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Patty Leon: I stand for Ukraine
Patty Leon new

It’s inspiring to see so many people and countries standing up in support of Ukraine. It’s awful to see some in our country praise and applaud Putin’s invasion. 

To hear some folks who work for an entertainment company that tries to call itself a “news” station speak highly of Putin, or to hear a former US president call Putin a genius for starting what could turn into World War III, is not only disgraceful but completely “UN-American.”

 Putin is not a great leader; he is a selfish tyrant, willing to destroy the economic stability of his own people to seize control of Ukraine, which gained independence from Russia in 1991.

Putin is nothing more than a thug who wants to “steal” back land so he can restore the borders of what was once recognized as the U.S.S.R. And he will do so at whatever cost to his own people.

Because it isn’t about his people, it’s all about his EGO and him cementing whatever legacy he thinks this will cement in years to come. It’s not Putin’s first siege against Ukraine. In 2014, Putin ordered an invasion returning the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea to Russian control, violating international law. But then again, you can’t expect an authoritarian dictator to give two poops about the law.

It is sickening that we have people representing us in Congress and the U.S. Senate that have openly stated their support for Putin. They say it’s their war and their problem and that we should stay out of it. But true world leaders know it would be a huge mistake to ignore what is happening. You turn your eyes away from this, you open the door for this invasion to continue to a point where NATO allies are also attacked, and suddenly Russia becomes the most powerful country in the world, not just in terms of land mass, but also in military and nuclear control. 

Putin also wants to control the vast natural resources that are in Ukraine. According to Business Insider, “Ukraine has the second- biggest known gas reserves in Europe, apart from Russia’s gas reserves in Asia. “Apart from natural gas, Ukraine abounds with minerals such as iron, coal, titanium, and other non-metallic raw materials. It’s the leading nation when it comes to reserves of titanium, iron and non-metallic raw materials. “Ukraine was the fifth largest exporter of iron ore in the world in 2019 and in the same year, iron ore was the third most-exported product in the country.

“Lithium and titanium are some of the precious metals on earth today.

Some estimates indicate that up to 20 percent of the proven world reserves of titanium ores are situated in Ukraine.”

You can bet Putin would start mining and take control of all those resources. Imagine that power allied with the likes of China.

Despite saying otherwise, Putin has killed many innocent civilians, bombing apartment buildings, schools and hospitals. An article in the Washington Post stated that when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine, Putin declared that Russians and Ukrainians are “one people.” It takes a monster, an unemotional narcissist, to use those words while signaling the green light to send missiles and bombs to kill and destroy his so-called “one people.” A photograph I saw Monday morning of a father, bloodied face and hands, hugging his 6-year-old daughter as she lay dead in his arms, made me sit at my desk and cry for an hour.

The U.S. must stay vigilant, must maintain our commitment to the sanctions we’ve imposed and must continue to demand that Putin stop any further invasion and open peace talks. We need to continue to support the people of Ukraine, many who are civilians, that have taken up arms to protect their country. We must support Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a true leader, who, along with his military and civilians, has stayed in the country to fight for their independence. He is not hiding behind the Kremlin wall, he is out along the frontlines of conflict, defending his land and his people.

One last thing, and to try to lighten up the mood a bit — if you’re going to boycott or dump Russian vodka, make sure it is a true Russian product. Lots of folks are wasting some real good stuff because it has a Russian- sounding name.

According to an article from USA Today, the most popular vodkas in the U.S. — including Smirnoff, Ciroc, Tito’s, Absolut, Svedka, Grey Goose, SKYY and New Amsterdam — are not made in Russia. They are made in Sweden, France, the U.K. and the U.S.

Only 1.2% of U.S. vodka imports come from Russia, the report stated. Stoli vodka is made in Latvia, which is a NATO member country. So if you are going to commit alcohol abuse, make sure it is a true Russian product.

Patty Leon is the senior editor of the Coastal Courier.

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