Protecting Ukrainian Sky, as Kyiv Rises and Moscow Falls

Ukraine shines, providing the world hope through action, strength, compassion, and courage. It is time for Western leaders to do the same and protect Ukrainian Sky.

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” – William Shakespeare



Ukraine has expressed immense gratitude for the global support it continues to receive as it stands strongly in the direct line of fire of the world’s most dangerous enemy – the illegitimate regime of Vladimir Putin. However, the support to date is not enough. In this moment of history, every Western leader must make a choice to display even a fraction of the courage Ukrainians illuminate as they defend their country’s survival and the world from a common hostile aggressor whose atrocities span the globe and grows increasingly dangerous and destructive by the hour. This is a final test for whether the West can rise to greatness, or if Ukraine holds that honor by itself.

Winter is here for Vladimir Putin. He will be gone soon. But as he has shown, he is not going down without a dangerously destructive battle and Ukrainians are now in a fight for their life to save their country after spending the last eight years on the front-lines protecting Europe from Putin at great cost and while many in the West whitewashed the seriousness of the war and propped up the Kremlin’s criminal regime while enjoying its blood-money.

Weeks ago, a top former Soviet military general who heads a large network of Russian military, law enforcement, and intelligence veterans, publicly warned that Putin would cause this disaster and how it would backfire on the Russian Federation. He demanded Putin’s resignation and told the Russian military it should disobey his orders and that his war plans were illegal. A month earlier, Russian defense industry oligarchs went on record saying that if Putin waged war on Ukraine, it would destroy Russia. The Russian economy is now crashing, thanks to the Putin regime’s failures, and due to the strong leadership of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Ukrainians’ fearless defense of their country, as well as significant support by President Joe Biden and other world leaders who have finally taken action to cut off Moscow’s terrorist regime economically and diplomatically. Long gone are the days of holding appeasement summits or private meetings with a global terrorist who only holds power through theft and draconian oppression. In addition, China has abandoned Putin as it made clearer this week; it may not support sanctions, but it also will not echo Kremlin disinformation and spoke against Putin’s war. Many overlooked that over the last few years, China has become Ukraine’s top trading partner, surpassing Russia, as Ukraine, the “breadbasket of Europe” plays a vital role helping the almost 1.5 billion populated country address food security. There is also no doubt that China would gladly takeover Siberia given Putin’s actions may break apart the Russian Federation. Here’s an analysis I wrote a few weeks ago that explains why China would turn on Putin:

‘Justice is Coming for Putin’

No Ukrainians should be killed by Putin. No Russian mother should lose another son fighting to keep the world’s most dangerous terrorist in power, some brainwashed to believe their sons are dying fighting for a ‘Mother Russia’ that does not exist. It is a war that the world is watching in real time on social media, with direct updates from Ukraine’s president and countless others around the world in his corner, while Putin sits by himself, isolated on the world stage, angry and desperate knowing an inevitable fate awaits, too scared to sit close to his closest advisors.

Yesterday, the Kyiv Mathematical Society released a powerful letter summarizing titled, ‘Address of mathematicians of Ukraine to the world scientific community,’ It provides a very clear overview of Putin’s war in Ukraine, including how millions of Russians do not know the first thing about the atrocities Putin is committing, including some of the Russian soldiers he sends to die fighting his illegal war, as we have seen. The Ukrainian mathematicians shared that they continue to receive an outpouring of support and messages from their Russian counterparts, including apologies for Putin’s behavior and how much he embarrasses their country. More than 4,000 Russian mathematicians, academics, and scientists signed onto a lettercondemning Putin’s war on Ukraine. The Ukrainian mathematicians also provided a call to action for anyone with friends or loved ones in Russia, to reach out to them with truthful information about Putin’s illegal war, since many Russians continue to be inundated by Putin’s disinformation, and independent media sources are under increasingly strict censorship.

A couple days ago, Russia bombed a Kyiv television tower located on the territory of Babyn Yar, a Holocaust Memorial site where 33,771 Jews were massacred by Nazis between September 29-30, 1941. Ukraine’s president pleaded, “To the world: What is the point of saying “never again” for 80 years if the world stays silent when a bomb drops on the same site as Babyn Yar? At least five killed. History repeating…” Putin is going full Hitler and Stalin on Ukraine. But Ukraine, under Zelenskyy’s leadership and with the unbreakable spirit of Ukrainians, is standing its ground impressively well and beyond anyone’s expectations, especially shocking Putin. Why? Because Zelenskyy refused to abandon Kyiv like the U.S. encouraged him to, and instead, stood held Kyiv and sparked a movement of support, resulting in consequences for Putin that are not survivable.

Yesterday, Putin started his day by threatening Ukrainians with public executions and ended it with his military shooting at one of four nuclear power plants located in Ukraine, a severe threat of ecological terrorism that could easily have resulted in a global catastrophe that would have directly impacted every NATO member-nation. That alone, should move NATO leaders to immediately take action to provide Ukraine with the no-fly zone needed so that Russian missiles stop pouring over Ukraine and Ukrainians can focus on securing their land, including taking out eco-terrorists and protecting nuclear power plants to prevent global disaster. If this does not get NATO to move the needle on the moral compass in the correct direction, then NATO has proven hopeless. It is bad enough that Western leaders continue to play by the rules with an enemy that has exhaustively illustrated a disregard for rules and grows more emboldened when its hollow threats are met with appeasement.

“Be Strong and Courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you: he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6

It is the global community’s responsibility to fully protect Ukraine, no excuses, no fear. It is important to acknowledge that the support Ukraine has received so far is historic. A United Nations vote confirmed that the world stands with Ukraine and Putin stands alone. More than 140 diplomats meeting at the United Nations (UN), walked out of the room as Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov addressed the UN Human Rights Council this week; they refused to listen to any more Kremlin lies. Many important voices have defended Ukraine and combated Putin’s disinformation warfare machine. At an emergency UN session last week, Kenya delivered the most powerful and elegant historic rebuttal to Putin’s unhinged speech that tried to validate his illegal war plans based on misrepresentations of history. Other support continues to include lethal weapons, coalition building, sanctions, SWIFT, seizing Russian assets, blocking Russian planes from other nations’ airspace, advocacy, donations to charities and NGOs, combating disinformation, and protests. Poland even took the step of providing Ukraine’s Air Force with landing runways. There have also been moving symbolic gestures of support from around the world – European landmarks, Japan’s metropolitan building, and the Sydney Opera House are among those lit up in the colors of Ukraine’s flag – blue for the clear, open sky, yellow for the wheat grown on Ukraine’s rich black fertile soil. But today, Ukrainian sky is not clear – it is littered with Putin’s lethal missiles aimed at devastating Ukraine’s historic, beautiful, and culturally diverse cities and murdering civilians, including many children.

