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The Return of History - Russia invades Ukraine and brings war back to Europe

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

Thursday, February 24th 2022 Haz clic aquí para leer en español

As someone whose entire being stands for global education, I felt a need to educate myself today.

A deep sense of sorrow awoke in me as I sat with the news of Ukraine. It bothered me that it was bothering me and I couldn’t quite put my finger on why my soul suddenly felt like it had been kicked in the stomach.

If you too are feeling unease, sadness and anger within your body in light of today’’s news; know that it is okay. It is a reminder of our humanity, for we all belong to a collective consciousness. It is a reminder that there is more that connects us than sets us apart from each other.

I want to share various insights on the nuances and history behind what appears as a “simple” situation of Russia vs. Ukraine. Good vs. evil, right vs. wrong…but is anything but that. And the influx of broadcasts, videos and news stories barely help shine the light on how this actually came to be and what it means for all of us.

The issue is, our brain can’t possibly keep up with how much information comes into our awareness on a daily basis. One day our Instagram feeds are full of #blm or #prayforafghanistan only to completely be forgotten as another hashtag and news headline is trending the next day.

1.145 trillion MB of data is shared on the internet PER DAY. Let me spell that out in everyday terms. Go back a billion seconds and you'd be in 1987. Go back a trillion seconds and you'd be in 30,000 B.C.

Feel impossible to keep up with everything going on in the world? I know, same.

Moreover, our educational systems and workplaces are not exactly built to incentivise each other to engage in real critical thinking or to research our past to see what is truly going on in the world we are all active members of. (Hello industrial revolution, thanks for creating our societal structures to be more equipped for robots than humans)

Information these days goes in and out of our consciousness like air into our lungs and truth be told, I never cared much for history but as of a few years ago, I started to see a pattern of the world playing the same games, just with different players and different disguises.

And this morning, as my phone flashed the headline “Russia attacks Ukraine” and a deep sense of sorrow paired with an eerie familiarity coursed through my body, I understood why I needed to ask some deeper questions and see the areas of my own ignorance.

I feel a strong sense of duty to step up and ask the questions not enough of us have been asking until this point. To use my platform, as a multilingual, global educator alongside my partner, an ex U.S. Marine who served in the U.S. Military for two decades, to share our knowledge and expertise but most importantly, to engage in a collective dialogue with YOU and others on what we don’t know.

With that, the first questions that came into my mind were:

  • How and why is this happening?

  • When did all of this really begin?

  • Who is involved?

  • How will this affect us globally?

  • And what can we as individuals do to help?

Seeing the influx of Instagram Stories pop up in outrage of what was happening in the Ukraine, I felt helpless and hitting “repost” on the news that was being shared was not going to get me answers.

Something in my spirit knew this was connected to something bigger and I truly wanted to understand but how?

And the answer was right in front of me. Who better to gain insight from than the man sitting in front of me; my fiancé, whose career for 20 years was to watch, study and engage in military warfare.

On that note, neither one of us professes to be an expert on the subject of Russia or Ukraine. We are not historians nor hold PHD’s on the topics we are about to discuss. But we are humans. Critical thinking humans with lived experience, knowledge and a deeper understanding of the issues at hand, seeking to enhance and empower others to engage in a deeper dialogue.

Why You Should Care about the Ukraine-Russia Conflict

I know that it may be difficult to connect it to yourself right now; especially in the increased separation permeating through the world right now. You may geographically or emotionally feel that this is so far away from you, that you can simply switch off your phone and ignore it as though nothing was happening in the world.

But you don't have to be Ukrainian or Russian for this to matter. You do not have to be a politician or have a PHD in international relations to understand that this will affect you sooner rather than later.

Even if you have never been interested in politics in your life, cross out the word politics and replace it with ‘being part of the human race’. Are you a part of the human race? Yes. Are you living in the world? Yes. Good. So understand that every single thing in this globalised society can, does and will affect your life. You should care about what’s happening with Russia and Ukraine and I will explain exactly why.

History Repeats Itself

Baltic Way Freedom Chain
Baltic Way - Photo by Jānis Kazaks; no LNVM krājuma

It was only a little over 30 years ago that my mother and grandmother bravely joined hands with 2 million others to form a human chain that crossed THREE entire countries and measured 675km to fight for their freedom from Russian occupation.

