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According to the UN, targeting civilians and children is not “collateral damage”. It is, in fact, a war crime. Which means that Russia has been guilty of war crimes since 2014. And what has the international community done about it?

Ukraine in Reality

I feel the need to apologize for the starkness of this post. That must be my good Canadian personality. Then I remember my friends in Ukraine who are fighting for their lives and their freedom. Would they do any less for me?

Social media doesn’t show you:

These people could have been your friends, your family, your neighbors. They were living peaceful lives in #Odesa before their stories were cut short in March 2024.

the moments before Ukrainians become a headline; the moments and feelings before Ukrainians become a statistic.

the kiss goodbye as someone headed to the grocery store before that grocery store was bombed.

the last line of a poem someone edited before their house was burned to the ground, killing everyone inside.

the birthday candles that were blown out, the wishes made, before a family was killed in their sleep.

Social media doesn’t show you how scared, and yet fearless, a Ukrainian soldier is before a unit is fatally attacked.

Social doesn’t show you who they asked for in their last breath.

If you’re not in #Ukraine, you don’t have to brace yourself daily for grief and loss. You get to see your family, your friends, your neighbors; you get to smile at them and hug them.

This is Tara, an exhausted rescue dog in Odesa. The rescue operation after the Russian drone strike is still not over.

The Luxury of Safety

If you have the luxury of living in safety, then please amplify those who do not. If you have the privilege of watching a war unfold on your computer screen in a warm house and not on your actual doorstep, then please amplify those who are watching lives and homes literally crumble around their feet.

The headlines in the news, on your television, and on social media, are just the tip of the iceberg of what’s left behind. The moments that are extinguished. The poetry underneath the rubble. The dreams that are no longer.

#Ukraine is carrying an unfathomable amount of grief on its shoulders, layered on top of the generational grief that it has carried and passed on for hundreds of years. Ukrainians all over the world have been forever changed by the last 10 years.

And no headline will ever touch the bottom of how profoundly deep that sadness is.

Please remember that.

Much of the content in this post was provided by Tetyana Denford, a translator for the award-winning documentary, “20 Days in Mariupol.”

Bob will be going back to Eastern Ukraine to visit new friends, connect with a couple we support who are planting a church, and bring support to the frontlines.

You can do something positive for Ukraine. Contribute to Bob’s 70th b-day fundraiser for humanitarian aid. Info here. Re-post REVwords posts about Ukraine on your social media platforms. If you are reading this in the US, please appeal to your member of congress to fund Ukraine. Post a comment below.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

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