For the final segment of my Ukraine trip report, I have compiled an essay of photos I took in Kyiv that serves as both a visible reminder that Ukraine is at war but also a reminder that as in any war, life must go on. Despite facing a war of aggression, the resilience of the Ukrainian people was on display during my recent trip to Kyiv.
Ukraine 2023 Photo Essay: Life In Kyiv
The weather was quite nice (sunny skies with only scattered clouds) my first day in Kyiv, so I used the afternoon to walk around the city, sip coffee, and take photos.
Many I spoke to about my trip thought I was walking into an active war zone. Technically I may have been, but Kyiv is not currently a hotspot with Russian and Ukrainian troops exchanging fire. Instead, air defenses limit the ability of Russian forces to successfully attack the capital city and with the exception of the occasional air raid sirens or rolling blackouts, life continues. Many men have taken the call to arms, but Kyiv is full of younger men trying to survive in an uncertain time as we all do, simply by working.
The War in Ukraine is a very complex situation. I am firmly on the Ukrainian side, yet I do not discount that this geopolitical situation is deeply nuanced, with the two nations tightly interlaced from a historical perspective. But that makes it all the more important that we understand that even in cases of shared culture and language, turning a blind eye to an invasion based upon false pretenses is something we should not and cannot do.
A bit of background on these next several photos. Ukraine uses propaganda as well to advance its aims and has created a centerpiece in the heart of Kyiv to showcase Russian atrocities in the War.
All this carnage just to control the neon supply of the world.
Beautiful photos. Such an interesting journey!
We mourn the dead. We calculate the damage. But it is from the living we learn. The struggles, the separations and the will to go forward make this story important. Thank you Matthew
I stand with Ukraine
Matthew, I’m pleased that you went to Ukraine and published your thoughts and photos here. It’s so easy for some people to fall into the “America First” trap of thinking that we don’t have any moral responsibilities to anyone other than US citizens. This article makes it harder to dismiss Ukraine as the infamous Neville Chamberlain did with Czechoslovakia when he called Germany’s invasion of that nation “a quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing.” I hope you will continue to write and publish on this topic.
No. The war industrial complex lost the “moral responsibility” argument a long time ago. See: Iraq and Afghanistan. Or see:
American historian Christopher Kelly and British historian Stuart Laycock are the authors of “America Invades: How We’ve Invaded Or Been Militarily Involved With Almost Every Country on Earth.” They define “invasion” as “an armed attack or intervention in a country by American forces.”
According to Kelly and Laycock’s book, the United States has invaded or fought in 84 of the 193 countries recognized by the United Nations and has been militarily involved with 191 of 193 – a staggering 98 percent.
–So we still need to be the worlds police? No. Enough is enough. It’s one thing to stand with the Ukrainian people. It’s another to stand with their ultra-corrupt government.
NBC News (2022): “Even though Putin is engaging in propaganda, it’s also true that Ukraine has a genuine Nazi problem — both past and present. .. But important as it is to defend the yellow-and-blue flag against the Kremlin’s brutal aggression, it would be a dangerous oversight to deny Ukraine’s antisemitic history and collaboration with Hitler’s Nazis, as well as the latter-day embrace of neo-Nazi factions in some quarters. Nowadays, Ukraine counts between 56,000 to 140,000 Jews, who enjoy freedoms and protections never imagined by their grandparents. That includes an updated law passed last month criminalizing antisemitic acts. Unfortunately, the law was intended to address a pronounced uptick in public displays of bigotry, including swastika-laden vandalism of synagogues and Jewish memorials, and eerie marches in Kyiv and other cities that celebrated the Waffen SS. In another ominous development, Ukraine has in recent years erected a glut of statues honoring Ukrainian nationalists whose legacies are tainted by their indisputable record as Nazi proxies. .. Far-right groups have also gained political currency in the past decade, none more chilling than Svoboda (formerly the Social National Party of Ukraine) .. Just as disturbing, neo-Nazis are part of some of Ukraine’s growing ranks of volunteer battalions. They are battle-hardened after waging some of the toughest street fighting against Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine following Putin’s Crimean invasion in 2014. One is the Azov Battalion, founded by an avowed white supremacist who claimed Ukraine’s national purpose was to rid the country of Jews and other inferior races. In 2018, the U.S. Congress stipulated that its aid to Ukraine couldn’t be used “to provide arms, training or other assistance to the Azov Battalion.” Even so, Azov is now an official member of the Ukraine National Guard. My own grandparents themselves had to flee western Ukraine to escape persecution, and it is tragic to see this cycle continue. If the country devolves into chaos and insurgency, Jews could once again be at risk from some of their fellow citizens. Not acknowledging this threat means that little is being done to guard against it.”
The Spectator (today): ‘This is not about Ukraine at all, but the world order,’ said Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, a month after the invasion. ‘The unipolar world is irretrievably receding into the past … A multi-polar world is being born.’ The US is no longer the world’s policeman, in other words – a message that resonates in countries that have long been suspicious of American power. The West’s core coalition may remain solid, but it has failed to win over many of the countries that refused to pick sides. Moscow’s diplomatic mission to build ties and hone a narrative over the past decade has paid dividends. –Is Putin winning? The world order is changing in his favour:
Spectator article author: Peter Frankopan–professor of global history at Oxford University and author of The Earth Transformed: An Untold History.
New York Times (March 2, 2023) Guest Essay: ‘America Is In Over Its Head’
The greatest blunder President Vladimir Putin may have made so far in Ukraine is giving the West the impression that Russia could lose the war. .. Now [Zelensky] calls for complete victory: the reconquering of every inch of Russian-occupied territory, including Crimea. Polls indicate that Ukrainians will settle for nothing less.
The trouble is that Ukraine has only one surefire way of accomplishing this feat in the near term: direct NATO involvement in the war. Only the full, Desert Storm style of deployment of NATO and U.S. troops and weaponry could bring about a comprehensive Ukrainian victory in a short period of time. (Never mind that such a deployment would most likely shorten the odds of one of the grimmer prospects of the war: The more Russia loses, the more it is likely to resort to nuclear weapons.)
Absent NATO involvement, the Ukrainian Army can hold the line and regain ground, as it has done in Kharkiv and Kherson, but complete victory is very nearly impossible. .. The historian Stephen Kotkin recently argued that Ukrainians may be better off defining victory as accession to the European Union rather than a complete recapture of all Ukrainian territory. And yet, except for countries that were neutral during the Cold War, each historical case of E.U. accession has been preceded by membership in NATO..
Only Washington ultimately has the power to decide how much of Ukraine it wants to bring under its umbrella. The actual official reluctance to include Ukraine in NATO has rarely been clearer, while the public embrace of Kyiv has never been more florid. In the meantime, European leaders may soon find themselves in the unenviable position of convincing Ukrainians that access to the common market and a European Marshall Fund is a reasonable exchange for “complete victory.”
Author: Thomas Meaney–fellow at the Max Planck Society in Göttingen, Germany. He writes about U.S. foreign policy and international affairs in The London Review of Books, The Guardian and elsewhere.
NBC News (February 28, 2023) Exclusive: ‘A view from Crimea, the Russian-annexed territory Ukraine is hoping to seize back’
This is not Russia, according to Kyiv, its Western allies and the United Nations. It was annexed by the Kremlin in 2014, with the U.N. calling on Russia to return to its “internationally recognized borders.” And following Moscow’s broader invasion launched a year ago, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has vowed Ukraine will take Crimea back.
But Praskovya Baranova, 73, speaks Russian, feels Russian and lives here.
“This is our land,” she said Monday. “We will all put on uniforms and will go to the border to defend ourselves.”Her comments echoed those of most people NBC News spoke to in Crimea this week. While the government of President Vladimir Putin has cracked down on free speech everywhere, including in Crimea, the peninsula’s majority Russian-speaking population was considered more pro-Moscow than in other parts of Ukraine when it was annexed.
But Zelenskyy has said Crimea is one of the reasons he wants more powerful weapons from the United States and NATO. “Crimea is our land, our territory,” he said in January. “Give us your weapons — we will return what is ours.” And if Ukraine does try to take the peninsula back by force as its leaders have promised, many of the 2.4 million people living here will be caught in the middle.
Doubts persist, however, about whether the U.S. and other allies are willing to give Ukraine the firepower it may need for such an ambitious operation — especially given the Kremlin’s stance that Crimea represents a red line.
“The question of Crimea, and the question of what happens down the road, is something that we will come to,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” on Sunday.
In the historically Tatar town of Bakhchisarai, Olga, who declined to give her last name, broke down in tears when she talked about the war.
“All mothers are crying. Both Russian and Ukrainian mothers are crying,” she said. “Why did it even start? Can’t we all live in peace? Can’t we just share this piece of bread in two halves?”
Now the conflict is threatening to once again engulf Crimea.
Zelenskyy has said the war that started here will end here, a prospect that — for residents of the peninsula and the rest of this war-torn region — may mean that an end to the bloodshed is a long way off.
“I have lived a long life already and I always thought that our generation would live without the war,” Olga says. “And you see, I was mistaken.”
In answer to this question “Why did it even start? Can’t we all live in peace? Can’t we just share this piece of bread in two halves?”, Putin did a relatively bloodless territory grab in 2014 and then one on February 21st 2022 when he sent “peacekeepers” in Donbas. If he had stopped there, he’d have retired as a brilliant autocrat who had grabbed territory right from under Ukraine and NATO’s noses. He went for “the whole enchilada” thinking he could grab Ukraine in under 2 weeks. He gambled and lost.
If Putin has a “red line”, he blurred it by going to war AND annexing territory he didn’t even have boots fully on the ground yet. Once he opened up Donbas and Luhansk as “annexed” that was under conflict, Crimea became fair game and heck, after all, Russia argues that they’ve been in a proxy war since 2014 (even as they lied about it back then) so why shouldn’t Ukraine go for the best thing first?
The September offensive was interesting because Ukraine did a sort of rope-a-dope trick announcing they were going to liberate Kherson first diverting significant resources from Russia there including spetsnaz specialist military and other equipment and then hit Kharkiv region instead reclaiming ground there. Donbas Russian loyalists have expressed distaste about being conscripted to fight for other regions. The Ukrainians have, whether intentionally or not, sucked Russia into a war of attrition with trench warfare in Bakhmut and their morale is low.
Putin is a survivor, first and foremost, and puts HIS personal interests ahead of those of everyone else, including the Russian people. On the one hand, that may imply he’ll fight this to the very end rather than give up precious Crimea but on the other… will he want to go into WWIII and have himself, and his young family with the pretty Russian mistress gymnast, taken out if he escalates matters due to “the red line?” The “red line”, first and foremost, is his own life.
If he loses Crimea, he can always get his daughter’s media empire to declare a peace agreement where Ukraine remains neutral and won’t be in NATO formally (but keeps all that great weaponry) and perhaps keeps some of Donbas/Luhansk for the loyalists and will declare victory. It sound stupid to us, but Russians will believe whatever they are told as this guy at the end of the video said. The important thing, first and foremost, is Putin lives. Heck, I’d rather see him stay in office than some KGB hardliner who would risk WWIII for nationalist reasons ahead of his own neck.
Thank you for your reply and the context–it’s interesting and relevant and likely true with regard to Putin’s life. I appreciate you taking the time to explain those points.
I can’t help but still be wary and weary, however. Putin has made strides on the world stage, as The Spectator article explains. I wish the media would report more on these types of major geopolitical changes. Furthermore, there seems to be a lot of things going on beneath the surface, with BRICS and the petro dollar, et al, too:
Separately, while a conspiracy, I saw this on Truth Social this week:
Russian Mil_Intelligence is warning that US/NATO forces, on the ground in Ukraine, are preparing a toxic event false_flag attack as cause for NATO to enter the war against Russia.
–I am hesitant to discount this for a few reasons, one being primarily due to the sheer volume of false flags in history alone. If anything, this seems likely. I hope I am wrong.
Either way, the military industrial complex wins again. I am sure they are just salivating at the thought of NATO and Crimea. It would be nice if most Americans, at least, understood that this fight is really about Crimea, and what that really means for American involvement. Hopefully they’ll get there. I won’t hold my breath.
Hello AJ. One thing is consistent about Russia is that they always lie out of habit so if they’re talking about a potential false flag attack by Russia against NATO, it’s likely they’re stirring up a local propaganda justification for increased mobilization. Many captured Russian POWs believe they’re not fighting Ukrainians but rather Polish troops who are looking to expand Poland. Russia considers it a kind of style to always engage in deception to the point that one can sometimes predict Russian behavior by the opposite of what they’re saying. I thought Russia was nuts to invade Ukraine a year ago and Russia had said they didn’t intend to invade, but this of course fooled me because I was thinking rationally rather than following “opposite rule’ with Russia. Russia threatens openly when they’re trying to bluff and claims to be peaceful when they’re looking to attack. For fun, watch what they do and compare and contrast to what they said on the matter a month or so ago. If Russians were saying they would NEVER use nukes in this situation, then I might break a sweat at this point. 🙂
One hazard, I think with this is that Russians themselves, including even Putin, consume their own propaganda so they are partly delusional. I love a quote by a military advisor: “The side that wins is the one that doesn’t believe their own self-serving propaganda.”
Regarding chances of Ukraine capturing Crimea. A lot of “history repeats itself” moments in this war with WWII and WWI trench warfare, but I invite you to wiki lookup the Polish-Soviet war of 1921 where, the newly formed Polish nation was able to push the Soviets out of Warsaw and back past Lviv with the USSR, quote, “suing” for peace. The Soviets only won WWII due to lend-lease from the Anglos as secretly admitted by Stalin and Zhukov. They won in 1812 only because of bad weather and, well, Napoleon over extended himself. In 1612, no kidding, the Poles occupied Moscow for over a year and could have forced Polish onto Russia but lost because of a religious schism between Orthodoxy and Catholicism. As a matter of ethnic pride, Russians celebrate “Unity Day” annually that Poles were pushed out of Moscow. I hang a Polish flag annually November 4th to celebrate along with them (for different reasons.)
Thank you again for your reply and all of the information. I will look up the 1921 war. There is much history and nuance, and propaganda, as you have well explained. The quote you mentioned reminds me of a similar one: ‘history is written by the victors’.
I do find that most of the (valid) criticism of Russia can also be applied to USA in the sense that it seems that the USA lies out of habit just like Russia, imo.
While the intricacies and nuances are complex, I do find it difficult to understand why anyone is “firmly on the Ukrainian side”, especially those with children. It is difficult (for me) to understand any parent taking a pro-WWIII and/or pro-nuclear war stance, considering the implications for millions of women and children in Ukraine, Crimea, and Russia alone.
One of my friends was born in Kazakhstan. She lived there, Ukraine, Russia, and UAE, among other places. She says that while the Ukrainian and Russian governments are obviously corrupt, that she finds the American government to be the aggressor and worse than Ukrainians and Russians. I do tend to agree.
When all of the powers fighting in a war are corrupt, it makes it really hard for citizens to figure out what is true and not and who to support and not.
If Biden and team could just come out and stay this is really about Crimea–and that we really are in for WWIII after all–I think that would be better than this slow drip of ‘official’ narrative changes.
Separately, I would be curious to know what you think about Holodomor.. I only learned about this recently. Why did I learn nothing about this in school? No one that I know seems to know anything about it. Was it my own ignorance?
“In 1932 and 1933, 7 Million (estimated) Ukrainians were massacred by genocidal famine ordered by the Bolshevik government. Many were Christians. Students do not learn about the Holodomor in middle school, high school, or even college. There aren’t dozens of major Hollywood films depicting the horrific events that took place. Our politicians aren’t referencing the Holodomor every other day and visiting Holodomor Museums. If you ask any random American on the street about the Holodomor they will have no idea what it is. Why is this?”
Ukraine has been steadily improving over the past few decades and I think that’s why the war happened in that most of the corruption in Ukraine was connected to Russians profiting from it because of their connections established during Soviet times. As Ukrainians strove to make their government more accountable, this resulted in breaking off ties with these Russian businessmen that were exploiting them. It’s amusing that Russians are angry about a supposed “2014 coup staged by the CIA” when this meant that FSB/KGB influencers had been pushed out. It also threatens Putin’s regime indirectly in that if Ukrainians could engage in what we Americans refer to as “civil disobedience”, protest and political action to effect regime change (via new elections!), then Russians might consider wanting the same since Ukrainians and Russians are so close both physically and personally (similar, to, say Austria, Czech, and Germany). In other words, Ukraine was getting better and a nation run by an autocrat didn’t like that trend.
Regarding your Kazakh friend: Russians and most former USSR/Russian speakers have a rather cynical attitude about the world and this is what I think their propagandists played upon with the disgruntled right in the states. It’s my contention that Republicans will never win another president election in my lifetime because of demographic trends with cheap labor immigration pushed by businesses (including Reagan) and identity politics and they’re frustrated and angry and taking it out on Ukraine. Even if the Ukrainian war didn’t happen, they’d still be as bad off but when your boss yells at you and you can’t do anything about it, you kick the dog when you get home. Russians have been taught to keep their mouths shut on political matters and they cheer on their military because that’s something to feel good about BUT… with one caveat in that they don’t want to go to war for Putin’s interests. Most are paid contractors from poor Asian regions or the rural regions (and lied to in that they didn’t think they’d see frontline combat) similar to in the states where many impoverished red staters join the military to get a free education. Most of the draftees have come from those regions as well but even so, Moscow has finally been affected and it has cut down support for the war by half according to polls.
About Crimea: This wasn’t “about” Crimea in the sense that Ukrainians didn’t intend to go to war to reclaim Crimea and Putin, as I said, if he had stopped at his “peacekeeping” mission could have stolen a lot but got greedy so now that he opened the door and committed all these war crimes, the Ukrainians are of the opinion that if they’re going to have to suffer casualties of war to secure their safety, they may as well go for the gold and it makes sense in terms of security as well since prior to the war, the Russians were using their Crimea naval base to interfere with Ukrainian shipping which feeds at least 1/2 billion people worldwide. Russian media and even Putin’s own statements have revealed their multigenerational plan to “get the band back together” and restore the USSR/Russian empire right to the German border via connecting with Moldova and Kaliningrad. I chuckle at how he whined about “NATO at his doorstep” when he used Belarus right on the Polish border to launch an offensive and is now trying to destabilize Moldova.
People who gripe about being “provoked” are experts at finding something to gripe about to rationalize their own aggression. I refer to this (not sure if anyone else coined the term) “The squeakiest wheel is the greasiest”. Those who engage in lying and victim claims are usually the most skilled at it beyond what “normies” such as us comprehend. It’s all fun and games until they get their hands caught in the cookie jar.
Again, please watch “With Fire and Sword” which, IMO, is like Conan the Barbarian and The Saxon Tales. Just great, masculine, fun along with a romance! A great date movie if you know a girl who can handle reading subtitles and grand battles with thousands of extras spurting blood from sword clashes. My sister went on her first date with her (now ex) husband who took her to Conan the Barbarian. She didn’t enjoy it. I suppose that was a foreshadow…
Hi PK, thank you for all of the context and info. Spurting blood movies aren’t my favorite kind, but I’ll look it up.
Re: Ukraine being better. I’m glad to hear of improvements, but the Nazi issue is very concerning. I never thought we’d get to a place where the American left and RINO’s are (seemingly blindly) supporting a country that has a big Nazi problem, but here we are.
Re: Crimea. Perhaps the Ukrainian people did not go into the war thinking about Crimea, but I’d be bet that Zelensky did. NATO equipment arriving in Europe: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CpZ5pqDAX0S. Not sure how this ends well for any of the involved countries.
Re: My Russian friend. I can understand downtrodden attitudes after watching their families suffer through socialism/communism for much of their lives. She just became an American citizen from a green card, but even still, I think she misses her family, and living in that region.
My biggest complaint, aside from WWIII & nuclear war concerns, is America not pursing its normal role as peace maker. What happened to diplomacy? That’s how I know this is just another notch on the belt for the war agendas/economies/machines.
David Sacks, a co-host of the “All In” podcast, about the Chinese peace proposal for Russia and Ukraine: U.S. Abdicating Traditional Role As Peace Mediator In Ukraine, China Now Stepping Into Void:
“I think it was a clever diplomatic maneuver by the Chinese to try to grab the moral high ground here. They’re basically saying, “We’re interested in peace, we’re going to put forward a proposal.” The Americans fell into their trap of dismissing it right away, throwing cold water on it.
The U.S. State Department has done this twice before. Back in March of last year, Naftali Bennet from Israel tried to negotiate a peace deal, and he himself said that it was the west and the Americans who rejected it. He thought it had a 50/50 chance of succeeding.
You then had the peace process in Istanbul, Turkey, with Erdogan presiding over it. You had the Istanbul Communique, which again they were very close to having a peace deal, and Blinken and the U.S. threw cold water on it.
So what’s happening here is the U.S. is not playing its traditional role as a peacemaker. We try to go in and mediate these conflicts. We’re doing the opposite of that. We’re throwing cold water on the peace process.
Now, why are we not acting as the mediator? I’ll tell you why. Because we are a co-belligerent. This is an American proxy war that we’re fighting against Russia, so we have no interest in mediating a peace process and moreover, we’re not trusted to mediate a peace process because we’re effectively one of the combatants.
So, from the Chinese point of view, the war in Ukraine is like manna from heaven. They love this war. Number one, because it is interfering with the U.S. pivot to Asia. We were basically in the process of reapplying all of our force, all of our military to contain them in East Asia and now we’re bogged down in Europe.
Number two, we’re massively depleting our stockpiles of weapons. We’ve used something like nine years of stingers and five years of javelins, and we’re running out of ammunition. I can’t believe it, we’re running out of artillery. The Russians actually have a 6-1 artillery advantage, which is why they’re actually doing much better in this war than people are acknowledging, we should come back to that.
The last thing is, the Chinese now are benefiting from the economic sanctions on Russia because Russia is now selling them oil and gas and all their minerals at a big discount. So this has been a wonderful thing from the Chinese standpoint. So this is the problem with us thinking in this Marvel movie way of the world in which we’re the Superfriends and we’re against the Legion of Doom. Because there is no natural alliance in the real world between China, Russia, and Iran. These are three very different regimes with different types of governments, who naturally would not get along. They would be adversaries and be suspicious of each other, as China and Russia were during the Cold War.
But we have pushed them closer together, this is the problem with having this overly moralistic view of foreign policy.”
–This point rings very true for me: “This is an American proxy war that we’re fighting against Russia, so we have no interest in mediating a peace process and moreover, we’re not trusted to mediate a peace process because we’re effectively one of the combatants.”–
The Guardian today:
“The debate over how far to go, and how quickly, in assisting Ukraine reflects another key problem – Nato’s lack of clearly defined war aims. Does the west seek Russia’s defeat and a generational victory over autocracy and tyranny, or merely Ukraine’s liberation?
Biden gave his answer in Warsaw last month. Ukraine, he suggested, was ground zero in the global struggle between democracy and authoritarianism. Yet French and German leaders are sticking to their view that, in the longer term, an accommodation must be reached with Moscow. Britain, Poland and the Baltic republics take a harder line. Such public divisions only help Putin.
Nato unity is also threatened by rightwing, Putin-friendly Turkish and Hungarian leaders, who are obstructing Sweden’s and Finland’s membership. The Finnish parliament voted overwhelmingly last week to press ahead anyway. Turkey’s behaviour is particularly disloyal. It should be told to drop its veto on the Swedes or face suspension from the alliance.
It’s not just about Ukraine. The western democracies must accept that the wider, head-on confrontation with Moscow that they have striven in vain to avoid is now upon them, exploding around their ears. Putin is mobilising Russian society for a second great patriotic war. He is going all out. French “ifs”, German “buts” and American “maybes” are increasingly unaffordable.
This is a fight the west cannot afford to lose – but cannot hope to win while a chronically reactive Nato, unsure of its purpose and aims, pulls its punches and lets Putin set the pace.”
Also, hard to believe that for the $100-200 billion given so far, that residents of Bakhmut only get aid once per month?
–Pressure from Russian forces mounted Saturday on Ukrainians hunkered down in Bakhmut, as residents attempted to flee with help from troops who Western analysts say may be preparing to withdraw from the key eastern stronghold.
A Ukrainian army representative who asked not to be named for operational reasons told The Associated Press that it was now too dangerous for civilians to leave Bakhmut by vehicle and that people had to flee on foot instead.
Civilians spoke about daily struggles as the fighting raged on nearly nonstop, reducing much of Bakhmut to rubble. Husband and wife Hennadiy Mazepa and Natalia Ishkova, who chose to remain in the city, said they lack food and basic utilities.
“Humanitarian (aid) is given to us only once a month. There is no electricity, no water, no gas,” Ishkova told AP on Saturday.
I was re-reading what you wrote and found it all fascinating. Thank you for sharing.
If you wanted to expand on this portion, I’d be interested to know more about what this means from your perspective. Not baiting, just wanted more detail to understand your points:
It’s my contention that Republicans will never win another president election in my lifetime because of demographic trends with cheap labor immigration pushed by businesses (including Reagan) and identity politics and they’re frustrated and angry and taking it out on Ukraine. Even if the Ukrainian war didn’t happen, they’d still be as bad off but when your boss yells at you and you can’t do anything about it, you kick the dog when you get home.
The Russian bots are getting more sophisticated.. yet the problem is American imperialism (cited by hilariously misunderstood historical analysis).
– An American legal history
Please feel free to point out actual misunderstood historical analysis. Until then..
Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters accuses Biden, Blinken, & Nuland of engineering the War in Ukraine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laWflR3T2Ro
Thank you. That photo montage was touching. Did you use an SLR or just your iPhone?
The sandbagged feature in the center of town was probably a monument they’re protecting. I notice a dearth of pedestrians perhaps because it’s winter but also maybe due to the war depopulating the city overall of women and children who usually would be out and about.
Thanks Matthew for this liveblogging during your journey in Ukraine.
I have very much appreciated we could follow you during this trip.
And see how life is for the people in the city.
I was excited to read your posts first when I connected to internet everyday day.
Thanks for reading, Bob!
It would be nice for long pages of photos, to break them up into multiple pages so that things load better. At home it isn’t any issue but if you are traveling or on the phone and try to load this page, it can take a long time. Breaking it up into multiple pages would make a lot of sense.
Each photo is designed to load only when you scroll over it, which is a setting we have chosen on LALF in an attempt to mitigate exactly the problem you describe.
Did you catch any photos of Mrs Zelensky returning from her Paris shopping trip with Uncle Sam’s credit card?
The war has been so tough on the ruling class!
Sullivan still barely breaking a sweat though.
Looks like a beautiful place. I hope to visit when the war is over. Solidarity to the people of Ukraine who are trying to find happiness in the midst of all of this misery.
Wonderful pictures. Thanks. I particularly like the picture of the Lada. I didn’t think there were any of those still around. I am a bit surprised that the streets were comparatively empty.
@Matthew – Any thoughts on visiting Kiev now versus in peacetime for readers considering going there?
I took one as a taxi a few years ago and the driver said they’re expensive to maintain as the parts are getting hard to come by. I think they’re quaint and interesting looking and will miss them when, I think in a few years, most Ukrainians will have moved on from them but many will be kept around for nostalgia purposes.
I drove around and see a rust-bucket Lincoln Continental from the early 1980’s or even late 1970’s. The rust was pretty severe but it was street legal and I took a photo of it. Some of those cars were just amazingly well built coming off the assembly line. Perhaps the workers were on-point, firing on all cylinders, so-to-speak when they made a few of those cars and they were especially hardy.
Great work with this series of posts and your observations, Matthew. Balanced and fascinating from both the perspectives of a casual traveler and that of someone inside a nation defending itself. My takeaway is the resiliency shown there in not only to defend a country – but to defend living life as best as possible in the process.
Amen to that.
First Lady Jill Biden just gave an interview where she said President Biden would refuse to even consider taking a competency test for dementia.
“How many 30-year-olds could travel to Poland, get on the train? Go nine more hours, go to Ukraine, meet with President (Volodymyr) Zelensky?” she said. “So, look at the man. Look what he’s doing. Look what he continues to do each and every day.”
Answer: Matthew of Live and Let’s Fly. He carries his own bags. He doesn’t fly private jet nor private train. He scrambles to get a seat back to JFK. Not the same as Air Force One and the Ukrainian special VIP train. (There is a report that President Jimmy Carter pretended to carry his own luggage but that it was an empty small suitcase. Ha ha! Phony)
Great post and great trip! This was a special one. It made sense to me from the beginning, and I’m glad it was such a success.
Peter the Great wannabe meets Winston Churchill wannabe.So,what’s the end game to this?