Opinion | Letter From Ukraine: ‘I’m Not Planning to Leave’ – The New York Times




Credit…Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

To the Editor:

I’m writing this letter from western Ukraine. I fled my home in Kyiv after hearing the first explosions on Feb. 24. Here, the fear is indescribable: We’re always listening for air raid sirens, always ready to run to the bunker.

Simple actions like taking a shower or cooking breakfast are turning into missions that can be interrupted by the sirens at any moment. Some unexpected talents are surfacing, like giving each other a massage, or offering comfort when emotions are rising.

Despite the danger, I’m not planning to leave the country. No one in Ukraine is safe right now, and many are bravely joining the battle, by volunteering for the military or paramilitary, by treating the wounded or by sourcing supplies from abroad.

Right now, I’m fighting for Ukraine on the front lines of the information war. I’m doing everything possible to share the brutal situation in my country with the world through news outlets and social media. I’m calling on journalists around the world to continue telling our stories with truth and rigor.

Kate Maslenkova

Ternopil, Ukraine

To the Editor:

As I watch the Russia-Ukraine situation, I’m somewhat alarmed when I see the international media cheering the Ukrainians on to an impossible victory. Does anyone really think they can stop the gargantuan Russian Army indefinitely? It’s almost like observing a sporting event, and the underdogs are hanging in there but we still know the inevitable outcome.

The civilian population has been invited to fight the Russians in the streets with rifles provided and instructions for making Molotov cocktails. The Russians will feel as if they have little choice but to slaughter countless civilians.

It’s only a matter of time before the overwhelming force of this world power will decimate this country. I do so admire the valor of the Ukrainian people, but I’m afraid that this exercise in futility may have tragic consequences for the civilian resisters.

The sad truth is that as long as Vladimir Putin has a nuclear gun pointed at our collective heads, there’s little we can do but watch in horror.

Scott Thompson

Bloomington, Ind.

To the Editor:

We didn’t come to the defense of European nations in World War II until many had died. And while that decision can still spark debate, it sure feels as if we are again at a pivotal moment in history when friends are asking for our help to prevent their certain destruction.

Except now, this war is delivered in video around the world instantly — live and in color. We are watching the death of a free and democratic nation before our eyes, and the murder of hundreds if not thousands.

As NATO members, we congratulate one another for taking “unprecedented steps” in sanctions. We cancel an oil pipeline, and still, the tanks roll. We cut off some of Russia’s financial avenues, and still, the bombs fly. In continuing to buy Russian oil, we are funding this massacre.

To Ukraine, we say, “Golly, if only you were in our NATO club, then we would really help you.” We’ll send ammunition and we’ll help with your refugees. This approach will not stop Vladimir Putin.

I do not want war. But how many people have to die before we realize that it is already upon the free world? We cannot look away. We must stop Vladimir Putin now.

Kerry Sweeney

Pawtucket, R.I.

To the Editor:

Wouldn’t it be a grand idea to paint the colors of the Ukrainian flag — blue and yellow — on the street in front of every Russian consulate in the United States?

Susan Addelston

New York


Credit…Caitlin Ochs for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Met Opera to Russian Diva: No Disavowal, No Bookings” (Weekend Arts, March 4):

Anna Netrebko has denounced the war in Ukraine but has been unwilling to denounce the president of her homeland, Vladimir Putin. For her stance against being told what she must say in order to remain employed, she has been barred from performing on the Met stage for the next two seasons.

Well, here’s one opera lover who is outraged by Mr. Putin’s invasion but also recoils at demanding coerced speech in the name of democracy, and who believes that the Met should reconsider its hasty decision to cut ties with Ms. Netrebko. Her stated opposition to the war is plenty good enough.

Stanley Spiegel

Brookline, Mass.


Credit…Jean-Francois Monier/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

To the Editor:

Re “Research Ties Erectile Issues to Coronavirus” (news article, March 2):

Finally, a powerful scientific weapon in the struggle against the Covid anti-vaccination movement (or at least half of it) that begs wide dissemination: While the most vociferous antivaxxers declare their willingness to die rather than accept the jab, how many of the involved males, if they only knew, would willingly jeopardize their manhood?

David A. Epstein

Hollywood, Fla.

The writer is a retired nuclear medicine physician.


Credit…Nate Ryan for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Wade In, if You’re Not Ready to Jump” (Retiring, Sunday Business, Feb. 20):

John F. Wasik’s article on planning for retirement covered most of the tangible issues (Social Security, health care) but missed one key issue — what to do after retirement. People who are used to being very productive or influential may find themselves suddenly at sea when faced with the prospect of no longer being in the office (or on Zoom) and directing or influencing other people.

Having an outlet for those creative juices may be as important to a successful retirement as having a sound financial foundation.

Robert Checchio

Dunellen, N.J.