Assault on Ukraine rouses academic allies

Rescuers in central Kharkiv, Ukraine, carry the body of a victim outside the regional administration building March 1, 2022.CNS photo/Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy, Reuters

By Michael Swan

TORONTO, Canada (The Catholic Register) – Brilliant young sociologist Tymofii Brik, of the Kyiv School of Economics, is normally happy to explain the subtleties of Ukrainian society and opinion. When The Catholic Register’s questions reached him last week, however, he was not in his scholarly comfort zone.

“Sorry for the late reply,” came Brik’s February 25 e-mail from Ukraine. “I was in a shelter and maybe will be drafted to protect the city. So, who knows if I can answer?”

He was still willing to venture early analysis.

“(The Russians) portray themselves as those who want to save Ukraine and bring peace,” he wrote. “This narrative does not work. No one buys it in Russia and Ukraine, and the West. Ukrainians rally now.”

Led by his heart, Brik was ready to lay aside his academic career and take up arms. By Facebook Messenger, he told The Catholic Register about his attempt to enlist in Ukraine’s fighting forces.

“The local army office was full,” he said. “But there were so many people. Some were waiting from yesterday. So, I felt a bit redundant.”

He tried to donate blood, but again the donation centre was jammed. He concluded his blood might be necessary later.

Instead, he and his girlfriend walked through Kyiv looking for phosphorous markings left by saboteurs to guide Russian missiles.

“Many marks are in living areas,” he e-mailed academic colleagues and friends in the West.

But those leaving marks on buildings do not reflect the conviction of the city under Russian siege.

“People donate money, clothes, blood, empty bottles for Molotov cocktails,” Brik reported on February 26. “All the city is fighting or helping.”

Read the full story here.



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