The world must do everything needed to protect Ukrainian sky and save countless lives. NATO member-nations, which Ukrainians are on the front-lines protecting as they defend their own independence, must rise to the occasion of this decisive moment in history. Putin’s threats of nuclear war are as believable as his claims that Russians support him, a country where he is now as popular as rabies. Putin is not a master chess player or even capable of winning a game of checkers at this point. His game is poker and terrorism, and his last hand is a losing one. He threatened nuclear war and pumped Russians with fear for months leading up to the 2016 elections in the U.K. and U.S. as Russian military intelligence was caught waging hybrid warfare operations to tip these elections’ outcomes to the Kremlin’s advantage, and the direct result caused immeasurable damage, chaos, and loss of life. But those were the good old days for Putin, who has lost support at the highest level among those in his once-trusted intelligence and military circle, as he uses evil trickery to send young Russian soldiers to die in a war against their peaceful neighbor. He has as much ability to launch nuclear warheads as Donald J. Trump or Richard Nixon did when they tried on numerous occasions to do so. There are those in Russia who do not share Putin’s suicidal mission. NATO needs to stop making excuses and stand up for a nation that has risked everything for years to defend democracies against the Kremlin, including Ukraine’s former President Petro Poroshenko who vocally warned the world in 2014 that American social media companies like Facebook, which became infested with Kremlin money and weaponized after the negligent “reset” with Russia, were used to wage Putin’s disinformation warfare campaigns to poison democracy. Protect Ukrainian sky, no more cowardice, no more excuses.

As Putin makes empty nuclear war threats, he’s starting a military war on his own people to kill inevitable mass protests. He will not stop them. They will tear Russia apart to take him down. He is so desperate that he dragged Paul Manafort’s former client Victor Yanukovych out of hiding in Moscow and propped him down in Minsk like a pawn, a gesture meant as a threat that he’s going to take over Ukraine’s government and install in Kyiv the former puppet-dictator who was prosecuted and convicted for treason, and who would be killed if he steps foot in Ukraine or imprisoned. While Russia Today (also known as RT) gets increasingly canceled globally and shutting down, Putin is left parading Tucker Carlson as his chief U.S. propagandist. Its unclear what he may have on the CIA applicant-reject but there seems to be something more than money and fame at play. Putin is the Kompromat King, as those he compromised using Alan Dershowitz’s former close associate Jeffrey Epstein, know well.

Epstein partnered with Ghislaine Maxwell, the favorite and most significant daughter of the late Robert Maxwell, a Czechoslovakian-born propaganda tycoon in the UK who became one of the most influential power brokers in the world while working for Mossad and the KGB. Robert Maxwell was close with the Kennedys and wanted his youngest daughter to marry John Jr., the late president’s son. Maxwell had many powerful Washington, D.C. relations, and worked closely with Henry Kissinger who opened doors of opportunity for him. One of his great accomplishments was strengthening the Russian Mafia. However, Maxwell was mysteriously killed the night before an early morning meeting with the Bank of London, he was found dead floating at sea off his famous yacht ‘Lady Ghislaine.’ Ghislaine immediately believe her father was murdered. He was also going broke at the time because the Soviet Union was collapsing, and he bet on the wrong team. With his death, his business empire crumpled overnight, hurting thousands of employees and their families.  

Maxwell’s two intellectually unimpressive sons took the fall for the company’s crash, and while under investigation, traveled internationally to central and eastern Europe to focus securing their father’s KGB and mafia distribution channels and networks. The Maxwells were involved in drug trafficking, sex trafficking, arms dealing, and espionage. Ghislaine continued the extortion and blackmail part of her father’s shadowy empire and immediately relocated to New York City where she re-connected with her late father’s colleague and her good friend Epstein. One of her older sisters created roots in Silicon Valley where she had a software company and sold a database search software that the FBI purchased when Robert Mueller was the FBI Director. Her other older sister settled down in southern California where she became close to celebrities and artists in the Los Angeles area and scientists at Cal Tech, and eventually married a former KGB/Mossad spy and “futurist” who had hooked onto Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman and would later help host scientific conferences, attended by top scientists, on Epstein’s pedophilia island in the Caribbean that Bill Clinton frequented. Her husband had deep reach into many of the Ivy Leagues too. He also died a mysterious death, fell off the balcony of a castle in France. 

Maxwell’s death shook the world. His wife had his body immediately transferred to Israel where he was buried, his funeral attended by the top Israeli leadership, including high ranking intelligence. Before he died, Maxwell helped refugees from the Soviet Union move to Israel, including former KGB who were not Jewish and faked their paperwork to secure Israeli citizenship and who are among today’s most powerful among Putin’s inner circle. The Russian-born Rabbi who oversaw that wave of migration from the Soviet Union to Israel, was Rabbi Moshe Azman, who later relocated to Anatevka, Ukraine. He is close with many American politicians on the far-right, including Rudy Giuliani who he gave a key to the city of Anatevka, the town known for “Fiddler on the Roof,” and Mike Huckabee who spent time with the Rabbi in Jerusalem a few years ago. The last person believed to speak to Maxwell before he “fell off” the yacht was Sam Pisar, his closest advisor and lawyer, who is also the late stepfather and cherished mentor to Anthony Blinken, Joe Biden’s closest advisor and Secretary of State whose appeasement policy with Putin failed horribly.

It is believed by experts that Putin’s ability to compromise countless westerners, as Epstein helped him, including members of the British Family, Fortune 500 Executives, scientists, university officials, and politicians, has drastically prevented our ability to properly stand up to Putin. During the 2016 U.S. election, America’s two major political parties nominated presidential tickets that each had strong ties to Epstein. Kompromat has been a successful insurance policy for Putin over the years, and provided him a political defense shield that has paralyzed western leaders. But today, even possessing kompromat will not save Putin.

Those countries who have technology and capabilities to help, must or they too are complicit in war crimes. Putin’s exhausting “nuclear war” threats makes one yawn and is a tirelessly overused psychological warfare tactic to get a green-light to commit more war atrocities. But the threat has another role – it provides an excuse for western leaders to lean-in toward Putin, buy time, allow more destruction of Ukraine, and make more profit. It’s the same purpose the Bill Barr four-page gaslighting letter served – to obstruct Russia investigations and help the Kremlin, while terrifying Trump’s opponents into submission and providing them an excuse to play his game and make a fortune marching in line like political zombies addicted to blood money. Much of the payments ran through foreign contracts and “opportunity zones” that were foreign financed, including by Russian oligarchs and through offshore accounts.

