Ukrainians Under Siege

By Joy Cooper Hallandale Beach Mayor

March 2, 2022

We need to be sending more resources to help fight off Putin’s invasion and help the people of Ukraine

This week it seems odd to be writing an article about our city issues when Ukrainians are under siege. I like many individuals are very upset and frustrated we have not done more. I understand there is a level of politics that must play out due to the rules of engagement however how long do we sit by and listen to reports of the invasion and children and civilians hiding in the basement. We need to be sending more resources to help fight off Putin’s invasion and help the people of Ukraine.

We know now the politics did not work. We all listened to reports of military build-up for days. Of course, they were not doing a military exercise. Russia has also set its eye on expanding their socialist agenda and control of territories and people. Let us not forget that the USSR represented the control over peoples freedoms of religion and rights of free expression. Since 1954 Ukraine broke away from Russia but was still controlled by a political socialist agenda.

Since 1991 the Soviet Union dissolved but Ukraine and other countries like Crimea suffered recessions. These fledgling economies were suffering unrest and civil war between Russian mercenaries and Russians opposed to the government for years. The question becomes what can we do when countries like Ukraine do not strong economies or the military strength to stand up against an invasion.

The constitution of Ukraine is different than our constitution and the powers are split between the President and the Prime Minister, who is head of parliament. The country does strive to be independent and part of the European Union. They do not want to be taken over. In my opinion they simply are in a weak position, when it comes to military strength and resources. It’s heart wrenching but also amazing to see them take up arms and fight. We need to be helping them and now even more so, partnering with their surrounding friendly neighbors and helping to strengthen them.

This week I had a chance to speak with my daughter Christina's family (by marriage) that lives in Belgium and their thoughts on what is happening. They have begun to hold clothing drives for refuges that have fled. They also spoke to us about how there are still very conservative citizens and their thoughts about getting involved. So, just as in our country some people seem to think, it’s their war, not ours. Boy, is that is such a wrong ideology. Did we not learn a thing form WWII?

As we go along in our daily lives, we all feel secure and safe. Many of the Ukrainians we are hearing from felt the same way until the unimaginable happened bombs dropped on their cities. We need to help these citizens. Keep the pressure on our President and Congress to send support, not just sanctions. Russia has been known to simply not care and let people starve and suffer. They have done it before and there is no sign they have changed or can be trusted.

Local food banks are working on food drives. I will be proposing, in the next city meeting, setting up drop off locations for residents to drop off goods for donation. Most importantly I send my prayers to Ukraine and all our residents and neighbor who have loved ones in harms way.

As always, feel free to contact me anytime with your questions, concerns and ideas on how to make our City a great place to live, work and play! I am available by phone or text at: (954) 632-5700. E-mail me at: jcooper@cohb.org. Or visit my Facebook and web-site at: www.MayorJoyCooper.com.