Ukraine dispatch: ‘this is a fight between fear and love on all levels’
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Ukraine dispatch: ‘this is a fight between fear and love on all levels’
Law students and young lawyers in Ukraine are filing for JURIST on the latest developments in that country as it defends itself against Russian invasion. Here, Ukrainian lawyer and University of Pittsburgh LLM graduate Taras Shablii reports from Kyiv.  
Humans are incredible and very adaptive, even to this new reality. It took me and my wife a few days to wrap our heads around the fact that we are in the middle of a war. Observing all that’s happening here now affords a conclusion that this is a fight between fear and love on all levels: personal experiences, actual battlefield, politics, and media.

On the one hand, there is fear of the unknown, fear for the wellbeing of loved ones, hatred towards Putin and Russians actively or passively involved, hatred towards Ukrainians from the Russian side. There is death and senseless destruction that stems from a terrifying goal of complete annihilation and helplessness of a sadist who did not get what he wanted. There are lies, deception, betrayal, impunity, and blatant propaganda.

On the other hand, there is faith in fellow Ukrainians, faith in our friends and allies, hope that this war ends soon, unity, support, realization of the real priorities, a test to our values, perseverance, ingenuity, and above all, incredible courage. There is a healthy aggression towards an enemy who simply wants to sweep off all that you love, yoiur desire to defend own people, your values, your home. There is cooperation, unprecedented levels of mutual support, natural motivation to do all that is in your power to help others, unity in action (it takes time and effort to realize itself, but it is there!), condemnation of unprovoked terroristic war and blatant violations of international law.

The resonance this war causes and the response from most of the nations of this planet is a clear indication that our basic values are aligned. The level of disinformation, hatred and fear to speak up in witnessed now Russia and Belarus are markers of moral corrosion.

We stand for our people, values, home and our freedom to choose our path. We were never a threat and we do not desire against others, only for ourselves. We are shocked and will forever bear yet another scar inflicted by Russia. I hope that we will be able to properly process this one, heal and use this opportunity to forge our nation. I hope that Russia and Belarus will use the aftermath of their actions as an opportunity to reexamine their core values, recognize their responsibility and eventually heal. I hope the rest of the world learns that appeasing dictators corrodes core values and simply defers the disaster. In any event I have no doubt that love shall prevail. 

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1 Corinthians 13:4