Do you know what it means to speak a language at home that your mother would have been jailed for three decades ago?

Do you know what it means to grow up in a household singing Christmas songs your mother sang in fear of having soldiers storm in and kill her family if anyone overheard and exposed them?

Do you know what it means to have a flag on your passport that your own grandmother was shot at twice in her workplace for fighting to have that very flag fly freely through her country?

My Latvian Passport Photo at age 5

It makes you cherish your cultural, ethnic and linguistic identity in a different way. To think that the very lullabies I now sing to my unborn child and the language I speak so proudly could have landed me jail.

Had I been born 5 years earlier, this would have been my reality. But being born into the aftermath is when you actually experience the consequences of years of brainwashing and suppression that greets you with a gift wrapped in sand-paper. The opportunity to break generational trauma patterns and cycles of thinking and behaviour rooted in fear and scarcity. More significantly, it instils a level of empathy that makes you connect and feel other people's pain as if it were your own.

I am the descendent of parents, grandparents and great-grandparents who were trapped under Soviet Rule. All that you see me do, create and post finds its roots in actively breaking the thoughts and behaviours of fear, scarcity and a falsified reality that were the result of multiple generations of my family living under occupation by the U.S.S.R.

And I’m not talking about my ancestors some hundreds of years ago. I'm talking about my mother, who is 46 years young. She only learned at age 17, that for her entire education up until that point, every history and general knowledge fact she had been reading had been a lie; conditioned to believe and stand by Russian patriotic ideologies and made to believe this was the one and only existing truth.

How do you think she saw and navigated the world, when she went to Australia the next year at age 18? What happens to a person's identity and sense of self, when they discover that for their entire life until that point, the things they learned to value and understand as truth were all propaganda? Had my mother even thought about engaging in research or seeking answers elsewhere, she would have been killed. You and I have that power, so let's not waste it.

Fast forward to today, think about this. What memories and mindsets will be imprinted on the people now fleeing from the Ukraine? What about their children? Who will those children become? What kinds of beliefs will be instilled in them, that they will then instil onto the world?

The Truth About War & Our Global Values

Most importantly, look at the omissions from the EU and other Western Nations to deliver the real support that Ukrainian people need right now. In a time where innocent people are losing their lives, the first course of action is to impose sanctions which have no true impact in the present moment.

What does this tell you about the predominant values circulating human society today?

What would the response have been if the wellbeing of our brothers and sisters was the primary value vs. money and financial gain?

The responses we have seen so far from the people we have collectively chosen to be our representatives in government should tell you everything.

In a time of war, “let’s wait until tomorrow and see what happensshould not be an option. Innocent people are suffering and dying at the expense of global leader’s economic concerns.

Is this situation easy to resolve? No. Will it happen in a few days or weeks? No.

But let’s not pretend that you and I have nothing to do with it or can’t change anything.

Because we can.

And it starts by educating yourself. One step creates one change.

You may think that this war began the moment you saw the news headline “Russia invades Ukraine.” The real war does not occur the moment a missile is fired, or troops show up at the border of a nation. War is like chess. It starts way before, from the first move of a pawn. But you won’t truly find out the real people behind the scenes, the conversations and negotiations happening until 30+ years later.

This is psychological warfare and do you know why it's so powerful?

Because you will never know, from the moment you saw the explosion, years of mind-games and illusions came before it with no tangible “culprit” to tie them to. And unless you learn how to read between the lines and do research, you may never realise what has been playing out in front of you all along.

We will continue this dialogue in the next blog post. The timeline you see below is an oversimplification of a few key points that have lead to our current global situation and Russia's attack on Ukraine just a few days ago.

In the upcoming post we will expand on some of these events to connect the dots and understand the vital role history plays in all of this, how the Russia-Ukraine War actually started and the significance of the U.S., Europe and NATO. So stay tuned!

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with others so that we can expand this conversation and unite together to create real change on a global scale. I would also love to hear your thoughts & insights in the comments below!

Lina Vasquez

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There are a lot of innocent civilians paying the price for the war between Ukraine and Russia that has nothing to do with its citizens. If you would like to donate to one of their charities here are links to some reputable organisations that are supporting the Ukrainian citizens:

United Help Ukraine: Distributing donations, food and medical supplies to the people of Ukraine. Visit their Facebook page or website.

Support the Ukrainian Army:

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