Watching War Unfold: My Experience.
Throughout my life, I’ve become accustomed to seeing, reading and watching news about wars in the middle east – in far away lands, in conflicts that have origins that pre-date decades and centuries, but until 2022, I’ve never seen the start of a war. Until Now.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve seen “spats” – spats between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the escalation of the ongoing Israli-Palestine conflict, but never did I ever think that it could it could erupt in eastern Europe – about 1 Million miles (I measured) from my home.
"In my life-time, I’ve never seen war so close and yet so terrifying" - R. Truswell
Despite public conception, having an opinion about an ongoing war is not as simple as “good and bad” and “Black and white” – yes, in every war someone has to make the first move, but one does not just “start a war for the sheer hell of it” – one must have a reason – a hatred if you will – to send tanks, troops, artillery and more into an opposing country – and whilst Ukraine and Russia have got on like oil and water, Russia has attacked Ukraine for very little legitimate reason, other than to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and the EU – had Ukraine (already) joined NATO and the EU, they would be protected from something like this happening – Russia invading from all sides, bombing almost every city (and every major city) in Ukraine.
Recently I found out that the Russians are “in a spot of bother” – Running low on both fuel and food – the Ukrainians putting up much more of a fight than expected, even in this “David Versus Goliath” – little David (Ukraine) remaining undefeated even still to this day.
But it hasn’t all been Ukrainian patriotism and waving blue and yellow flags.
Up until the 24th February, 2022, very few believed Putin would attack. A travel YouTuber I watch even walked up to the border just west of Pyl'na, not a tank, shell, or military person was in sight – despite the apprehension from some of the locals, the atmosphere was tense, quiet but calm – too quiet – like the moments before a Tsunami hits a fishing village – not a sound can be heard.
I think my first genuine fear that “okay, this is happening” was when I heard my first Air-raid siren on live television.
(Source - BBC News Live, clipped/recorded by me)
I've heard them before (on World War II documentaries and during other prior conflicts) but to hear it live, in Ukraine, in the heart of Kiev massively caught me off-guard.
On doing research, I found articles of international governments expressing their concern from at least mid-March onwards (following President Zelenskyy's sanctions on Russia in February)
What Will Happen?
I know as much as anyone else knows, and as with all things, I know about as much as anyone else at this point - as with all things, this could have an unlimited amount of outcomes.
Personally, at the moment, the battle for Kiev and Kharkiv is critical and both sides have their strengths and weaknesses - Russia has numbers, but Putin can't just "call up tanks" as his budget is being tested by the sanctions - Ukraine has been battered and bruised but is still just about holding out strong despite multiple crimes against humanity and war-crimes by Russia.
I'd like to say "Ukraine will win" for the sake of positivity and simplicity - but in a war there are no winners, only casualties one side getting "what they asked for" and the other not.
It's common knowledge that Russia has nuclear weaponry (nukes) - but the whole world is doing everything in their power to ensure it doesn't escalate to that by sanctioning, offering talks, pleading for cease-fires and more, but at the end of the day, the only man who can control that big red button is Vladimir himself.