When war comes to a country

What have we learned, in the more than two months now since Russia invaded its friendly neighbour Ukraine and decided to ruin their lives by indiscriminately bombing, marauding and ruining cities and coasts, along with murdering and/or assaulting thousands of Ukrainians?

The answer is, the Russian military resorts to brute force and acts that hopefully will be punished in a court, for violations of the Geneva Convention. The Russian military displaces millions, attacks people who are trying to leave, and then lies about it to its own people, calling it an intervention – rather than the brutal, baseless war against a peaceful populace, which it really is. Putin also is busy repressing any free speech in Russia, threatening the press of all nations with arrest and who knows what else.

We in the west can watch, and continue to press onwards with sanctions and humanitarian aid, along with supplies that will help Ukrainians expel the Russians from their nation. For example, Valio of Finland has just sold its business in Russia to a domestic operation there. If Russia feels like it wants to undo all the work of the past few decades, we western societies shouldn’t be a part of that. We shouldn’t help pay for this and continuing to work in Russia supports the current regime.

Putin has said that he dislikes the west and is enacting draconian laws to ensure that the average Russian is just going to hate living there and live in fear. Like North Korea, he is prioritising his own power and paranoia above anything else, and people in Ukraine and Russia are paying for this now.

Business to business magazines normally keep fairly quiet about such things, but you can’t help but be moved by the news item we’re publishing about Ukraine’s cheese industry from Oksana Chermova, a professional cheese expert at the ProCheese Academy in Ukraine.

It is heartbreaking to see what hopes they had of hosting the World Cheese Awards, and their growing businesses, being dashed by a lunatic, tyrannical leader of a country they don’t even live in.

I am sure she has lots more pressing things to do, but getting the information out to a wider audience is important too – Putin wants to shut down the news of what he’s doing in Ukraine. He’d prefer it if photos and news didn’t get out, so he could pretend his invasion of Ukraine is somehow peaceful and justified. It’s not and it affects us all. Many thanks to Oksana and her team for sharing their stories.

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