Let us also not forget that two NATO members are the original signatories of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum – the U.K. and the U.S. – who encouraged Ukraine to give its nuclear arsenal, the third largest in the world after the fall of the Soviet Union, to Russia (the third signatory), in exchange for promises of protection should a hostile power invade it. One of the signatories predictably became the aggressor – Russia – the beneficiary of the deal and greatest foreseeable threat to Ukraine, as was clear based on both history and common sense. After all, millions of Ukrainians were murdered under Joseph Stalin’s brutal rule, including during his strategic man-made famine known as Holodomor in 1932-1933, which was covered up with the help of the New York Times Moscow Bureau chief Walter Duranty. While a major American newspaper found that Stalin’s mass genocide was not “news fit to print,” President Franklin D. Roosevelt officially recognized the Soviet Union in 1933 as Ukrainians were being murdered. The following year, Duranty was invited to accompany Soviets to the White House to celebrate.

Stalin’s genocide later inspired Adolph Hitler’s Holocaust that brutally and strategically killed 6 million Jews, millions of non-Jewish central and eastern Europeans, hundreds of thousands of disabled people, and thousands of homosexuals. President Bill Clinton, the champion of the Budapest Memorandum, was very chummy with then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Putin’s close ally and predecessor, to the point that Clinton green-lighted Republican political operatives of former California Governor Pete Wilson to run Yeltsin’s 1996 campaign behind the scenes in Moscow. Also, one of the greatest financial backers of Vice President Al Gore and his former Senator father was Armand Hammer. Before he died, Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin, told his successor Joseph Stalin to recruit Hammer as the Soviet Union’s point person to the West, to be used to lure in American businessmen to help the brutal regime update its technology. Hammer proved invaluable and successfully recruited countless western businessmen over the decades, including the father of the Koch Brothers, which is how they made their fortune and secured great political influence in the U.S. and globally. He served the Kremlin for decades, throughout the Cold War, while having unmatched access to U.S. Presidents of both major political parties. The Soviets greatly rewarded him for these services, as seen with his Occidental Petroleum Corp., which Vice President Gore, before giving a global warming speech at Georgetown, signed over tens of thousands of acres of federal oil reserves to Hammer’s company, the largest privatization of federal property in history, and without the Energy Department doing a mandated assessment of environmental impact. The $3.65 billion deal immediately tripled Occidental Petroleum’s oil reserves.

The U.K. and U.S. did not do enough over the past years to stop Putin’s aggression, and instead implemented appeasement policies that empowered and emboldened him, as both countries served as the top benefactors of Putin’s laundered blood money, and in the process, made themselves vulnerable to Kremlin influence over their own governments. Law firms, think tanks, universities, polling firms, public relations firms, political consultants, and charities were among those to benefit. Ukraine’s President has expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who now parades himself as a champion of Ukraine but has been the force behind burying Russia investigations in the U.K. and is a direct benefactor of Putin’s oligarchy that poisoned the British political system. Johnson still refuses to put some powerful Putin-linked oligarchs on the U.K.’s sanctions list, including Roman Abramovich, who he is helping buy time so he can liquidate his assets. Also, between the years of 2017 to early 2021, the Kremlin-backed White House and its cabal of Congressional leaders were one of the greatest threats to Ukraine. There was a sophisticated Kremlin-disinformation operation put in place by longtime Putin advisor Paul Manafort and his compromised associates, wrongly blaming Ukraine for “interfering” in the 2016 election to stop Donald J. Trump from becoming president; an operation meant to confuse the public and obstruct federal investigations into Putin’s hybrid warfare that helped install Trump. When Ukraine’s president Poroshenko came to visit the White House, not only did Trump refuse to greet the dignitary at the door as was tradition for heads of state visits, but by the end of Poroshenko’s visit, the Ukrainian president left the U.S. with a West Virginia, Kremlin and Joe Manchin-linked, coal deal he did not need. Shortly after Zelenskyy won the presidential election, Trump was impeached for trying to extort the Ukrainian President, as he tried to get Ukraine to launch bogus investigations based on Kremlin disinformation against Putin and Trump’s shared enemies list. Trump pushed the narrative that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election to hurt him and tried to get Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election to help him, while withholding Congressionally approved military aid to a country at war with Putin. But one major American political party refused to hold him accountable. Then, emboldened by not being held accountable, Trump led a violent insurrection to overthrow an election he tried but failed to steal.

One must reflect, had Ukraine received the support of the international alliance that stands with it today, back in 2014 when Putin first invaded Ukraine, illegally annexed Crimea, displaced more than two million people, killed more than ten thousand people, all while mainstream media spent eight years using Kremlin messaging that it was a “civil war” run by “separatists,” there would not have been a successful Brexit referendum or a Trump presidency. Countless lives would have been saved during a pandemic that was worsened by the Kremlin’s U.S. president who refused to follow a scientifically backed and tested guide created by the previous U.S. president on how to respond. Paul Manafort, Steve Bannon, Erik Prince, and many others among Putin’s top American political warfare mercenaries would never have had the backing to help the Kremlin wage such hybrid wars. 

What should the world takeaway from this behavior of the three signatories to the Budapest Memorandum failing, each in its own way, to honor assurances that they would fully protect Ukraine from a hostile aggressor when Ukrainian sky continues to be lit-up with explosions from Putin’s missiles of mass destruction? After all, had Ukraine kept the nukes, Putin would not have dared invade it and Ukraine would not be at the mercy of Western nuclear armed nations that spent decades being in bed with the Kremlin and now refuse to protect Ukrainian sky, and instead want to play by some outdated understandings with Moscow, while Putin has gone completely rogue, after spending decades breaking international laws, and now commits war crimes by the minute. The West cannot allow Putin to determine the rules of war while he violates them – that is a recipe for disaster as Ukraine continues warn.

Israel, which is not a member of NATO but as partner, has also refused to step up to the plate. Israel is home to many Ukrainians and Russians. Israel has more than nine million citizens, and more than a million are Russian, and twenty percent of Israeli voters speak Russian. Israeli citizens have shown their support for Ukraine as Putin drastically escalated his war, many even burning their Russian passports in protest of his terrorist regime. Ukraine is led by a Jewish President, Zelenskyy, who has become the young international rock star and champion the world did not know it needed until now. He is not only protecting Ukraine but also NATO member-states and other countries from throughout the region, including Israeli citizens who live in Ukraine. Ukrainian Rabbis, like Ukrainian priests, are risking their lives feeding and sheltering Ukrainian civilians during Putin’s war, and thousands of Jews who live in Kyiv, and around the country, are among those currently under severe military attack by a dangerous fascist who is completely unhinged and bombed the sacred site of Babyn Yar. Israel needs to provide its full support to Ukraine, including its air defense system, the U.S. financed Iron Dome, if there is a cease fire opportunity to move it. Whatever the support, it needs to be full and significant.

There is no staying out of this war – it’s all hands-on deck, you either support Ukraine or you support Putin, the line is clear. Neutrality cannot be allowed to exist in this moment of history that decides the world’s fate. The Jewish state understands this best through its own horrific experiences. “Friends” who do not lend full support in a decisive time of crisis but are capable, are complicit in Putin’s war crimes. This holds true for others, including American politicians.   

