This is Irpin! The photo was taken late yesterday afternoon.
A town of life, vibrancy, families, people like you and me. A place I felt at home in, a place I will help restore.
Today is ‘Day of Defender’ and Irpin is officially awarded ‘Hero City’ status, an honour only designated to few cities that have endured considerable hardship. The Mayor, Olexsandr Markushin was awarded the 2nd degree Medal “For Courage” earlier today.
The first places to be attacked 30 days ago, this little town, with connected towns of Hostomel and Bucha raised the hand to the Russians, Chechens and Belarussians and said NO! You shall not pass onto Kyiv. All of them are ‘Hero Cities’ now. The three sisters… together.
This infestation of evil did not pass and has been repeatedly destroyed. The bombs are a retribution, the hurt, the harm caused, but not humiliation. Hard fighting has pushed the Russians back away from Kyiv.
It would be appropriate that you light a candle to these gentle, friendly and warm people, think of the bodies left in inappropriate places, think of the injured, displaced and orphaned. Think of the distress at losing so much, then think of the strength, determination and bravery.
Go to Ukraine in better times and remember this little town. YOU WILL NOT PASS!
Chornobayivka is a name that echoes in history. 15 times in a few days it rebuffed heavily armed Russians, meeting fit and well armed special soldiers and reducing them to corpses.
Defending Kherson International Airport, this tiny village is no less than Irpin, YOU WILL NOT PASS.
In a village near Chernigiv Russian soldiers lie dead. They were given freshly baked bread by a kindly old Ukrainian lady, in her 80’s. She had baked them especially, taking good care to use the poison her husband used to kill rats. More than enough it seems to kill.
You see, no one will abuse Ukraine.
More and more Russians are deserting, passing their equipment to the Ukrainian side. Many turning to face their former colleagues.
Unarmed Ukrainians gather around fully armed Russians and walk them back, slowly, in the face of guns which are fired overhead. A scene played out across Ukraine, these Russians retreat away from these quiet and gathered people, taking their guns and tanks, reversing, simply unable to kill peaceful people.
Two days ago Russian TV proclaimed its success in delivering Russia’s military might to Ukrainian shores. Now ‘Saratov’ is destroyed, two other paratroop carriers, “Cesar Kunikov” and “Novocherkask” are damaged.
In Ireland, kindness, the Ukrainian flags are commonplace, even in the countryside. The main Newspaper wrote it’s editorial in Ukrainian. The first time in its 117 year history it used a language other than Irish or English. The first time.
Ukrainian children start school, Ukrainian teachers joining their Irish colleagues. The Irish are determined to make them a home from home.
The short term plan should be to make the long term plan better. So it will be.
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