing the unit to relocate and organize the defense. Russian invaders, know, under your feet the earth will burn! We will fight as long as we live! And as long as we are alive, we will fight!”
The Snake Island 13
Snake Island, also known as Simonyi Island, sits about thirty miles off the southern tip of the Ukrainian mainland in the northwestern Black Sea. It's about 185 miles west of Crimea, the Ukrainian territory that Russia had annexed in 2014. At the beginning of the war, thirteen Ukrainian defenders were securing the island.
In the biggest act of bravado that goes alongside any of the quotes you've heard from the American Revolutionary war, a Ukrainian soldier responded: "Russian warship, go fuck yourself."
The situation in Ukraine changes minute by minute, by the time you read this it may be over one way or another. However, one thing that will live on forever are these four stories. In the end, they will be among the hundreds of others you will hear about in the coming days. Wars are not often documented while there going on but after the shooting has stopped. The fact that we have near instant communications that these stories have bubbled so quickly to the top.
I could never fully understand Americans who went to England and other places to fight in the starting days of WWI and WWII. Some did it for the adventure, but others did it because of a deep felt sense of right over tyranny.
I think I can understand that now.
I stand with Ukraine.