As I began to write, about 5 PM, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was arriving home from her job. I had worked from home today.
I paused, to see if she had a good International Women's Day (March 8th annually). This morning, I had forgotten to wish her a good Women's Day. The celebration hasn't caught on much, in this once great nation. It is celebrated like Valentine's Day in several nations, including Russia. We remember those celebrations well.
While we lived in Russia, they had started to celebrate Valentine's Day (February 14th) every year. My wife and I remember.
Men joked that women get two annual days (February 14th and March 8th), while men get only one day (February 23rd) – about which I write next.
Defender of the Fatherland Day (2/23/2022)
Annually, on February 23, Russians (and other nations) celebrate Defender of the Fatherland Day (День защитника Отечества). We remember the annual celebrations, when we lived in Moscow, Russia (10/1/1994 to 9/30/1999).
Generally, the day is when women give gifts to men – whether or not they served in the military. The day is commonly called Men's Day (День мужчин). Russians celebrated Men's Day, on 2/23/2022, Wednesday. I made a passing comment to my wife that day.
Russia Invades the Ukraine (2/24/2022)
The next day, on Thursday, February 24, 2022, Russian forces invaded Ukraine -- by land, air, and sea. The invasion has been described as the largest military attack by one nation against another, in Europe, since the Second World War.
We still keep in touch with some of our church family, in Moscow and in Klin (not too many kilometers north of Moscow). We keep in touch with other missionaries, who had served in Russia and in the Ukraine. We see information on the media sources that are still available, in Russia and the Ukraine.
Russians and Ukrainians (as well as other nations in that region) are Slavs. They are related, by the Slavic race that binds them together. Many Russians do not like what Russian President Vladimir Putin and his minions are doing. Putin is shutting down all forms of internal opposition to his invasion of the Ukraine.
Many news sources have many sad details. We see, read, and hear about it almost constantly. I recommend The Moscow Times, as an independent news source from Russia. It is not silenced – yet. You can subscribe, with no cost, to receive weekly email updates from The Moscow Times. That website is still up. I check it daily.
I write briefly today. I will probably write more, in a few days. My written prayer, now, is: “Dear Lord, by your provident grace, stop Vladimir Putin and the soldiers that are under his direction. Some of those soldiers do not want to do what they are doing, in the Ukraine. Some do. Bring peace, by your grace, to the Ukraine. I have the will but not the power. You, Dear Lord, have the power. Please use your providential will. Through Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.”
Grace and peace to all the innocent folks in both Russia and the Ukraine. The hearts of many are sad. We hope for wisdom and peace.