A.H. Scott, Copyright 2022
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” – Benjamin Franklin
Putin’s weaponry, Putin’s conscripted troops, Putin’s strategy. He thought it would be a quick roll over the border into Ukraine and victory within two or three days. Failure of his plan was that he never figured the people of Ukraine would fight back.
Yeah, Mr. Putin! The battle for you is what has become unlikely. Thinking that your tanks and those you have sent into Ukraine would be a cake-walk, only proves you have a chronic misalignment of seeing the Ukrainian people as being nothing more than crumbs to be steamrolled.
“Do not praise yourself when going of to battle going into battle; praise yourself coming out of battle.” – Russian Proverb
You are not the second coming of Peter the Great. Oh no, you are just Vlad the Vicious. Without a doubt, Mr. Putin, you are a purveyor of pain with those delusions of grandiosity dancing in your head.
Unlikely it is that when the Russian President puffs up his chest in thinking that when he launched an invasion into Ukraine that there would never be any level of pushback against his forces. But, yet the pushback is here. Oh, Vladimir, you are a man who is choking on his own hype. Gluttony has made you punch-drunk. Of course, you still wield power in many ways. But, you might have bitten off more than you can chew.
“A hungry wolf is stronger than a satisfied dog” – Ukrainian Proverb
In this moment in time, that dog is the bear and the bear is named Putin. The Russian military on paper and in the field may seem to have all the weapons to wage a war. Yet, there is one weapon that Putin’s troops have ignored – an intestinal will. It is that hunger that the Ukrainian people have; to not be occupied by an invading force.
“Truth is one, but error proliferates. Man tracks it down and cuts it up into little pieces hoping to turn it into grains of truth. But the ultimate atom will always essentially be an error, a miscalculation.” – Rene Daumal
Russian President Vladimir Putin has come up against an opponent he never figured on; his own miscalculation of military might. You can give anyone a gun in hand and train them on how to shoot. Yet, if those who are conscripted in the Russian army don’t have their hearts and souls into it, they are just going on the fumes of having marching orders from a military leader.
“When you attack us, you will see our faces. Not our backs, but our faces” – Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine President
Unlikely reality has smacked Putin in the throat, as Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has led his people with courage and conviction, and a transparent touch of the common man. When he is seen on global media, there is no doubt that he speaks with clarity and clear communication of what is truly going on in this incursion from Russia. Unlike Putin, he is not doling out misinformation with every breath that he takes before the cameras.
“Beware, so long as you live, of judging men by their outward appearance.” – Jean de La Fontaine
To anyone who is reading this, I pose a scenario that you can think about:
As you sit in your chair wherever you are, think about the border of your country, your state, your city, your village, your street. Now, think about an entity on the other side of that border, deciding to invade your space, your existence, your home and cast you out into the darkness of an apocalyptic abyss; leaving your world upturned beneath the crush of tanks and howl of air sirens going off.
What if it were you, what would you do?
Would you freeze? Would you run?
Would you pray? Would you fight?
Sitting here in New York, the thought of an invasion from a neighboring state, or even a rogue force southward from Canada has never even entered my mind.
Oh no, it’s not here on this land where I live, so it doesn’t matter. It’s over there, somewhere far, far away in Europe. As silly as I know this sounds, a teeny bit of me thought to myself, oh, Putin’s stirring up some new shit. Somebody over there will deal with him. But, then, the images of buildings that had an eerie resemblance just like my own apartment building where I live were laid to waste and scorched from rocket blasts and bombardment coming across the small and large screen. Yet, it was not here in New York. It was in Ukraine.
Being real, the first time I had even heard of a country called Ukraine was during an interview I saw with footballer striker, Andriy Shevchenko.
As he was speaking and mentioned he was from Ukraine, I wondered where that was. Looking up where it was on a map, I found out it was near Russia. I figured, oh, he must be Russian. I’ll admit that is my own asinine memory of just chalking it up to where I thought he came from. I had never heard of that place in Europe before, as I was enjoying a victorious post-match interview he was giving to a sideline reporter.