Fear of starting World War III is too late; it started long ago while most of the world was sleepwalking, and in the form of hybrid warfare. Putin, with the help of neo-Nazi American mercenaries and fascist Evangelical leaders working with the Putin-controlled Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), an institution that uses the cover of religion to serve Russia’s war-machine and intelligence, and helps the Kremlin attack democracies of foreign nations to install puppet regimes, including in the U.S.

One of the most powerful partners of American evangelical far-right politicians is the ROC, meaning these Americans are operating as part of a Russian intelligence political warfare machine. It is not a coincidence that the ROC financed an event in Washington, D.C. starring Vice President Mike Pence, days after the 2017 Inauguration, a conference planned in Moscow by Americans and ROC leaders, almost two years prior and with Putin’s direct blessing. The annual Prayer Breakfast is sponsored by a Kremlin front organization – a far-right religious extremist group, the World Congress of Families (WCF) that serves as an umbrella for other religious fascist groups. It was co-founded in an apartment in Moscow by a Russian “professor” and a Michigan professor who is a former Reagan appointee, one of many the KGB targeted. He wrote a paper that caught the eye of Moscow; it was on saving the declining white population, in which he blamed feminism, abortion, and divorce. This Russian operation ran religious outreach in every Republican election since, including over the last decade with the help of Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica. American evangelicals even helped write Russia’s draconian anti-LGBTQ+ laws and anti-women laws. This same network has been so impactful at overwhelming significant segments of the population with disinformation warfare and psychological warfare, to the point that its victims are unable to decipher facts from fiction and passionately advance falsehoods. They terrorize countless people all over the world, including throughout South America and Africa, as news reports show how the LGBTQ+ community continues to be in danger in multiple African countries.  

The Russian Orthodox Church’s main propaganda network – Tsargrad TV – was created by Jack Hanick, Fox News’ Sean Hannity’s former producer and director. It is linked to InfoWars’ Alex Jones who has bragged about his appearances on the network. This religious suppression and propaganda channel is financed by Russian Orthodox Oligarch Konstantin Malofeev, who was instrumental in helping Putin’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine, including the hostile and illegal takeover and occupation of Crimea and the war Putin has waged since, using local ROC churches for military operations and disinformation warfare. Malofeev is the architect of Russia transforming into a religious global royal empire and heads its “Monarchy Party” while on western sanctions lists as he waits in the shadows for his turn at Putin’s throne. He holds great responsibility for the lack of freedom of religion in Russia. As of today, the United States put Jack Hanick on the Russian sanctions list.

How did American evangelicals get in bed with the Kremlin? Were they simply motivated by pure greed, ideology, or did they believe their own “Evil Empire” rhetoric during the Cold War, that caught the attention of the KGB, which saw them as an effective political tool of Ronald Reagan’s? Did they really believe Russians were “Godless” and not spiritual and needed “saving,” despite that countless Soviets of diverse religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, discretely practiced their faiths at great personal risk? Lenin launched a brutally violent anti-religious crusade against Soviets that started with the execution of Russian Orthodox priests and nuns, some by crucifixion on the gates of their churches. Stalin carried on his violent crusade, and tens of millions of people of faith were murdered and thousands of houses of worship destroyed, and others seized. During World War II, when Hitler invaded Poland and embraced the practice of Christianity, Stalin, concerned he would lose support to the Third Reich tyrant, turned the ROC into a weapon of war and encouraged the practice of religion, a cover while he forced priests of the ROC to be spies for the KGB. By the 1970s, many KGB agents were trained as ROC clergymen, building a powerful religious intelligence arm of the Kremlin that continues to exist today.

When the Soviet Union fell, politically powerful and wealthy far-right American Christian extremists swooped in – sponsoring a sizable delegation to Russia that met with intelligence, politicians, and academics in the early 1990s. From there, they created programs and organizations in Russia, that were Russian intelligence front groups, whether the Americans understood this or not. Who financed this first trip? A very wealthy and politically powerful married couple, Christian extremist with great influence in former President Reagan’s circle – the parents of Betsy Devos and Erik Prince. In fact, Prince was part of the delegation. Today, he’s a militant religious war crusader for Putin and has caused immense damage and war crimes globally. His sister, well before and during her time as Trump’s Secretary of Education, tried to weaken American public-school systems while empowering religious cult educational institutions.

This network of bad actors has done immense hybrid warfare damage for years in the U.S. and Ukraine, among many other countries. The ROC’s top lobbyist in Ukraine is Rudy Giuliani’s close associate and criminal accomplice Andrii Derkach; he is connected to Trump’s impeachment and on western sanctions lists. These connections are a roadmap for international prosecutors. They are also a reminder of the special responsibility the Untied States and other western nations bare in enabling and abetting Putin to grow increasingly dangerous through the weaponization of religion over the years. Another among many reasons they need to protect Ukrainian sky and Ukrainian children.

Like Putin, the Kremlin’s network of American “Christian” extremists is among the greatest threats to humanity today and a force preventing us from effectively addressing global warming, which they continue to worsen, just like they made it more difficult for us to address the pandemic and exacerbated it too. This post-Soviet merger they formed with the Kremlin is responsible for the deaths of countless Russians and Americans, and now they are trying to destroy Ukraine and take over Kyiv, the birthplace of East Orthodox Christianity in the medieval eastern Slavic empire of Kyivan Rus’ that once ruled Moscow. They literally recruited and continue to work with Nazis and helped give rise to Hitler. The opposing political party has failed to stop them even though this open secret was exposed decades ago in a report published in 1988 that showed the Republican Party, under President Nixon and chaired by George H.W. Bush, had former Nazis recruited to work at the RNC to run its “ethnic outreach” program called the Heritage Council, and the Heritage Foundation that followed. It is always well documented how Prescott Bush was among American influential businessmen, along with the heads of General Motor and Henry Ford, who promoted antisemitic disinformation and helped prop Adolph Hitler into power.

Hitler, in his younger years, was supposed to be executed for treason but these influential westerners saw potential to use him as a political tool of influence. They recognized his high intelligence and mistakenly believed he could be manipulated and controlled, a mistaken assumption far-right Christian extremists made decades later with Putin and Trump. They transformed Hitler into a powerful politician who ran a “Germany First” campaign built around an infrastructure program that depended on German indentured servants who were desperately impoverished due to the aftermath of World War I when they were abandoned, and which created a climate of nationalization and anger. Hitler forced these Germans to take an oath, sign a pledge of allegiance, and pay into a system that would drastically develop Germany’s infrastructure, including building roads and bridges that would become vital to Hitler’s World War II ambitions. Countless Germans were worked to death or killed when they could no longer work, as they built the roads later used to advance Hitler’s pillaging and looting through much of Europe. And while they pushed a “Germany First” nationalistic agenda in Germany, in the U.S., a Nazi front-group called the America First Committee, advocated against the U.S.’s involvement in the war, and despite British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s pleas for America to help stop Hitler. Decades later, “America First” was used as a campaign slogan, dog-whistle, and nationalistic call to action by Nixon, and then Trump.

