Column: Banning oil from the oligarchy: Necessary damage


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Ukrainians protest against Russia’s invasion and attack on their sovereign nation, arguing that Putin will expand his attack to other nations. The world has responded to the insane agression by the Russian dictator.

By Charlotte Tragos, Columnist

The world can learn from Ukraine.

The world can learn from the heroism the Ukrainian people are demonstrating, their sheer devotion to their nation. Armed with the belief that light will triumph over darkness, and goodness over evil, their people place sunflower seeds in the pockets of Russian soldiers.

In the wake of the war, a refugee crisis is emerging. One that becomes a disastrous microcosm for the greatest problems facing us today: transgender women are unable to leave Ukraine, and Polish guards are segregating refugees, remarking to the fleeing citizens, “our women go first.” The world can learn from the situation in Ukraine, and the world can help Ukraine, even if our government cannot.

It is painful to sit back and watch people die every day, pleading for help. There is no difference between the weight of American life and a Ukrainian one. The challenge lies in the implications of escalating the war, on the human impact and the geopolitical ones. A nuclear war would cause the greatest loss in human history. But, we have faced this conflict with Russia before. We have watched humans suffer at the hands of the corrupt and cruel dictatorship.

We have watched the Soviet Union threaten the United States with nuclear weapons. We know we cannot engage with Russia; we cannot enable a nuclear war.

We would be warned 15 minutes in advance of a nuclear weapon heading to the U.S. Or, not at all.

Putin shows no signs to stop, give in or give up. He is a damaged KGB warlord out for retaliation, stuck in the era of the Soviet Union’s domination.

Putin won’t stop with Ukraine. There is a risk that this attack on democracy will spread to neighboring countries. Putin’s barbarism has become the world’s problem.

We did sanction Russia in many ways, but only very recently sent in the hardest hit yet for fear of retaliation and disapproval by the American people. We ended Russian oil imports; which is successfully crippling Russia’s economy, impacting the oligarchy so directly it would be an uphill battle to survive a fight against Ukraine. It took us this long because the American people do not want their gas prices to increase.

So, I ask: What is our priority as Americans? What is our duty to global democracy? Can we live with higher gas prices if it will stop Ukrainian deaths?

The sun sets in Ukraine, yet it will rise again to see another day. But Russians attack at night, they bomb cities, schools, hospitals and nuclear plants leaving civilians dead and many more in danger. Their tanks roll through the streets and encounter Ukrainian citizens throwing their bodies at the metal tanks, screaming, “fascists go home.” The sun rises in the morning and the attacks somewhat subside, light lulls the attacks. The Ukrainians continue to put up a strong front even as Russian troops advance from all sides.

I think we have a duty to one another since the risks to direct intervention are too great. We have to do our part, meaning we have to stay informed. If you can donate, please do. We know the human risk is too great to involve American troops, but we sympathize with Ukrainians’ desire for freedom and autonomy, one the United States has carried for our entire history. It is in our most American interest to support the Ukrainian citizens strive for freedom, we must encourage our lawmakers to act in the best interests of global democracies. The world must help Ukraine, what precedent are we setting if we don’t?