When I started writing this article, I thought back to something as seemingly frivolous as a television interview with a noted footballer almost two decades ago, to today’s sobering landscape that is underway in Ukraine.
Revealing a little bit about yours truly, I have to tell anyone who is reading this that I am an information junkie. I guess that’s just a quirk of my personality. Ever since I was a kid, little bits and pieces of information, here and there; have just stuck in my head. As the situation in Ukraine was bubbling up to the surface in the past couple of months, my memory bank started rolling on that bit of information I’d heard two decades ago.
Information that can seem like a throwaway always has a way of coming in handy. In the moment of writing this article, the aforementioned tidbit about ‘Sheva’ has just done that for me. Back when I first heard of Ukraine, I didn’t pay it much attention at all. In fact, my mind just interchanged the country of Ukraine for Russia and Russia for Ukraine. But, they are not interchangeable as being a single entity.
“Russia has turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death for thousands of people. Russian troops have already fired nearly 1,000 missiles at Ukraine, countless bombs, they use drones to kill us with precision. This is a terror that Europe has not seen for 80 years and we are asking for our life for an answer to this terror from the whole world” – Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine President, March 16th. 2022
Each country on that continent is distinct of language and culture; but, never history.
Being born an American, it is unlikely that I or my fellow countrymen and countrywomen shall know the callow wail of air sirens, tremble of ground reconfigured by the weight of tanks, or that incessant tolling of bell’s battle.
NIE WIEDER !!
In the year 2022, where nations boast of being highly evolved and technologically advanced, those previous pair of words would seem something alien to the senses. Yet, NEVER AGAIN (translated from German) is here once more, like an agonized apparition reappearing in purgatory.
The Ukrainian people are taking the fight to their genocidal oppressor. In this case, these are not the Nazis invading their land, but the Russian troops sent by Putin. Like an old woman whose unflappable courage to walk right up to one of the well-armed Russian soldiers and speak her truth:
“Put the sunflower seeds in your pockets, please. You will lie down here with the seeds. You came to my land. Do you understand? You are occupiers. You are enemies. And, from this moment, you are cursed. I’m telling you”. – Ukrainian woman to Russian soldier, February 24th, 2022
From a woman on the street to the nation’s President, the Ukrainian people are standing tall in the face of horrific adversity befalling them from their bullying neighbor next door.
In the tide of Putin’s aggression; there is a counting of the dead, indexing of the misery and archiving of whatever else may remain on the blood-soaked soil where dreams die.
When members of the Biden Administration speak with that scholarly air of not meeting the moment of what is being pleaded for by President Zelenskyy in setting up a no-fly zone over the skies of Ukraine as being tantamount to setting off World War Three; what they seem not to truly appreciate is that the people whose lives are being bombed the hell out of, are already living through World War Three.
As they speak about not one inch of NATO territory being breached by Putin’s forces and what their response will be to that, it seems to me as if saying those words are just a blanket of convenience or self-delusional curtain that is being used to not fully confront the ongoing humanitarian crisis that is destroying lives of the Ukrainian people.
Since Russia’s 1994 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, a rising tide of various human rights abuses, from detention, torture, and citizen extractions by Russia have been reported by the United Nations, which also included the persecution of indigenous Crimean Tatars, who are ethnically Sunni Muslim.
Putin’s playbook has been like a slow motioning cloud of regression over the country of Ukraine for many a year. Located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, the peninsula of Crimea was his starting point of recapturing Ukraine under the Russian tent.
Right to the line, Putin goes. Bombardment to miles near the border with Poland happens. A verbal lashing of this person being a war criminal begins.
But, does anyone really think that the man that’s getting tagged by the President of the United States and others as being a war criminal would truly give a fuck of what people think about him? Or, are going to do to him?
No, of course not.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has his stash of currency, gold bars, and cluster of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons to keep his icy soul warm on a cold St. Petersburg night.
