Radioactive Waste Facility Hit

The Russians have shelled a radioactive waste disposal facility. Thankfully, they didn’t manage to breach the actual tanks and only hit the building. But think about it. These are clearly desperate people with a death wish. Imagine what all this can lead to if they aren’t stopped.

Pro-Ukrainian Protest

Today Klara and I went to a pro-Ukrainian protest in town. I’d rather not involve her but her dad is out of town and the friends I could have asked to babysit were all going, too. Serves me right for having great friends. Even my friend from Africa showed up with a kid and an infant in tow. The colleague from Venezuela came but that’s obvious. A couple of Republican politicians attended.

The protest was filmed and will be shown on Ukrainian TV. The other Ukrainian and I taught everybody some Ukrainian on the spot to address the cameras. A local art class under the leadership of an immigrant from China made Ukrainian flags for everybody. It was a truly multinational event. My favorite person on campus whom I never met but who helps me with international faculty was there. I now know what she looks like.

The organizer is the only other Ukrainian in town. We embraced and wept for 15 minutes, singing Ukrainian songs. After knowing her for over a decade, I discovered that she has an enormous swear lexicon in Russian. I also realized that even though everybody is wonderful and supportive, nobody really understands like another Ukrainian.

After the event, Klara very formally thanked me for telling her about what’s happening in Ukraine. I managed to wiggle my way out of the question of what country the evildoers who attacked Ukraine came from.

The Night of the Soul

Russians targeted an oil depot near Kiev. It’s on fire.

Kharkiv is under heavy artillery.

P.S. Now Russians have blown up a gas pipeline in Kharkiv.

A New Assault

Nightfall brought a new assault on several major cities in Ukraine. An hour ago, Russian troops shelled a children’s cancer hospital in Kiev, killing one kid and wounding two children and two adults.

American and Canadian Ukrainians don’t go to sleep anymore until the dawn breaks in Ukraine and the worst of the day’s fighting ends. This is a bad night already, and it only just started.

Bringing the Fire

Klara and I are playing her favorite game about a group of evildoers trying to destroy a school full of peaceful animals. Today I’m bringing real fire to the game.

“The evildoers thought that the animals would be happy to join them and become evil! But the animals refused and fought them bravely. So the evildoers dressed up as animals to infiltrate the school and conquer it from the inside. But the animals spoke their secret language that evildoers don’t understand.”

Also, the class clown whom nobody took seriously turned out to be a real hero.

We’ve played this game for two years but today I’m really into it.

The Language Question

Russian troops in Ukraine started wearing Ukrainian uniforms to disorient the population and sneak deep into the territory. In response, the Ukrainian army switched entirely to speaking Ukrainian.

In Ukraine, everybody is bilingual. People who don’t speak fluent Ukrainian understand it completely. But Russians don’t understand Ukrainian at all.

All of the rumors about the supposed persecution of Russian-speakers in Ukraine are pure rubbish. Ukrainian TV, for instance, is completely bilingual. Somebody speaks in Ukrainian, another person responds in Russian, and everybody is happy. In public spaces, the languages are used interchangeably. Official documents are all in Ukrainian but that’s always been the case. Back in 1998, I ran into trouble in Canada when I was applying to college and the Canadian bureaucrats kept demanding that I send them documents in Russian. I obviously didn’t have such documents because Russian wasn’t our official language.

Why They Thought It’d Be Easy

Here’s an explanation for the Russian invasion and why the Russians expected an easy win and no resistance.

The Russians don’t understand that we don’t like them. It’s impossible to explain to them how we feel. They sincerely thought that crowds of happy, liberated Ukrainians would cheer them in the streets. No evidence to the contrary can change their minds. They honestly think that a small gang of anti-Russian “criminals and drug addicts” (I’m quoting Putin) usurped power and is preventing Ukrainians from reuniting with the Russian brothers.

Remember, I have a Russian husband. And he’s one of the best ones. I’ve tried everything. Stories, anecdotes, videos, books, jokes. He doesn’t get it. I told him that I always said I’d consider any guy, of any race, creed and nationality but never a Russian. (Then God decided to be funny and here we are but that’s a different story.) But it’s useless. “We always got along so well,” he says. “I just don’t get it.” Hopefully, now he’ll get it but I’m not too optimistic.