The Sound of Darkness

I’ve been in Kyiv since early August and nearly every day there’s been at least one air raid notice. Despite the sirens, most people don’t run for shelter, they simply wait for the raid to end and then get back to their daily routine. However, this all changed the morning of October 10th when a barrage of Russian missiles eluded Ukrainian air defences and rained death and destruction in central Kyiv.

Since then, air raids have destroyed key utilities infrastructure, especially electrical, in cities and towns across Ukraine. Since October 10th, the hum of Iranian-Russian drones is always followed by the hum of gas-powered generators. 

I never really thought of darkness as having a sound, but in Ukraine it certainly does.

Poor sports

The Russian military has been on its back foot for months as the Ukrainians push towards the border in the east and Crimea in the south. Rather than accept they are facing a superior enemy in the Ukrainian people who are literally fighting for their survival, the Russians are poor sports, lashing out at civilian targets that can’t fight back.

By no means is war a childish game, but it does have codified rules that are to followed by professional soldiers engaging in armed conflict. Civilians are not participants in war. Indeed, they have no choice in the matter so targeting them deliberately is a war crime. The same goes for targeting civilian infrastructure, like destroying a power plant so that innocent people freeze in the dark. It’s no different than simply shooting them.

Guilty as charged

As the Russian army’s petulance at being beaten grows with every battlefield defeat, so does the list of war crimes they commit. Article 2 of the Geneva Convention lists 50 specific crimes that all civilized nations agree not to commit during times of war. I challenge anyone to find even one of these 50 crimes the Russian army has not committed. It’s an astounding testament to brutality and the complete disregard for established rules of the civilized world.

Russia must be stopped now, and they must be forced to pay for all the damage they have wrought. Most of the war crimes committed by Russia can never be adequately compensated, but the constant hum of generators around Ukraine reminds us that many of them can.