The only way a person in that position of power is leaving that position will be at his own time and place. There is not going to be a perp walk of Vladdy P.
Unless someone is going to skydive into the middle of Moscow and residences at the Kremlin or the official residence named Novo-Ogaryevo and onto Sochi, where the summer residence of dacha Bocharov-Ruchey is located along the Black Sea to slap silver or maybe platinum cuffs on him and take him out of Russia; then we should stop playing the game of verbal judo with him.
Speaking of Sochi, that location was where the Olympic Winter Games were held in 2014. Oddly enough in the sphere of timing from then to now, the invasion into Ukraine came within a month of the conclusion of another Winter Olympics. This time it was the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, hosted by President Xi, who had feted his ally President Putin at the opening ceremonies.
So, if Vladimir Putin wants capitulation from Volodymyr Zelenskyy and he does not get it, what happens next?
One thing is for sure, and that fact is that the people of Ukraine are in the crosshairs and are going to continue to die because of Putin, as the bombing continues, the buildings crumble, and the lives are extinguished.
“The wars of the past have prompted our predecessors to create institutions that should protect us from war, but they unfortunately don’t work. We see it, you see it, so we need new ones, new institutions, new alliances and we offer them” – Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine President, March 16th, 2022
As always in times like this there the dancers of the diplomatic dos-à-dos using those one-hundred dollar words which are proving just how far removed they are from being on the frontlines of calamity. They reside in comfort at the United Nations or in Brussels in their fantastically furnished offices with polished plaques of servitude upon the walls. They give thoughtful speeches in air-conditioned conference rooms, as peacekeepers that are stationed on the ground around the globe are patrolling and standing guard on mission. Peacekeepers are the ones who deal with the muck of misery, while diplomats stand before banks of cameras proffering words of strength to the masses of the world.
And, after the speeches of verbal lashing and sorrow for the victims and refugees are given, then comes a settling upon what can the world do next. Will it be brief and quick in a snap? Not as fast as what the people living with the constant shelling on the ground are trying to deal with everyday. But, hey, leaders of the world are making plans for down the road. No, not today, but down the road.
Of course, there will be another heralded global summit coming down the line, where leaders of the world will meet at some fancy resort to take a ‘political class picture’ and jawbone each other for a few hours. The G’s are the international get-togethers that are well known. One of them being G20 and the second being the artist formerly known as G8, which has been demoted to G7 because of Russian President Putin’s annexation of Crimea.
Low hum of background chatter in the diplomatic sphere is ramped up on how the world is going to allow a carving up of Ukraine with Putin not having to face the music for his actions. For what Russian President Vladimir Putin has put in motion with this invasion into Ukraine, he deserves not a peep of suggestion in having an ‘off-ramp’ to allow him to save face.
This is a moment in history when the aggressor and invader should not be given an ‘out’ of being held accountable.
Maybe the old gramophone should be cranked up and some flighty Wagner should be Vladimir’s soundtrack for what an existence shall be for his own endgame.
For anyone not in the arena of war to sit back and float ideas of how there should be a way that Vladimir Putin can be negotiated with and just be given a timeout on the world stage or some kind of stinging whack on the back of the hand, is a type of logic that makes no sense at all to me.
Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t need a suspension on the scoreboard of global government leaders. His portrait needs to be null and void for infinity.
Now, if NATO does not want to afford the request of President Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine a full measure of respect in providing that no-fly zone, then in some ways maybe the media should just stop filming the misery and not let the world know what is going on in Kyiv and every city in that aforementioned country.
It’s hard to have it both ways. Telling the world that what is going on is a hell on earth, while not doing one of the things that would stem the carnage. NATO has the power to do more. So, please do it.
When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, officials working at the St. Petersburg mayor’s office were eager to turn the page towards the future by replacing the portraits which had been hung in their offices. As the portrait of the first elected presidential leader, Boris Yeltsin had found a place on many walls, there was one person who chose to go by the beat of a different drum. Or, should I say, a Great-er persuasion. Vladimir Putin was the then personal assistant to the Mayor of St. Petersburg and proved back then that he had grander visions for himself. Czar Peter the Great was the portrait he hung in his office.
