Notes on Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

President Zelensky’s response to US offer to airlift him from Kyiv:

“The fight is here.   I need ammunition, I don’t need a ride.”   (NYTimes Feb 26)


From the staff of Music Mission Kiev, a nonprofit charity serving musicians, widows and orphans in the city:

Here is the word today from our VP of Operations, Serhiy Basarab: “We definitely do NOT feel safe. There is fighting where Oksana and Pastor Ruslan live. I just spoke with Oksana and other people. We clearly feel betrayed by the West. Pastor Ruslan is already at the drafting board with his unit. There are no weapons for us, he is writing to me in despair.    (February 25)


Victor Havel, the first President of a free Czechoslovakia, a playwright and long-time dissident against Soviet rule:

Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but rather the ability to work for something because it is good not just because it stands a chance to succeed.

The more unpropitious the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper that hope is.   Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism.   It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.

In short, I think that the deepest and most important form of hope, the only one that can keep us above water and urge us to good works, and the only true source of the breathtaking dimension of the human spirit and its efforts, is something we get, as it were, from “elsewhere.”  

It is also this hope, above all, which gives us the strength to live and continually to try new things, even in conditions that seem as hopeless as ours do, here and now. 


Why Ukraine Matters to America

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. . .  And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


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