Russia invaded a democratic neighboring country---
"Today, Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky made a passionate plea to the people of Russia to avoid war. He gave the speech in Russian, his own primary language, and, reminding Russians of their shared border and history, told them to “listen to the voice of reason”: Ukrainians want peace.
“You've been told I'm going to bomb Donbass,” he said. “Bomb what? The Donetsk stadium where the locals and I cheered for our team at Euro 2012? The bar where we drank when they lost? Luhansk, where my best friend's mom lives?” Zelensky tried to make the human cost of this conflict clear. Observers lauded the speech and contrasted its statesmanship with Putin’s recent ramblings.
And yet, it will stand only as a marker. Tonight in America, but early Thursday in Ukraine, Russian president Vladimir Putin launched a “special military operation,” claiming, quite transparently falsely, that he needed to defend the people in the “new republics” within Ukraine that he recognized Monday from “persecution and genocide by the Kyiv regime.” He called for “demilitarization” of Ukraine, demanding that soldiers lay down their weapons and saying that any bloodshed would be on their hands.
He also promised to provide for the ”denazification” of Ukraine, a harking back to the period after World War II when Nazis and those who had worked with them were purged from society. Putin has repeatedly referred to Ukrainian leaders as Nazis, a charge Zelensky, who is of Jewish heritage, has pleaded with Russians to reject, citing Ukraine’s losses in World War II and his own grandfather’s service in that war. Putin’s chilling word here suggests that he intends to purge from Ukraine all those who worked with the Zelensky government.
Putin warned: “Anyone who tries to interfere with us, or even more so, to create threats for our country and our people, must know that Russia’s response will be immediate and will lead you to such consequences as you have never before experienced in your history.” This sweeping and vague threat seems to encompass everything from massive cyber attacks to nuclear war, but at this point it seems mostly to be an effort to deter resistance. Russia’s economy is already taking hits from Putin’s decision to recognize the breakaway governments, and it likely cannot withstand a long war. Putin needs a quick win." *
* excerpt from H.C.R. "Letters from an American"