Fast forward through the 1990’s into the 2000’s:
Whoop! Let’s stop on the date of July 25, 2016. With all that has happened in the past decade, let me give anyone who is reading this a little refresher.
July 25th, 2016 was the date when the Federal Bureau of Investigation publicly announced an investigation into Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computer system. Yet, it was on that same date that there were reports about Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential election, with the bear placing its’ thumb on the scale for one of the two candidates. And, it definitely was not on behalf of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Enter Vlad’s favorite choice, Donnie Trump.
2016, Donald Trump is elected to the highest office in the USA. Then in 2019, President Donald J. Trump makes a telephone call that was so far from ‘perfect’, that he was impeached for it. But, then again, I guess the first impeachment must have been some sort of perverse turn-on for him that he needed a good impeaching one more time in 2021.
Once again, that which is unlikely came to be. How unlikely it was that Trump came up against someone who didn’t bend to his will.
Trump Impeachment One: The Ukraine Shakedown 2020
When Trump made that telephone call to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy and tried to twist an average budgetary decision in supplying military aid into a ham-handed, slobbering of something coming across like a street corner shakedown towards a foreign leader; it revealed exactly how craven the man in the oval office could be. Yet, Zelenskyy didn’t take the bait. Oh, of course it would have been so easy for President Zelenskyy to just agree to President Trump’s terms of sliming his then political opponent, Joseph R. Biden with scurrilous insulations.
Zelenskyy’s rebuffing of Trump in 2019 was an unlikely harbinger into a glimpse of Zelenskyy’s mettle which is on full display now in 2022.
Trump Impeachment Two: Insurrection Insanity 2021
Like reading a script from an authoritarian’s playbook, Trumpworld screeched about the media being enemy of the people and peddlers of fake news whenever journalists told the truth about his losing the election of 2020. But, Donald Trump would not just pack his crap and leave the White House, without causing democracy to be under threat of violence by his own words and deeds.
It was Trump’s quest for dissolving democracy like a fizzy tablet of Alka-Seltzer for his own Putin-like takeover of an office he lost by a fair and free election that led to that somber day of January 6th, 2021.
Donald J. Trump may no longer be in the office of the Presidency of the United States of America, but he sure as anything remains slithering towards a possible announcement of making a second claim upon the White House.
In February 2022, the axiom of the poet Lord Byron’s ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ seems as if it is on steroids.
“I listened to him constantly using the n-word, that’s the n-word, and he’s constantly using it; the nuclear word.” – Donald J. Trump, former President of the United States of America, March 21st, 2022[6a]
Oh, come on! Where’s Allen Funt with the “Candid Camera” team? Where’s Ashton Kutcher with the “Punk’d” team? I mean, damn, the universe must be pulling my leg in some sort of sick joke in that statement actually coming from the former President of the United States of America. But, in the upside down world of white being black and black being white, the truth of what comes out of the eternally flapping gums of that man can be seen[6b] and heard in all of his delusional glory.
Some things you can’t make up. But, the lengths that Donald J. Trump and others in the sea of subverting democracy have and are going to in a flirtatious waltz with Russian President Vladimir Putin is cast beneath a shroud of all which is deadly serious.
In some sort of media mutual admiration society, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a hearty thumbs-up to his televised propaganda machine in running Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson’s laudatory words on an expanded loop on Russian state television.
“NATO exists primarily to torment Vladimir Putin” – Tucker Carlson
Even as the Russians were ramping up to invade Ukraine, Tucker Carlson continued an authoritarian flirtation with Hungary’s Viktor Orban and Putin in Russia. It was then when the Fox News commentator received what for most would seem like an unwanted pat on the back for his nightly love-notes to both of those ruthless leaders. Carlson’s carefree winking and nodding of support of the nationalistic conservatism of Orban and Putin’s iron grip of power has paid off in a public shout-out from a high-ranking member of the Russian government.
