On Thursday 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. The news was splashed across our phones from an early hour.
On seeing it, my husband Tim and I were disappointed. It had seemed inevitable the evening before but still we hoped it might not come to invasion.
It is a terrible blow to everyone and especially to us Europeans.
The realisation that we could be seeing the beginning of World War III is beyond comprehension and makes me feel helpless.
Russia will in turn restrict things like oil and gas that it produces
I am worried for the Ukrainian people and I fear what catastrophes might follow in the coming weeks. There is no doubt but there will be an economic price to pay with the cost of living rising even further while sanctions are placed on Russia.
Russia will in turn restrict things like oil and gas that it produces. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the scientific, political and administrative bodies all over the world have responded, researched, planned and cooperated to fight the spread of the variants of COVID-19.
It is hard to rationalise this co-operation
Vaccination is continuing and although it is slower in third world countries, it is still ongoing. It is hard to rationalise this co-operation with this new threat of escalating war. Can the thirst for power be that consuming that lives of innocent people do not matter? It seems so.
I listened to John Duggan, managing editor of Newstalk’s Off The Ball speaking to Andrea Gilligan. He recounted his visit to Russia in 2018 for the FIFA World Cup.
He had an amazing time travelling the beautiful country but contrary to that he described how the police were everywhere watching, controlling and generally policing.
We are not accustomed to that type of control
He said that he was interviewed by them on three occasions as to who he was, where he was from and asked if he needed help and then his papers were examined.
One occasion was on the train. We are not accustomed to that type of control and so it is hard for us to comprehend the mindset of Vladimir Putin or indeed how a dictatorship works. Democratic norms that we value mean nothing. The fact that Russia has nuclear weapons to call upon is also of grave concern for the watching world.
I also heard Adi Roche, the founder and CEO of Chernobyl Children International speaking to Claire Byrne outlining her worst nightmare when she realised that Russian troops had captured the Chernobyl plant which is only 134km from the capitol Kyiv.
What kind of leader sends his troops to such an an environmentally devastated area?
It is an exclusion zone and deadly dangerous because of continuing radioactivity. What kind of leader sends his troops to such an an environmentally devastated area? She described this as a potential war crime to have fighting activity in that area.
This Russian invasion is unjust and unfair on the Ukrainian people. So many international laws are being broken and very many human rights infringed.
Yet, will making the Russian people suffer, through sanctions, bring about a resolution? I fear that Putin wants Ukraine and he is going to have it no matter what.
Anecdotally, many women and children are trying to get out
I cannot see how the Ukrainian men will be able to defend the independence of Ukraine.
Anecdotally, many women and children are trying to get out.
That morning, I also told Tim, in the next breath, that there was at least one calf born in the calving shed
Contrasting lives and contrasting situations, all we have to do is to get up and get on with our lives.
That morning, I also told Tim, in the next breath, that there was at least one calf born in the calving shed. I had seen it on the calving camera that our son Colm installed last week. These young lads are capable of all sorts of things, especially in the technology field. We believe in using easy-calving bulls and having our cows in good condition for calving. We also believe in getting a good night’s sleep to face the busy days. So the shed is checked last thing at night and early in the morning.
Years ago, we had a calving monitor in the bedroom. It made sure that I got no sleep! There was sound on it and I heard every moan and groan from the cow.
After a while, it just had to go and I was in no hurry to have it back. Colm rang us one evening and asked us to listen on speaker while he talked us through getting the app up on our phones. For the most part, it has cut out that late-night check and is another tool to use during the calving season.
Meanwhile, we are utterly glued to the news as this war unfolds.