Horrible news from Kharkiv that are heartbreaking to me.
There was a concert in my native city yesterday (the second biggest city in Ukraine whose greatest misfortune is being located right on the border with the worst country in history). The concert was in support of Ukraine’s unity, and was attended by many people, some of whom were holding Ukrainian flags.
When the concert ended, people started walking home down the Sumskaya street. They were detained by a very aggressive crowd of people holding Russian flags. This angry mob separated a group of concert-goers and attacked them, forcing them to get on their knees and crawl. Those who refused were viciously beaten. Those who didn’t refuse were also viciously beaten.
What is curious is that the angry mob exhibited no familiarity with the city’s geography. For instance, the pro-Russian attackers mistook the Schevchenko Theater for the Mayor’s office. I’m from Kharkiv and I can assure you that it is not possible to be from Kharkiv and not know the Schevchenko Theater. It takes about 30 minutes to reach Kharkiv from Russia by bus. These pro-Russian bullies did, in fact, come in buses.
The goal of the attackers is obviously to provoke Kharkivites into striking back. The moment a single provocateur gets a scratch or a bruise, the Russian troops stationed at the border will cross into Ukraine.
People are asking why Ukraine is not considering a military response to Russia’s aggression. They seem to forget that just a few years ago the people of Georgia did fight back, after which their country was carpet-bombed and devastated by the Russians.
It’s frustrating when people’s only reaction to bullying is to tell the victims to be more aggressive and strike back. Bullying doesn’t happen because the bullied people are doing something wrong. It happens because bullies are nasty, vicious aggressors.