Saturday, February 26, 2022

Я за Україну

Я за Україну is Ukrainian for "I stand with Ukraine."  Two days ago Russia invaded Ukraine almost eight years after it occupied Crimea.

Vladimir Putin is calling this a "special military operation" but he can call it whatever he likes but he's really declared war on Ukraine.  He invaded Ukraine in 2014 by annexing Crimea and his actions in the Donbas, and now with this full on invasion there is no doubt that he has invaded a sovereign country, the second-largest country in Europe.

In response, Czechland was the first EU country to stop issuing visas to Russian citizens, with the exception of humanitarian cases.  The Czech government has ordered that Russia must close its consulates in Brno and Karlovy Vary.  The Czechs are also suspending their consulates in St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg.  Along with other countries, Czech airspace is closed to Russian aircraft.  In response, Russia had closed its airspace to Czech flights.

Czech Railways is permitting free travel throughout the country to anyone with a Ukrainian passport.  They are also running humanitarian trains to the Ukrainian-Polish and Ukrainian-Slovak borders where they drop off supplies and bring refugees back here.  Many Czech cities, including Brno, are providing free public transport to Ukrainians.  Vodafone and T-mobile are providing free calls to Ukraine.

Czech President Zeman, who has always been very pro-Russia, has changed his stance and condemned Putin for invading Ukraine.  

Russia's annexation of Crimea hits a never for most Czechs because it is similar to when Hitler annexed the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia.

After WW2, there was an agreement that both American and Soviet troops would leave the country.  So Czechoslovakia was the only eastern block country where Soviet troops didn't remain after the war.  Then in 1968, the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact allies, invaded Czechoslovakia to put an end to the Prague Spring.  When they invaded in 1968, the Soviets said they were only staying temporarily.  That turned out to be 23 years.  

After the Velvet Revolution, one of the goals of the new government was to get the Soviet army out of Czechoslovakia.  The Soviets had over 73.000 soldiers, 18.500 officers and their families, plus over 44.000 civilians, stationed here and they were in no hurry to leave.  Logistically the Soviets didn't have enough facilities to take back all of their troops from all of its satellite countries at the same time.  The last troops didn't leave Czechoslovakia until 1991.

It was pretty much the same in other countries.  Soviet troops left Hungary in 1991 and they left Poland in 1993, 54 years after they invaded in 1939.  Soviet troops had been stationed in East Germany.  Germany reunified in 1990 but they didn't leave Germany until 1994.

I've got Covid and I'm home on quarantine.  It seems that all I can do is watch the news with is 24/7 coverage of what's going on in Ukraine.  Here's a 32 minute video on YouTube that really shows why Putin invaded Ukraine.  #standwithukraine 🇺🇦


Я за Україну. Я за Україною. Слава Україні  Stojím za Ukrajinou!  I stand with Ukraine. 🇺🇦

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