2nd Anniversary of Invasion

On a somber anniversary for Europe, 24th February marks two years since the barbaric Russian invasion of Ukrainie.  Large crowds of Greek supporters of Ukraine's fight for freedom gathered in the city centres of Athens and Thessaloniki, expressing their continuous support and solidarity for the Ukrainian people.  Ukrainians in Greece and their supporters held a march and rally in Athens on Saturday to mark the second anniversary of Russia's invasion.  The 'March of Resilience' started from Panepistimio metro station, followed by a rally at Syntagma Square at 5:30pm, that was attended by diplomats from various countries and government representatives.  There were hundreds of similar rallies held around the world against Putin's invasion and continued destruction of Ukrainian people and homes.

The war that Ukraine is fighting is a classic example of a country defending its national independence and freedom in the face of an unprovoked invasion.  The invader is one of the greatest enemies of liberal democracy and a destabilising force for the world. 

As Russia's brutal war on Ukraine is entering its third year, the situation on the battlefield is particulary crucial, though these developments no longer feature in the Greek media with the once consistent frequency.  The low levels of public interest and support are partly due to Greece's traditional high opinion of Russia, a relationship that dates back before the Greek revolution and a connection emboldered due to religious Orthodoxy ties.  Greek people seem to have a 'selective memory' to acknowledge that over 80% of Ukrainians are of the same Christian Orthodox religion as they are, and the remaining 18% of Western Ukrainians are Greek Catholic of the Byzantine rite.  An ethnically Greek interpreter and translator from Ukraine's South-Eastern coastal city of Mariupol finds Greece's stance disappointing and paradoxical, given the strong presence of a Greek minority in Eastern Ukraine and the appalling atrocities (war crimes) committed on civilians by Putin's barbaric army in their cities, towns and villages.

The invading Z army that the Kremlin sent into Ukraine in February 2022, mostly made up of gullible young recruits, young men from the poor depraved Eastern parts of the former USSR, with outdated maps and thinking they were on joint military excersises.  They soon found out the reality when Ukrainian defence forces started to fight back.  However, these barbaric invaders quickly learnt how to murder innocent civilians, rape women, destroy private property, after looting basic household appliances to take home as war-trophies.  After the Ukrainians repelled this initial attack, the Kremlin hordes were gradually replaced with 'volunteers' of hardened criminals, murderers and rapists from Russia's prisons.  If they survived facing the 'enemy', or being shot by their own officers for retreating, then these criminals were hailed as 'heroes of the motherland' and put back into Russian society.  All this, whilst the privilaged brainwashed elite descendants of the Golden Horde live in comfort and safety in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Russian citizens who oppose this barbaric war in any way, or question Putin's revised history of Russia or his 'Special Military Operation' against imaginary Ukrainian Nazi's, are imprisoned and tortured, with others that die in 'accidents', or just disappear.  Dictators throughout history have never tollerated opposition or free-speech, with independent journalists arrested for reporting the sad truth, whilst the state-controlled media continues to pour out fake news and propaganda.  Sadly, this war could go on for years.

Nothing much will change in the forthcoming years.  Vladimir Putin is guaranteed to be re-elected for a fifth six-year term as President of the Russian Federation in next month's elections.  Especially as his arch rival, Alexei Navalny, was recently murdered whilst in prison, in addition to having eliminated, imprisoned, exiled or banned all meaningful political opposition.  The March 2024 election will probably give the Russian people another few rival candidates to vote for (who all happen to support Putin) to make the election seem free and fair, with citizens in occupied regions of Ukraine that will be encouraged to vote impartially at gunpoint.

On 18th March 2024, after the 3-day election, Putin thanked a crowd that had gathered for a rock concert in Moscow's Red Square for their loyal support, after claiming a landslide 87.28% election victory, and was joined on stage by the three token opposition candidates who were permitted to stand against him.  The president. who has ruled Russia since 2000, is now set to stay in power until at least 2030, the longest-serving Kremlin leader since Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.  

A new Russian school textbook has been produced that distorts the history of war against Ukraine and encourages students to join the army.  Lessons are compulsory for high school students aged 15 to 18 throughout Russia and occupied territories in Ukraine. 

In February 2024, the Ukrainian government announced that 31,000+ defenders had been killed, with over 10,000+ civilians killed, including children, with whole towns and villages destroyed in Ukraine.  An estimated 325,000+ Russian soldiers have either been killed or wounded since the war began, this figure is over 90% of Russia's military personnel at the start of the 2022 invasion.   

The Greek Government announced that the temporary protection status for displaced Ukrainians, who left their country due to the Russian invasion, will be extended for a further year.  The Greek residence permits will now be extended until 4th March 2025.