Words cannot fully express the horrors that are currently occurring in the Ukraine. The date is April 2nd, 2022, and as of this writing, Russia is still aggressively pushing inward toward the Ukrainian center. It is a tragic and deeply sad situation. And as an American who has not seen much adversity in his life, I fully acknowledge that I cannot fully understand what some of these people are going through. The people of Ukraine need prayer, food, shelter, water; anything and everything that we can send to help them.
But we must also remember that there are innocents in Russia as well. Ordinary people who are against this war, and simply have a terrible leader that is pushing their country to the brink. Several years ago I met a man who has gone on to become one of my closest friends. He was with his family visiting America from his home nation of Russia.
Yes, I said Russia.
Like much of the Russian population, he is deeply against the situation that is happening. In order to keep my friend safe, we shall call him "Cisco" for the purpose of this article. "Cisco" is a good man. He cares deeply for other people, he's a complete comic book and anime nerd, and he enjoys all the amenities that a typical American does (fast food, binge-watching tv, etc.).
And as mentioned above, he is strongly AGAINST the war in Ukraine.
When the invasion first started, I reached out to him, worried that he might be targeted for being against Putin's decision. He is doing well, and constantly changing his VPN so that we can stay in regular contact regardless of Russia's internet and media control. We spoke at length about his feelings on the situation and he told me that it would be alright to post his response. What I present to you has remained unedited to preserve its authenticity. Here are "Cisco's" feelings on the situation as it currently stands:
I'm OK, I know that the people of Ukraine are doing much worse.
It's just insane.
Like before the war I thought that they (rus government) would actually finally do something with the east part of Ukraine, make an agreement, and change things for the best.
I never thought that Putin would go crazy mode.
I remember getting up early that day going to work, and checking Twitter, and couldn't believe that the forces of Russia invaded Ukraine. It was a really weird feeling, like you are seating and thinking of all things that could go wrong both ways.
I understand that the east of Ukraine is a difficult discussion cause their people want Russian presence there, but Ukraine don't, and there is always a way to discuss and talk.
But Putin chose the most horrible wrong side, he chose brutal force and it's insanely horrible. Can you imagine IF it's gonna be over, what will happen to Russia, the people, sanctions; we will be treated WAY differently because of Putin.
My family and I are praying for Ukraine and Russia. God will do His work. But it's just sad, dude. All my life I was and still fascinated with learning about different cultures, their languages, meeting so many people, I cherish it to my heart man. Now that I have friends across the world that I talk with all the time.
To tell the truth I never felt as a Russian, I don't call myself Russian even though I am, it's more of that I grew up learning about other cultures and I took my favorite things from everywhere. I refer myself and prefer myself more to the countries I learnt about and visited, even though I do like some Russian stuff from the country I live in, friends, food, some places, but to be honest not the culture and people.
I don't know what will happen or what is coming. I just hope my family will be safe, I hope Ukraine will be safe. And that I'll be able to talk with my friends across the world, even meet them again in the future.
But yeah I'm pretty tired of always living in a country that cannot make friends with anyone, always in conflict, stupid political stuff. Sometimes I just want to leave Russia and go to Europe or other country.
I know God will protect us.
I hope Putin will stop with the crap he's doing.
I just wanna get back to the times when we were waiting when DiCaprio will get his Oscar, Toby and Andrew will appear on screen, new Star Wars series will be directed by John Favreau and other talented directors.
But I'm glad I have friends around the world and thankful for the people who understand that the people of Russia don't want war, only Putin and the government.
I didn't vote for him, Russia needs huge changes.
Thank you for messaging dude, I hope we survive these next unknown years.
Here at The Holy Goof, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Ukraine. But they are also with the people of Russia who know that what Putin is doing is wrong. "Cisco" raises some concerns abut how he and his people will be treated in the future simply because of the decisions of a few insane politicians. He is right to be concerned; America does not have a good track record when it comes to that kind of stuff. We can only hope that we do not repeat history.
I will continue to reach out to "Cisco" and any others who are doing the right thing and standing up to Putin. And we hope that the people of Ukraine will survive this horrific event and come out stronger.
The Holy Goof