Happy New Year from Kyiv... Where We Always Have Fireworks!
From Russia with Love for New Year’s Eve
This afternoon at 2pm I was walking down a main street in Kyiv. At 2:01pm fireworks started early. I heard an explosion directly overhead loud enough to reverberate in my insides. I found out later it was Ukraine air defense taking out a cruise missile. I was texting with a friend in the US at the time - the first two messages were during a normal day with me trying to get in touch with a mutual friend.
I spent about twenty minutes underground in the metro. Going underground is just part of the normal routine in Kyiv. This air raid even had a group singing traditional Ukrainian music. Ukrainians are amazingly resilient. See below.
This may sound pretty intense, and it was. I spent nine months in Baghdad in the beginning of that war under daily shelling or threat of shelling, so Kyiv missiles don’t bother me much. But today’s gift from Putin gave me adrenalin.
I am safe because I do the math. Wherever I go, I ask a simple question:
By being here, am I more or less likely to die in traffic in the USA?
In Kyiv, I have a one in 18,000,000 chance of dying from one of Putin’s missiles on any given day. In Washington DC, I have a one in 8,200,000 chance of dying in a traffic accident.
So to my friends in our nation’s capitol - please be careful! I am very worried about you.
I am headed to Kherson with ten tons of food next week, which may involve a slightly different calculus. I could use your help. Please donate $50, $100, $200, $500 or even $1000.
Thanks to everyone for your support in 2022. For 2023, I am praying for peace for Ukraine and relying on US weapons systems, the courage of Ukrainian warriors and the resilience of the Ukrainian people to achieve it.
Enjoy your New Year’s Eve.
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