After that long buildup with the expected result, Russia has invaded Ukraine. Who could have predicted that?
What you could see coming is the flood of traditional responses that Americans have developed from an assortment of tragedies over the years. Hashtags, Facebook profile pictures with an added graphic (in this case, the Ukranian flag), an industrial strength bombardment of ‘thoughts and prayers’, and so on. All well-intentioned efforts, but does it really help –oh, maybe we feel better about ourselves, but does it do anything to help Ukraine or punish Putin? Do you really imagine Putin flying through his Facebook feed and saying to himself, “Wow, maybe I screwed up?”
The steps our government and others are taking seem to be inflicting some economic pain. We’re closing air space to Russian airlines, freezing assets, sports events with Russian teams are being canceled, the ruble is plummeting in value and the Russian government has bumped up the interest rate to 20% with more increases on the way.
I do have questions for our leaders, like, “If we do sanctions and don’t the results we hoped for, then imposed more sanctions and then more sanctions after that, why didn’t we do all those sanctions at once at the beginning?” Sanctions take time to have an effect. Ukraine is out of time and has Russian soldiers, tanks and fighter jets attacking it right now. Things that will be painful for Russia a month from now seem like too little, too late.
Now, those are government efforts. What I want to know as a guy living in Seattle, Washington, what can I do that will actually make a difference? Something that will help Ukraine, inflict pain to the Russian government or both.
A natural instinct would be, “Well, I’ll show those Ruskies–I’ll just give up vodka!” Here’s why that won’t work.
Besides, I don’t drink vodka. (got sick on it once back in college) However, should Scotland ever decide to invade a country, I’ve got my economic hammer standing by.
Not being able to do anything substantial or meaningful is frustrating. I’m sure lots of people would like to financially fight the evil Putin empire, but in this day and age, Google “Aid Ukraine” and you’ll likely be aimed at a scam charity operated by long-time arch enemy Boris Badanov.
This is the first blog I’ve written in a long time asking you for help. I welcome all responses. I’m looking for what you know, what you personally can share. Oh, I’ve already Googled, “How can I help Ukraine?”
NBC offered up this collection. Time put together this list. And I’ll just assume we can trust the Washington Post, who published this group of charities.
Again, that’s what others are suggesting. I want to know what YOU know, what you can tell me. Maybe something I missed or that just isn’t getting the publicity it deserves.
When you read stories like this, that’s not press hype or “fake news”–that’s reality.
Please. Just tell me what I can do that will really matter.