Warning! This post contains images that may cause discomfort to you as they are from war!
I remember the 24th of February 2022 quite well. I was working, as usual, in a very early morning shift, just like today. And thr then news hit – Russia lad laughed a massive attack against the sovereignty of Ukraine. Again. Technically speaking, Russia and Ukraine have been at war since 2014, when Russia illegally occupied Crimea, but now it became something else.
We Finns have learned to live in the shadow of Mordor… I mean Russia, and have managed to maintain fairly OK relationship with them. But now, on the first day of war, the Finnish president, Mr. Sauli Niinistö, said the truest words ever.
“The mask has now come off, and only the cold face of war is visible.”Sauli Niinistö, President of Finland, 24th February 2022
I am a history geek. I love to learn about past events and times and try to adapt those teachings into modern life and future thinking. If you have read my blog for a longer time, you might have seen this aspect of me. As I am also an aviation enthusiast, I first checked the departures/arrivals of the Kyiv International Airport and wanted to believe that things would take a better turn as some flights were only delayed.
But the flights turned to be cancelled, and as that morning one year ago went on… it shocked me to my core. I would not have thought that Europe would face another war on its soil less than 100 years from the last World War. One of the thoughts that crossed my mind was, that have we really not learned anything at all?!
During the first hours and then the first day, we followed the news coming in from Kyiv. On the areas being bombarded by the Russians, there were casualties, and some of the pictures painted the horrible story of the war. There was a pregnant woman being carried on stretchers. Later, we found out that the baby was stillborn, and the mother passed away too.
We learned that the world’s largest ever aircraft, the Antonov AN-225, was destroyed by the Russian bombings of Antonov airport. For me, this was yet another example of how mindless and evil a war can be.
As the war has gone on, we have seen that Ukraine’s spirit has not wavered despite the casualties, despite cold and harsh winters. The international community has rallied to supply Ukraine in perhaps the most important fight that Europe has seen since Vlad Dracul defended the continent from the Ottomans.
One year on, I am still dismayed that I live in a time when there is war, so near my country. A war that was started by a country that tried to invade my home during the WW II and at the same time tried to put the blame on Finland.
During this year, Finland and Sweden, two very neutral countries, have applied for NATO membership, something that no one believed would ever happen 1,5 years ago. But this just goes to prove that at times, one needs to take a stand against something and for something.
Meanwhile, whilst pondering what action to take, evwn though we might not want to be reminded of the horrors that most of us never have to witness firsthand, we need to remember what the war can do, so that us, alive now, can precent this from happening, yet again, in the future.
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