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Russia is Terrorism

Serge AMay 6, 2022 (0)

Catastrophes can happen in an instant, when you least expect it, and life is changed forever. I lived through 9/11. I was a college student at Pace University, right across the street from New York's City Hall. If you make your way down Broadway a couple of blocks, you can find what was once the World Trade Center. It was just a short walk for us students. We went there to grab a bite at the restaurants, food carts, and McDonald's right on Broadway. It was our neighborhood - students mixed with the Wall Street suits a few blocks further down where fast-food places and three-dollar pitchers of beer gave way to pricey restaurants and cocktail bars. And then one Tuesday morning, it happened. I'm not here to repeat the history of 9/11, but to point out that all catastrophes follow the same plot lines. This story is about how the same acts of terrorism are affecting the Ukrainian people today. When the missiles started coming our way here in Ukraine, I felt the same as I did when those planes hit. I felt the same panic, the same sense of destruction, the same complete and utter helplessness.

My luck that semester was to have no class on Tuesdays, so I was sleeping in my bed when a buddy called and told me to turn on the TV – yes, people used TVs back then. I remember asking him which channel, and he replied that it didn't matter.

I lived in Brooklyn at the time, and even though it was not that far away, I slept through the thunderous impacts. When I turned on my TV, at first I thought it was a cheap SciFi flick, or maybe a prank. There's no way these buildings can be on fire, I mean, I live in the USA, went my thinking. But reality set in, and I watched that horrible explosion and then the collapse as 110 floors came tumbling down. I even remember that sound and visuals were out of sync, with a lag in the picture, and I heard reporters screaming as the building fell before the collapse unfolded on my TV screen. About 3,000 people died that day. Police officers and firemen lay down their lives in this rumble of fire, smoke and heat. This kind of mass casualty usually happens during natural disasters. It was unthinkable that thousands of innocent people could die like that in the time it takes to flick on a light switch. The most horrible memory of all was seeing people leap from windows. Just imagine jumping from the eightieth floor - think about what would have made you choose to jump. These people died in agony, with temperatures reaching as high as a steel mill's furnace, and jumping from the eightieth floor was better than the alternative. These tragedies cannot be quantified or rationalized, and at their root are people who inflict cruelty on innocents for the sake of terror.

Today, Ukraine is in the grip of terrorism. It is genocide. In hopes of breaking Ukraine, Russian soldiers capture innocent people and torture them in front of others. Last week in Mariupol, a man detonated the grenade of a nearby dead Ukrainian soldier rather than surrender to the Russian army. The media reported it as an heroic act of patriotism because alongside the dead Ukrainian soldier was a communication device used exclusively by the Ukrainian army. If the Russians had gotten their hands on it, they would have been able to listen in on all radio communications of the already exhausted Ukrainian soldiers. So, the message of the day was that this man blew himself up to protect this radio. I don't know what went through this man's head as he made that leap of faith, but I have my own version. His sacrifice may also have been based on the fear inculcated by terrorism. Russian soldiers torture, painfully and slowly, then execute prisoners. We know they soaked civilians' shoes in water and made their prisoners put them on, in subfreezing temperatures, outside. Afterwards, these people were ordered to lie down on the ground and wait till their feet froze to the shoe, and when these shoes came off, with Russian soldiers' help, of course, they came off with toes and skin. Girls as young as 13 are now pregnant after being raped for days and weeks, while their parents were made to watch. We find bodies, with hands tied behind their backs, which the world already knows, but did you know that some of them are missing fingernails? They removed people's fingernails one by one, while others were made to watch. There is no military benefit to ripping off a civilian's fingernails. The only reason is terror.

Bucha - bodies on the street like garbage with hands tied behind backs.

The man who blew himself up in Mariupol did so following Bucha. He saw the suffering Russian soldiers brought to Bucha and to Mariupol. God only knows what was going through this man's mind as he jerked the pull ring and released the lever, but I think it was terror. I think he thought death was better than becoming a captive of the monstrous Russian army, just like the people who thought it was better to jump from the eightieth floor of the Twin Towers rather than burn in the monstrous heat.

Bucha - mass graves. There isn't time or manpower to dig this many holes during war.

Vladimir Putin is a thug funded by trillions in sales worldwide of oil and gas. Throughout history, tyrants such as Putin built not armies, but teams of murderous maniacs out for gold. Russian soldiers are looting Ukrainian homes, even stealing washing machines and smoothie makers, for heaven's sake. I mean, who are these people, and are they even people?

One woman in her early thirties from Dnipro told me that if Russian soldiers succeed in occupying the town, she will take her own life and the life of her child rather than risk suffering the horrors that befell the people of Bucha. I believe her

Serge A is of Ukrainian descent, grew up in Brooklyn and is volunteering in Ukraine as a legally armed member of a Territorial Defense Group. He was a columnist for the newspaper at Pace University which he attended as an undergrad. 


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