Tuesday, December 28, 2021
A massive Russian military buildup around Ukraine indicates a tangible risk that the Kremlin may begin military actions this winter against Kyiv, which has turned to the U.S. and NATO for aid after Putin’s forces seized the Crimean Peninsula and invaded eastern Ukraine in 2014.
Facing U.S. and European diplomatic pressure not to pursue such a calamitous war, Moscow presented on December 15 an eight-point list of treaty demands with the U.S. and a nine-point proposed agreement with NATO to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Karen Donfried —and made the ostensibly non-negotiable ultimatums public two days later, with a vaguely implicit “…or else” should they not be satisfied, after earlier denying intent for military action.
Early this morning Luke boarded his flight for Kyiv. He's going back to be with his wife and work in his new job, a creative person in World of Tanks, a big Lithuanian video game company. Anna, his wife, is the loveliest of girls, one of those geniuses who speaks 7 languages and is getting her PhD in history. I wish to God they could just come over here but the Ukrainian visa process seems even more screwed up than the US's is. Luke says he'll keep an eye on the news. If Putin invades he almost certainly won't try to get as far as Kyiv.
Part of me feels sick when Luke and my other boys leave after a visit and the other part feels numb. I renew my objection to families scattering across the world to pursue their often in retrospect somewhat foolish dreams. How much happier would we be with our children and grandchildren living near us instead of half a strife-torn world away? Maybe out of this pandemic we'll get more remote work, which will enable people to move home, while still working at whatever their thing is. I hope so. Until then, as the song says, we'll just have to muddle through somehow. On that cheery note, happy New Year everyone.