By Sarah Ashton-Cirillo
It happened again. The Russian terrorists launched an aerial assault on cities across Ukraine last night and into the early morning hours.
A combination of more than 80 rockets, missiles, and drones flew from a variety of directions, sparing almost no part of the country from the devastating attack. Headlines, and immediate reports, relayed tales of raging fires and the destruction of crítical infrastructure. Photos of the injured, along with civilian martyrs, came next, offering a harsh and brutal reminder that after more than a year of full-scale war between the invaders and the valiant Ukrainian people, Putin was still focused on carrying out war crimes in his pursuit of genocide.
During the same news cycle, it was reported that Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, rejected an invitation from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to visit Ukraine for a face-to-face sit-down. One of the reasons allegedly given by McCarthy in his rejection of the invite was the economic myth surrounding Ukraine and "blank-checks" and that he didn't need to see what was taking place in Ukraine in order to help curtail aid for the brave nation.
These events, along with the bloody fighting still ranging in and around Bahkmut between Ukrainian forces and Russian mercenaries, would seem to cast a shadow on Ukraine's emerging spring efforts to secure total victory and liberation against Russia, a victory which would include a return to the 1991 borders and the implementation of President Zelensky's 10-point peace plan. Yet, from the inside, from what I personally have witnessed during the most recent attacks, I am certain that we will achieve all our goals in this battle for liberty.
Today marks two weeks since I was injured in close contact fighting with the Russian Army. Fighting in the trenches of the Donbas a half dozen times over the course of February, the enemy advanced on us to try and break our line. All six times, they failed. During their last futile effort to move past us, I became a casualty and since then have been hospitalized.
Currently in the hospital now, two moments have made me realize that Ukraine will never bow to Putin's evil, nor will the spirit which will lead us to victory ever be broken.
The first instance was in seeing new arrivals come into the hospital from Bahkmut and other areas along the frontline. To a person, they were convinced their newly received battle scars were a small price to pay for the amount of damage the Armed Forces of Ukraine is inflicting on the barbaric hordes from the east.
With more than 160,000 dead Russians and innumerable amounts of their weapons and supplies lost during this war, Ukraine has inflicted a monumental blow to not only the Russian military but their societal notion of grandeur among the global community.
The second case is unfolding as I write this. In the hospital where I am recuperating, we have lost all power, water, and heating. Yet, thanks to the dedication and focus of both civilian and military medical workers, care is still being given. With small generators powering the lights and electricity in a small operating room and water being sterilized by boiling in large vats, surgeries are still taking place. Across Kharkiv, where the hospital is located, residents are facing the same challenge, and yet there is no doubt each of them is confronting these obstacles with determination and ingenious solutions in order to move forward with the freedom that is instilled in every Ukrainian’s soul.
In Ukraine, a major attack on the nation is inevitably a temporary setback for Ukrainians but ultimately another step on Russia's road to humiliating and complete ruin.