THERE ARE NO BOUNCY CASTLES or pig roasts in the streets of Kiev (or Keev, or Kayev, or Kyiv, depending on whichever TV news announcer is on shift) today.
I didn’t come up with that. A lot of people are comparing scenes of shopkeepers taking up machine guns to defend their country, and little kids crying as they huddle in bomb shelters, to the bogus “Freedom” rallies here at home, and it’s a legitimate comparison.
Me, I’m thinking about Wulka, a village near the city of Rivne (also historically spelled Rowno or Rovno) in western Ukraine. Over the ages, it’s been traded around between Poland, Germany and Russia before finding its forever home in Ukraine.
That’s where the Rothenburgers lived until 1903 when they pulled up stakes and boarded a ship for Canada, taking up farmland in Manitoba. As I write this, the airport in Rivne is under rocket attack by Putin’s invaders.
Rivne isn’t far from Chernobyl, where the nuclear power plant exploded in 1986. Chernobyl, too, has been taken by the Russians. Reports say Ukrainian defenders fought valiantly to keep it but were overwhelmed. They say that, while the plant was captured intact, there’s been a spike in radiation from all the military activity disturbing surrounding soil.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.