My little corner of has not had much to say about the invasion of Ukraine. This is probably a good thing, because it provides me a respite from grim news and unsubstantiated reports from the front lines. If I still had a Twitter timeline to scroll through, I’m certain that it would be full of performative, meaningless platitudes1, and strident back-and-forth arguments from people who (like me) have no bearing on the outcome of the conflict about what should be done about it.

All I can say right now is that the war is very upsetting to me and the news and commentary about it over the past two weeks (starting before the invasion) have been driving me crazy. Reading news reports and scrolling through social media has been especially disquieting to me. I know not everything I see is true. A lot of it is likely to be propaganda from one side of the conflict or the other. The internet is the best disinformation vehicle the world has ever created, and it is not only being used by Russia, it’s being used by Ukraine and everyone else, too. Ukraine may not be doing as well in this war as some of the video clips I have seen would lead me to believe.

Ukrainians are fighting a just war against an invading force, which makes taking sides in the conflict morally simple. Ukraine clearly does not deserve Putin’s incursion, and has put up a brave and savvy fight so far against it. It is easy to get caught up in how exciting and seemingly effective their defiance is, and to cheer them on in their defense of their democracy. But war is not an action movie. That it started already makes it a tragedy, and no matter the outcome it will end as an even greater one. The scrappy, virtuous underdogs may lose the fight. Their allies’ aide may be insufficient. Their charismatic leader may be killed. The two sides may broker a peace after heavy losses, and leave nothing meaningful resolved. Whatever the outcome is, I think we are all the worse for it.

  1. You may think this post is one. It is my personal reflection on the news, not a statement that I think is meaningful to anyone else or will advance a specific cause. ↩︎