Propping up evil regimes is not a partisan issue though. For instance, a Democratic U.S. President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who made tremendous historic progress for Americans, including leading the country out of the Great Depression, putting in-place important safety nets like Social Security, and serving as a victorious Commander-in-Chief during World War II, appeased Stalin by officially recognizing the Soviet Union while he was murdering tens of millions of people, including Ukrainians through strategic starvation, stealing its food, and selling it to build the Soviet military, with the help of U.S.-influenced Germany that was among those who sold Soviets weapons. Ukraine was ground zero for Stalin and Hitler’s war games where they tested weapons, committed mass murder, and Stalin created a refugee crisis that directly benefited Hitler. He replaced Germans he had killed, with those fleeing war in Central and Eastern Europe; as Stalin pushed refugees west, the Germans turned millions into forced laborers; they made-up about 20% of the Third Reich’s labor force during the final years of the war. After the war, President Roosevelt appointed a Nazi-profiteering advisor in his administration, who had worked with American companies in Germany during the war, as his representative at the Nuremberg trials and charged him with helping rebuild Western Germany while Stalin controlled East Germany. Most Nazi leaders were given a slap on the wrist and later recovered businesses and wealth they stole from Jews and countless other victims. GM and Ford, that continued to operate in Germany throughout World War II and supported the Third Reich, were never held accountable. In fact, American taxpayers reimbursed GM millions of dollars for its losses in Germany. Throughout this period, many mainstream Protestant and Catholic church leaders made numerous compromises with and supported Nazi leaders.

We have seen the strong hold the Kremlin backed “Christian” fascists have over the U.S. government now, we are reminded every moment of every day. It is cemented with each un-American, anti-freedom piece of legislation they push at the local, state, and federal level of government, across the country and around the world. It is reflected through the leadership, words, and actions of the Federalist Society that appoints far-right Christian extremist judges, including the Supreme Court. One top far-right Christian leader is Mike Pence who is from Indiana, a Kremlin-strong hold, and close with one of the biggest religious political warfare crusaders, Dr. Michael Youssef, an Egyptian-American pastor who founded the Church of Apostles in Atlanta Georgia, trains religious mercenaries, preaches fear and targets Muslims but also condemns other faiths and even other Evangelicals, as he wages Jihad and warns about ‘end of times.’ In a 2016 interview, he gave his blessing for the Trump-Pence ticket and bragged about his very close friend Mike Pence (the future Putin-installed Vice President) and the “many, many, many” members of his church that were serving on the Kremlin-run presidential campaign of religious crusade, including Nick Ayers, a well-financed protégé of Paul Manafort who would serve as Pence’s right-hand advisor on the Trump transition team and in the White House. Also, after Wikileaks dropped and Manafort got out of the spotlight and back into the shadows, where he operates best, Trump’s campaign was taken over by Youssef’s colleagues at the Council for National Policy, a once secretive Kremlin-linked fascist organization with very close ties to a political warfare academy and Nazi haven in Taipei, and whose members include the Mercers, Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Devos, and many others.

Why has the media not aggressively highlighted these America far-right religious connections to the Kremlin as pro-Kremlin politicians like Mike Pompeo cry out about “freedom of religion”? For almost eight straight years, the media failed to report on Ukraine properly. It refused to acknowledge this war in Europe for the danger that it posed to the world. Instead, the common practice in the western mainstream media was to refer to Putin’s war on Ukraine that started in 2014, as a “civil” war. Putin’s terrorists and soldiers waging the war were called “separatists.” These were Kremlin talking points being echoed by journalists and publications that should have known better based on what was publicly available information. In fact, it was reported in 2014 that a Russian mother, a member of an NGO of Russian mothers advocating for the basic human rights of Russian soldiers, sounded the alarm that Putin was sending Russian military to Ukraine while denying it, she presented concrete evidence. She was detained and threatened, a sacrifice she made as countless journalists continued to repeat the Kremlin’s deceitful narrative. The world was on notice well before then too – Ukraine confirmed it.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

Today, Ukraine is an inspiration to the world, its spirit has created a global enlightenment as the nation illuminates the most important rule when protecting democracy, humanity, and the planet from evil – always stand your ground and show compassion for your enemy when there is opportunity. Be willing to pay with your life if that’s what it takes to protect others. But also do your best to give a hostile enemy’s soldiers a sympathetic way out to end the war, especially when its leader has grown completely unhinged and sent soldiers to battle through brainwashing, pumping hate, or other trickery. Ironically, while Putin betrays Russians and sends them to die in Ukraine, it is Ukraine that has been a champion for Russians who invade and try to destroy it. Kyiv elevates the voices of captured Russian soldiers, telling their stories of betrayal at the UN, where Ukraine’s Ambassador read a text of a solider sent to his mother moments before he was killed. He told his mom he wanted to go home and that he didn’t know he was sent to Ukraine to kill in a war. Ukraine has released videos offering Russian soldiers protection, food, water, warm tea, and fresh clothes, and even fifty thousand dollars each to put down their arms. There is absolutely no reason for one Slavic country to wage war on its peaceful Slavic neighbor unless there’s a sociopath, global terrorist, and richest thief in the world leading the charge.

Whatever history Putin has concocted in his head and spewed to justify an unjustifiable war; the history of Kyiv is Ukraine’s strength in countering his delusions. Kyiv, a European city that dates to at least the 6th and 7th centuries, several centuries before it became the heart of Kyivan Rus’, was first settled by eastern Slavic tribes who created a settlement along the Dnieper River. The city is believed to be named after Kyi, the eldest brother of a tribal family. When Vikings from Scandinavia called Varangians, mostly Swedes, began to settle in the northern city of Novgorod (near today’s Saint Petersburg where Putin was born), Rurik of Ladoga and the chieftain of the future Rurik Dynasty, was invited to rule Novgorod in the year 862. He planted the seeds that grew into the Rurik Dynasty that would help create and rule the future Kyivan Rus’ for well over a century. Viking Oleg became the ruler of Novogrod over a decade later, seized additional lands, and relocated to Kyiv, where he united Slavic and Finnish tribes, made deals with Constantinople, and created the world’s first eastern Slavic state.

