Yesterday was one of the most disappointing days in the past 10. We stand alone.
Despite pleading for days to NATO to cover our skies, our “friends” said no.
President Zelensky said it right: the blood of Ukrainian civilians is now on the hands of the West’s weak leaders. He expressed hope that these same leaders would be capable of defending their own countries when (not if) the Russian invader comes knocking. In the meantime Ukrainians will defend “our common European home”, and will forever remember that in our hour of greatest need, our “friends” choked.
NATO leaders fear that their planes will be forced to engage Russian aircraft in the skies over Ukraine. Supposedly this might cause nuclear war.
I have some news for you: your countries are already at war. Yesterday, you could have won this war without risking your armies or populations. You chose the path of greater death.
Putin will lose in Ukraine. Occupying a country where civilians stop invading tanks with their bodies, and hundreds gather in town centers to face armed invaders with flags (and refuse to move even when shot at) cannot be occupied.
When losses in Ukraine become obvious even to Russians, Putin will escalate. And then NATO will be engaged not of its own initiative, but of his. Then the casualties will be yours.
In the meantime, Ukrainian cities will continue to be destroyed by Russian rockets falling from the sky.
We stand alone.
* Thoughts from Kyiv is a series of flash essays by Mychailo Wynnyckyj from February 2022