“If you take the United States, only Fox News is trying to present some alternative points of view.” – Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, March 18th, 2022
Hearing Lavrov talk about ‘alternative points of view’, almost sounds as off-the-wall as former Trump administration counselor Kellyanne Conway describing outright lies as ‘alternative facts’ back in the days of President Donald Trump being in office.
Well, I guess ‘TrumpThink’ and ‘PutinThink’ both come off like they are using global memory-erasers that the characters Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones used in their portrayals in the film “Men in Black”. They want you to believe you’ve seen nothing and heard nothing which contradicts anything that is revealed to you.
Open your eyes and don’t be fooled by what is said from their lips. Remember that the actions from both Trumpworld and PutinPalace are what the truth of what is happening right now really is.
But, in a world where some are miserably meandering into a marsh of misinformation, there are those who stand fast upon the rock of courage.
Unlikely man who stepped into the breach as a leader is someone who very few would have ever guessed to being able to go toe to toe with an ex-KGB agent. Oh, a former comedian? You’ve got to be kidding me?
Yet, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a man whose voice in the Ukraininan dubbed version of a plush bear in the 2014 and 2016 motion pictures, “Paddington” and “Paddington 2”, is the same valiant soul that is battling the Russian bear. Wow, this is rich. You can’t make this stuff up, as Byron’s axiom ticks through my brain.
Zelenskyy is doing more than just going toe to toe with Putin. He is exemplifying what a leader truly is. He isn’t hiding in a bunker somewhere, or sitting at the end of a long, long table in an ornate room like the Russian President is in Kremlin photo ops.
President Zelenskyy isn’t afraid to be in the streets with his people. Or, take to live streaming his daily updates in what is occurring in his country, to worldwide audiences; from the average citizen to halls of varied governments.
Truth is stranger than fiction, as a hero has arisen beyond expectation.
It has been one month since the Russian incursion into Ukraine on February 24th, 2022. Many military experts have said that it would be unlikely for the Ukrainians to succeed in defeating the Russian army. It could be simple to just throw our hands up and wait for that which some who are the experts have predicted. But, nothing in life is pre-determined, as we all have seen in these past couple of weeks of those brave men and women who have taken up arms, trained and prepared with blood, sweat, tears, and a fighting spirit that I have watched from afar in awe of.
Ukrainians are still holding on. Ukrainians are still standing. Maybe there is another parallel track that might not look like what success is imagined to be. Another word could be what it all comes down to. The word is – victory.
As to victory; it might just rest in the hands of those who clasp their fist tightly with determination and tap their chest to feel the beating heart within themselves of their ancestors upon the land for which they were born.
Glory to Ukraine!
“Everlast!” – The Footnotes:
1. –“Ukrainian Woman Offers Seeds To Russian Soldiers” – YouTube
2. – “What Happened With NATO When Putin Invaded in 2014” – News Co. UK
3. – “Official Residences Of Russia President Vladimir Putin” – Russia Beyond
4. – “Putin Is On A Quest For Historical Significance By Invading Ukraine” – The Conversation
5. – “How The Ukraine Invasion Connects To Trump’s First Impeachment” – Politico
6a. – “Trump Says US Needs To Get Off the Sidelines in Ukraine’s Fight For Survival” – Fox Business Network via YouTube
6b. – “Trump says US needs to get off the sidelines in Ukraine’s fight for survival” – Varney & Company, Fox Business Network via YouTube
7. – “Kremlin Memos Urged Russian Media To Use Tucker Carlson Clips” – The Guardian
8. – “Studio Canal Confirms Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Voiced Paddington” – The Hollywood Reporter
About The Author: A.H. Scott is a poet based in New York City and frequent contributor to Tony Ward Studio. To read additional articles by Ms. Scott, go here:https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/circus-magamus/
A.H. Scott’s book: Bad Guys Finish Fast & Good Guys Finish Last is available on Amazon!