Several long-serving Grand Princes based in Kyiv helped bring the eastern Slavic kingdom to greatness. Volodymyr the Great built a powerful alliance with the Byzantine Empire during its Golden years in the late 10th century, married into its royal family (the emperor’s sister), and brought Eastern Christian Orthodoxy to Kyivan Rus’. This raised the profile of Kyivan Rus’ as a member of the family of European Christian monarchies, opened an abundance of doors of political, social, cultural, and economic opportunities. In the early to mid-11th century, Yaroslav the Wise married a Swedish princess, his daughters married the Kings of France, Germany, and Hungary, and his sons married European princesses. The value of these family connections cannot be overstated and contributed to Kyiv’s rich culture and reputation as the most sophisticated city in Eastern Europe. In the early 12th century, Volodymyr Monomakh codified customary laws and led through compassion, telling his sons before he died, “Above all, do not forget the poor…and do not let the mighty oppress the people, I did not let the mighty oppress the most lowly peasant or one poor widow,” as author Orest Subtelny wrote in his book, ‘Ukraine: A History.’  Hundreds of years after Kyiv was already a vibrant, well respected European city, filled with Byzantine-style churches, including one using similar architecture of the Haig Sophia in medieval Constantinople, Moscow was merely an underdeveloped town of little significance. But over time, as the Rurik Dynasty of descendants grew, so did division with competition for power and wealth, and no clear rules of secession, which created violent, even deadly, squabbles among the princes the fractured the kingdom while strengthening individual principalities. Turnover of power became increasingly frequent in Kyiv, with many Grand Princes serving less than a year or multiple short terms.

In the late 12th century, Kyiv was pillaged by one of the Kyivan Rus’s most unpopular princes who was disliked among others – Andrei Bogoliubsky. He grabbed power and knowing he would not be permitted to rule long, attacked, and raided the city, leaving it completely sacked. He stole Kyiv’s wealth, including precious artifacts, like an ancient Byzantine religious icon ‘Mother of God’ and relocated the power base and wealth to his principality of Vladimir, closer to Moscow, where he ruled as Grand Prince and put his brother in charge of a drastically weakened Kyiv. Eventually, his bad deeds caught up with him after cheating local boyars; twenty of them came into his bedroom at night and stabbed him to death. Today, he is recognized by Russia as a hero, idealized as a Saint by the Russian Orthodox Church.

More than fifty years later, the Mongols (known as Tatars) invaded Kyivan Rus’, first taking over the eastern portion, burning down cities and towns after looting them, then gradually making their way to Kyiv. Genghis Khan is considered the greatest military warrior in history and created the foundation of the Mongolian Empire, which would expand even further after his death under the leadership of his third son he appointed as its ruler, forming the largest land empire ever, one that spanned the size of the African continent. Ogedei Khan led his strongest generals in the invasion against Kyivan Rus as they moved toward seizing land in Europe. The Mongols were not only strategically fierce warriors who possessed advanced military technology, like Chinese catapults, they were also exceptional gathers of intelligence on their targets and had many spies. They learned a lot from a previous battle with the east Slavic state more than a decade earlier when a small convoy of Tatars had told the Grand Prince of Kyiv to hand over leaders of a Turkic tribe known as Cumans who sought refuge and military support from Kyivan Rus’. The Grand Prince, insulted by the demand, refused, and had the Tatars executed, which infuriated the Tatar generals when they learned the news and led to a bloody battle that killed thousands of Kyivan Rus fighters, and sent some princes and Cumans fleeing when defeat became inevitable. Because it was against the rules of the Mongolian Empire to spill the blood of princes outside of battle, the Tatars celebrated the victory by making the Grand Prince and several other defeated royals, lay down, covered them with wooden planks, and then celebrated with a feast on top of them, crushing them to death.

Through this experience, the Tatars learned how poorly prepared the leaders of Kyivan Rus’ were for wars with an unfamiliar enemy, the princes’ reputation for squabbling with one another; a divide within the Slavic state that proved to be its greatest weakness, as division always is. When the Mongols strategically prepared to conquer the Kyivan Rus’ kingdom, they found little had changed over that decade – their target was not prepared for a brutal foreign invasion and easily taken down, as the Tatars moved from one village and town to the other, looting, burning, and destroying. When the Tatars reached Kyiv, Kyiv put up a resistance like no other city had and killed thousands of Tatars while trying to hold its ground. Its efforts were not successful in the end and the Tatars raided the city before burning it to the ground, with only six of forty historic buildings and churches surviving.  The kingdom fell and Moscow soon rose.

The Mongols had no interest in occupying and ruling the former subjects of the fallen Kyivan Rus’ kingdom it had conquered. Like with other empires they had destroyed and conquered, they merely wanted to rule through exploitation, and those who were willing to help most and produced the best results, earned the privilege of serving the Tatar Yoke as its obedient ruler of territory of the former eastern Slavic state. It was a transactional relationship. Moscow eventually rose as the center for the vassal territory, serving the foreign warlords of the Mongolian Empire’s Golden Horde as a “tax collector” or chief extortionist, forcing princes in the former territory to make payments to the Tatar Yoke through Moscow’s collection system, while the Grand Prince of Moscow skimmed off the top. Moscow’s princes would fight over the privilege of being selected by the Tatar Yoke as its next hand-picked ruler.

Many people from other principalities of the former Slavic state moved to Moscow. They sought economic opportunities and the security of living under the protection of the wealthiest former Kyivan Rus’ principality, one that was elevated to power by the Golden Horde. Many church leaders relocated, including the Metropolitan of the Eastern Orthodox Church in Kyiv, the highest authority of the patriarchy in the former Slavic state. This powerful religious position was based in Kyiv for hundreds of years, the city entrusted by the Byzantine Empire to carry the torch of Eastern Orthodox Christianity as a spiritual extension of Constantinople. A line of religious linkage that was all but crushed by the Mongolian Empire, causing the Metropolitan of Kyiv to move to Moscow. Under the rule of the Tatar Yoke, Moscow’s Grand Prince formally created the Russian Orthodox Church in December 1448. As Moscow’s political power, religious influence, and wealth grew and its military strengthened, the Tatar Yoke grew weaker due to several factors, including the outbreak of the Black Plague. Moscow’s grip over former Kyivan Rus’ lands had strengthened under the rule of Ivan the III, tripling in size. In 1480, after several previous attempt to challenge the Tatar Yoke in battle, he successfully broke free from the Mongolian Empire during the battle at the banks of the Ugra River.

Ivan III ruled the upstart state of ‘Muscovy’ until 1505 and made significant changes, though he kept in place the extortionist system his former overlords created and continued collecting “taxes,” often through force. Through violent warfare, he conquered lands of the former Kyivan Rus’, including the regions east and north of Kyiv. He united these regions of the former eastern Slavic state, named it Rus’, dropping “Kyivan,” from the former eastern Slavic kingdom’s name. It was a strategy to erase more than a thousand years of Kyiv’s history serving as the spiritual, cultural, and political heart of the word’s first east Slavic kingdom, the city entrusted to carry the light of Constantinople. Under his rule, the government took on a new autocratic form, the absolute power of the state rested in the hands of Ivan III. He was empowered to keep the wealth he earned through extortion and expansionism, and he centralized political power of principalities throughout the territory. Moscow became an oppressive powerhouse as he wrote new laws. He even renovated the Kremlin and built Russian Orthodox Churches.

