NEWS AND COMMENT- IRPIN, UKRAINE: Today, The Times reports on the Russian shelling of Irpin, which is on the outskirts of the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv. It’s just to the north and is on the frontline of the advancing Russian troops. The Russians are shelling the place indiscriminately or worse, they are targeting civilians, in the reports that I am reading. The civilians want to evacuate and are trying to find a way out but there is no safe route. Mortar shells land around them as they flee for their lives. It’s sheer horror and journalist Catherine Philp in Irpin describes the death of a family.
A family of four were caught in the open as the mortar shells fell in the middle of the street which was full of fleeing civilians. Ukrainian soldiers rushed to pick them up but they noticed that a mother and two children were already dead. There was blood running across the woman’s face. Their luggage was scattered over the road and around them.
Among this luggage was an animal carrier and inside that carrier was a small dog who was still barking. Was the dog injured and dying? Perhaps the dog was saved. We don’t know. We do know that a mother and two children lost their lives and I guess that she was the caregiver of that dog. What will become of the dog?
It is a vignette, a small moment which reflects the madness of Putin (pronounced ‘Poo Tin’ 😉). As it is not going to plan for him, he has reverted to the usual Russian way which is to destroy everything and terrify the civilians into submission. A ridiculous plan because he’s totally lost the citizens of Ukraine and can never govern the country which was his initial objective. Ukraine will never be part of Russia now because there will always be resistance and they’ll kick out the Russians when the time comes.
Another family flees Irpin with their pet in a carrier:
That moment might not happen because the Ukrainian military are doing such a great job together with their volunteers and it is now reported that there are 20,000 international volunteers who are travelling or who have travelled to Ukraine to join the fight. It is just about conceivable that the Ukrainians might successfully defend their country. The passion is there. The Russian troops are demoralised.
The Turkish-made, armed Bayraktar drone is proving very effective. It has become, it is said, “the signature weapon of the conflict” according to Catherine Philp. It is predicted that Russia will turn up the violence. It’s the only method they know: the blunderbuss principle. They are an unwieldy force lacking in agility which is their weakness. One of many weaknesses but the numbers are overwhelming.
I think that it is time for the West to formally join the fight to defend Ukraine. Putin has said that he would use nuclear armaments to win if that happened. Let’s call his bluff. I know it’s a massive gamble but I think that it is the right thing to do.
Below are some more articles on war and animals: