The war now raging in Europe that may determine the destiny of the country of Ukraine, 4800 miles from Annapolis has many in our county concerned and upset.
Common concerns of people interviewed at Bell Branch Dog Park in Gambrills Saturday afternoon February 26, included the need to deter a wider war without while keeping our commitments to Ukraine, and where to get the most reliable and accurate news reports about the war.
Four people present at the park to exercise their dogs shared their thoughts and feelings about the issues surrounding the Russian invasion and the war itself.
“I’m not really sure what Putin is really after, except maybe leaving a bigger chunk of land for his legacy,” said Nicole Easton. “.I’m super-concerned just like the rest of the planet is super-concerned “
She was concerned because NATO member countries which border Ukraine in Europe and also the United States whixh is also a NSTO member, and Russia, all have nuclear arsenals at their disposal. She was also troubled, “From a human level that you could have a sovereign nation that just gets invaded.”
The United States made security commitments to help Ukraine in 1994 in case of aggression from the outside the former Soviet state, after the Cold War ended. Those commitments were made in exchange for Ukraine giving up it own nuclear arsenal, rather than risk them being sold around the world to the highest bidder. Today’s reluctance for NATO to defend Ukraine against Russia in combat, comes from the same mission of avoiding a nuclear holocaust.
“I’m grateful that Biden is not the other guy (former President Donald Trump),” she said. “I believe Biden is going to be cautious as he moves forward. My feeling is that Biden is also smart enough to use the people around him to get suggestions.”
She also noted that just getting trustworthy information on the war in Ukraine could be very challenging and difficult, due to the large number of social media and streaming news outlets. Another resident, who didn’t want to give her name, had also expressed frustration with the inability to get verifiable information reflecting the truth of the war in Ukraine.
Putin has shut down Facebook and Twitter to users in Russia.
“I’m not really sure what truth they’re getting,” Easton said of the Russian people. “That’s the hard part with all of this too. I’d like to think our country is sharing the truth with us as much as possible, but working through what really is truth has been so much harder today.”
Destinee, who was up with her husband from the state of Georgia with her husband for work, visited the dog park Saturday with their two Chihuahua-Dachshund mixes. Her last name is being withheld for privacy reasons, but she was frank about her feelings.
“It’s not great,: she said. “Russia is a big bully basically, because they want it back for it’s
resources, or it’s land, or the glory of Russia or whatever their motive is.”
She understands the goal of reducing the threat of a nuclear war developing from the Ukraine conflict.
“I get it, but also, its kind of shitty,” she said. “Ukraine was trying to become part of NATO and they didn’t become part of NATO. Nobody really wants a war, but also believe that if nothing happens, Ukraine is going to get stomped on by Russia.”
From news and social media posts on major networks, the news related recently shows that while Russia has superior technology at the moment and massive armed forces reserves, the Ukrainian military as well as it’s people are fighting back with ferocity, unwilling to give their liberty up to the invaders, Multiple reports from Twitter claim that two to three thousand Russian soldiers have been killed in the days since the war started.
Kirstein Mathews, an occupational therapist from Gambrils who was just married in October, said she hadn’t been able to follow news of the war much because of long hours at work. The labor shortage has led to a heavier work schedule for her and there’s no time to catch up on what’s happening.
“War in general is just a big old waste of lives time and energy honestly,” Mathews said. “It’s unnecessary ,and it’s just sad that it’s going on--especially at this time in the world/
She is concerned as well about possible rises in gas prices due to Russian retaliation towards Western sanctions. She fills her car’s tank three times a week, she said, in order to reach her patients throughout Prince George’s County.
She said her company does not compensate for gas expenses.
“The gas prices because of this is just going to kill us,” she said. She expects to work on compensating for increasing costs by reducing expenses and maybe picking up another job.
Giovanni De Amici is a Gambrills resident who originally hails from Northern Italy. He was downbeat about this sudden war that has erupted in Europe.
“I’m disgusted,” he said. “ I’m disapointed it has come to that. I feel the international community is failing the Ukrainian people.”
He suggested removing Russia from SWIFT, the financial transaction, system that helps makes much of the moving of money in Russia and around the world possible. That did occur later on Saturday, and European countries, as they have done since the Russian invasion of Crimea, are also supplying arms to Ukraine.
De Amici lies some of the responsibility for Putin’s ambition to conquer Ukraine at the feet of our former president, Donald Trump, saying that Trump pandered to the Russian dictator.. Of Biden, De Amici expressed mixed feelings
“”He has inherited a bad situation,” he said. “He doesn’t do what I'd like him to do. He does what he can.”
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