At one point, the Vatican approached Ivan III and encouraged him to convert his eastern Slavic dynasty to the Catholic Church, or at the very least, establish a partnership with it. But he had much greater ambitions of power and conquest and did not want to put himself under the rule of the Pope. Instead, after the Ottoman Empire conquered the Byzantine Empire, and Constantinople fell, Ivan III, formally elevated the power of the Russian Orthodox Church, which answered to him. He married the niece of the former Byzantine emperor who had been killed; adopted the double-headed eagle Byzantine symbol (the one Putin uses today); and began referring to himself as Czar of Rus’ in his written communications to foreign dignitaries, though he did not officially adopt the title. He established what he believed to be the “Third Rome.” But under Ivan III’s rule, the spirit of the former Kyivan-Rus’ kingdom had dulled, and it experienced a cultural depression. He also had terrible relationships with his boyars and grew very isolated. But because of his dramatic transformation of Moscow, he is known as “Ivan the Great.” His forty-three-year reign was the second longest for a Russian ruler; his grandson, Ivan the IV or Ivan the Terrible, ruled longer.

Ivan the Terrible earned his name through ruling cruelly, his hunger for power, and desire to be worshiped and feared. His terrifying rule appeared to come from a place of anger and paranoia that worsened when his beloved wife passed away. He married a princess of the German Romanov family, created the Russian military and the first Russian parliament of high-ranking nobility. He further empowered the Russian Orthodox Church and built Moscow’s famous Saint Basil’s Cathedral. Ivan the Terrible also strengthened the centralization of power, often strong-arming princes of other principalities until they agreed to allow him to establish an absolute monarchy, of which he was the first official Czar. He also constantly fought with the boyars. He violently expanded the empire toward Siberia and tried to expand West. He wanted to incorporate Livonia into the Russian empire, which was located along the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea; which sparked the Livonia War. He had great ambition to extend his reach further into Europe. But Ivan the Terrible also grew increasingly paranoid about his ability to hold his grip over Novgorod and other provinces that already made-up part of the empire. To control those he ruled, he created secret police who dressed all in black and rode black horses, pillaging villages, raping, murdering, and terrorizing the kingdom to prevent uprising, especially after his many wars of destruction and death caused famine and increasing dissident.

After ruling Russia for 51 one years, Ivan the Terrible died of a stroke in early 1584. In his will, he left his kingdom to his very unfit son, Feodor, to rule. It proved to be a catastrophic decision and led to a period referred to as ‘Time of Troubles’ for Russia, ensuring Feodor would be the last ruler of the Rurik dynasty to rule. Some historians believe that Feodor may have been intellectually disabled for he showed no ability at leading, creating political crisis and instability. This was worsened when he died in 1598 and left no heir to the throne, causing complete lawlessness and fights among those who tried to grab power of the floundering Russian empire, including many impostors. Eventually, the Romanov family rose as the successor. The House of Romanov would rule from 1613 to 1917.

There were several notable rulers of the House of Romanov. Peter the Great (1682-1725) tried to westernize the Russian Empire, including the influence of the age of enlightenment, the restructuring of the military, and western dress. He also won a victory against the Swedish army that bolstered the Russian Army’s confidence later helped expanding and claiming control over Ukrainian territory. His daughter Elizabeth was one of the most popular Russian rulers, and the only never to execute anyone though she waged many wars against European nations. She also established the University of Moscow. Catherine the Great, a Prussian princess who married into the Romanov dynasty, westernized the Russian Empire and expanded its borders, including Crimea and along the Black Sea and even to Alaska, which the Russian Empire later sold to the United States. Alexander I (1801-1825) was a paranoid leader who promoted religious rule and feared the rise of liberalism and secularism in Europe and banned foreigners from teaching in Russia. Nicolas I (1825 t0 1855) was a military-focused ruler who suppressed his people and drove the economy to the ground, and failed to invest in infrastructure, falling behind the West. He especially despised serfs. Despite valuing military above all else, he had a humiliating loss in the Crimean War of 1853. Alexander II (1855-1881) was known as Alexander the Liberator. At the same time the U.S. was freeing slaves under the leadership of President Abraham Lincoln, Alexander II helped free the serfs and put other progressive policies in place, including fixing the penal system. Like Lincoln, he was assassinated. Nicholas II (1884 to 1917) was the last Czar of Russia, ultra conservative, and suffered devastating losses during his rule, including defeat in the Russo-Japanese War and the 1905 Revolution that resulted in the creation of the Duma. He was overthrown by a small group of communists that Vladimir Lenin and Leo Trotsky led. Lenin ordered the assassination of him and his entire family, including his young teenage son, heir to the throne. Moscow fell under the rule of brutal Communist leaders who launched a decades-long war on the Russian Orthodox Church and other religions, and created a system of great oppression and hardship, a system that gave rise to Putin.

This is Moscow’s history that Putin doesn’t want people to understand. He rules and terrorizes from a city that only became relevant and rose to power by being a vassal for a foreign overlord, responsible for running its extortion arm of eastern Slavic people, and that bred fear and corruption. He is afraid that people will understand that the Russian Orthodox Church was created hundreds of years after Kyiv was a sparkling European city, closely connected to the Byzantine Empire and European monarchies, well before Moscow had its first church. He does not want people to realize that Moscow serves as the capital for religious suppression and religious hybrid warfare operations. That he is the product of an anti-religion, murderous Soviet regime, that empowered him to rise through the ranks to the top of the KGB. Then, less than ten years later, he secured the Russian Federation presidency and weaponized the Russian Orthodox Church against Russians and the world and as he tries to destroy Kyiv in his unlawful war on Ukraine.

Putin uses private mercenaries, such as the Wagner Group, founded by a former GRU official, as well as ROC Patriarch Kirill of Moscow to secure his criminal regime’s objectives throughout the world, including in Africa and the Middle East. According to a 2022 Brookings report titled, ‘Russia’s Wagner Group in Africa: Influence, commercial concessions, rights violations, and counterinsurgency failure,’ “In recent years, Wagner Group contractors have been developed across the Middle East and Africa, including Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Mozambique, Madagascar, Central African Republic, and Mali, focusing principally on protecting the ruling or emerging governing elites and critical infrastructures.” The Russian intelligence linked Cambridge Analytica, that performs psychological warfare and disinformation warfare campaigns, has been involved in many elections of African countries, pumping voters with fear. These countries served as a successful testing ground before Cambridge Analytica, before Putin aimed its technological psychological disinformation weaponry at the 2016 UK and US elections. This illustrates how taking down Putin brings justice around the world, not only Ukraine that’s on the front-lines and taking the greatest hits, Putin multi-year long World War III hybrid warfare has reached most of the globe.

Days ago, while waging war on Ukraine, Putin transferred a large unit of Wagner mercenaries from Africa to Ukraine, to assassinate Zelenskyy. They did not get a chance to call their mothers before Ukrainians killed them, unlike many Russian soldiers who chose to surrender or were unwillingly captured.

“We can endure much more than we think we can; all human experience testifies to that.” Rabbi Harold S. Kushner

In his work, ‘A Confession,’ Leo Tolstoy wrote, “Faith is the strength of life. If a man lives, he believes in something. If he did not believe that one must live for something, he would not live. If he does not see and recognize the illusory nature of the finite, he believes in the finite; if he understands the illusory nature of the finite, he must believe in the infinite. Without faith he cannot live.” It is time for Russians to have faith in their own power and know the world supports them as they take their country back from a thief that only robs them of life, liberty, and a future.

Ukraine has inspired Russians to rise-up against Putin. The earliest crowds to take to the streets of Saint Petersburg and Moscow protesting Putin’s illegal war, chanted Ukraine’s historic and famous saying, “Slava Ukraini,” “Glory to Ukraine.” Their numbers will grow as their economy crashes, a temporary pain, but the price of freedom. It is too late for Putin to run Soviet-style brainwashing campaigns targeting Russian children while he murders Ukrainian children. He can flex his military might domestically, but he cannot wage two wars simultaneously, against the world and at home. Victory is reached only by traveling on a road build upon a solid foundation, and his is gravely fractured. The little man in Moscow who spent tens of billions of dollars trying to divide countries, has splintered himself while creating a world united against him. Putin should have turned to the teachings of the Bible rather than weaponizing it, including Ephesians 4:3, which reminds us to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

The money Putin’s regime has robbed Russian of is estimated at well over a trillion dollars. That money belongs to Russians, but damage is also owed to fixing Ukraine after the Kremlin’s war crimes committed by an illegitimate leader. Resources will need to be spent on reversing the psychological damage Russians have endured from decades of disinformation warfare. This is a global issue, but Russians have been hit extremely hard for decades to the point many wrongly believe citizens of Western nations are their enemy, rather than the illegitimate occupant of the Kremlin. Putin’s regime is one of inflicting trauma on its own people. He stole power from Russians, first by blowing up residential buildings to pump fear during an election, and then he used draconian tactics to hold onto it for more than two decades while the wealthiest among the West profited, addicted to blood-money. He has robbed Russians of their basic human rights, denied them freedom, and blasted them with harmful lies. He had Paul Manafort as his most trusted advisor from the beginning of his murderous regime, an American political mercenary who made well over a billion dollars that is hidden overseas.  Everyone with high level political influence in Washington, D.C. knew well before 2016 that Manafort was “Putin’s guy.” But even Manafort can no longer help him.

Despite his lethal theater of war, Putin’s performance has been a historic failure, leaving him with one of two fates. The first option is that he can step down and turn himself in to be put on trial at The Hague. Ukraine filed against him and his top accomplices and already received a response that an investigation into Putin’s war crimes is being expedited. Otherwise, sooner rather than later, powerful Russians who he has angered and do not want to see their nation further destroyed, will kill him. This is clear based on the circumstances. His Russia Today (RT) outlet is shutting down, the head of Gazprom denounced Putin’s illegal war, and one Russian oligarch publicly announced he will pay $1,000,000 to the person who kills Vladimir Putin.

But until he is stopped, we cannot watch Ukraine be sacrificed and its men, women and children murdered when the West possesses the air defense shield capabilities needed to protect the nation risking everything to protect the world from Putin. Either it steps up now to help Ukraine, or will be hit by him next, and without the help of the strongest and most battle-tested opponents of the Kremlin. Moreover, how can the UN send humanitarian convoys to save Ukrainians from genocide if the UN is not protected from missiles dropping from the sky? Does NATO really want to wait for Putin to do significant damage to one of or all four nuclear plants in Ukraine, which would cause environmental devastation and a global crisis that will severely impact every NATO member? It is not enough to offer Ukraine A-10 Warthogs or whatever other weapons and believe that is adequate. The West has the responsibility of stopping Ukrainian sky from raining Russian missiles, a no-fly zone protected by Ukraine’s friends, while Ukraine protects itself and the world from Putin’s atrocities, including safeguarding nuclear plants to avoid a greater catastrophe.

“We have survived two world wars, three famines, the Holocaust, Babyn Yar, the Great Purge, the Chornobyl explosion, the occupation of Crimea, and the war in the east of our state. They wanted to destroy us so many times, but they couldn’t.” President Zelenskyy

When Stalin was starving Ukrainians to death, Ukrainians rose, and hundreds of protests took place. In 2004, after the pro-democracy candidate Victor Yushchenko was strategically poisoned, an assassination attempt meant to help Putin’s presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych, Yushchenko did not flinch and continued campaigning. When the Kremlin, with Manafort’s help, tried to steal the election at the ballot box, Ukrainians rose and after weeks of protest, had the fraudulent results overturned, and in a closely monitored new election, Yushchenko won. In 2013, when Yanukovych, propped into power with Manafort’s help, refused to make good on a campaign promise to take steps to join the EU and ordered the beating of peaceful student protestors, Ukrainians rose and spent months protesting through a harsh winter. After Ukraine’s Putin-run government assassinated Ukrainian protestors, first by strategically killing leaders among the activists, and then with snipers who shot protestors at random, Ukrainians rose and continued protesting, and stood their ground until Yanukovych, with Manafort’s help, fled to Moscow. Despite Putin’s horrifically devastating aggression, Ukrainians continue to rise while Putin spirals.

This is the time for NATO to rise and protect Ukrainian sky. Ukraine is led by a Jew, representing a religion whose teachings illuminate the power of hope through faith and action; and who is protecting a thriving spiritual European nation with a capital city established by Slavic pagans in the 6th century; ruled for over a thousand years by a Scandinavian dynasty that originated with Swedish Vikings, who transformed the region into a powerful partner of the Byzantine Empire and adopted Eastern Orthodox Christianity, before the Mongols destroyed it. Ukrainians, like Russians, have lived through the world’s greatest human rights atrocities. Ukraine has risen from ashes before and only grows better with time. Today, it is home to people from every part of the world, who represent every race, ethnicity, religion, ideology, gender, and generation. This is exactly who NATO was created to protect after World War II.

As Albert Einstein famously said, “In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.” This is the opportunity to save humanity and the planet and reverse course, by taking Putin down. It requires NATO to truly stand with Ukraine by protecting Ukrainian sky, and for all signatories of the Budapest Memorandum to honor their commitments. Fear is not an option. 

We always have the power to fight evil and win.  We are reminded of this by Matthews 19:26, “with God all things are possible.”

Alexandra Chalupa

EMPR

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