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What I am seeing in Ukraine

I'm in a small city in the western and southernmost part of Ukraine. It is called Izmail and sits on the Danube; across the river is Romania. It's a safe place to be, far from the paths of any Russian troops. Everything seems to be changing; now I believe there will be an invasion. I don't fear for my life. I fear for the lives of people I know in the east because that's where war is already happening. This is the truth not everyone remembers: Ukrainians are living with the threat of an escalation of war. "The action of threatening a person," is the legal definition of assault. This is already a crime.

Last night, Putin recognized the two regions of Ukraine already taken by Russia, as independent countries. Following this he sent in more Russian troops as "peacekeeping forces." This allows tens of thousands of troops to gather within 2km of Ukraine's border. I've looked across those 2km and seen the ruins of the Donetsk Airport, now a shell of rusting metal. I have no doubt that tanks and troops will sweep into Ukraine, taking land villages and cities to give them access to Crimea and beyond. For weeks, I was optimistic, but now I feel like a fool for believing in prospects for peace. All Putin's talk about fear of NATO is just smoke to cover the dirty plan to take more of Ukraine. People here are hoarding food. Those with dual citizenship to Romania and Bulgaria are crossing the border. It seems unthinkable that Russian troops would destroy the livelihood of and even kill Russian people who live in Ukraine (Millions do), but that's what will happen. Friends of mine here are now receiving emails from friends in Russia (Russians) who are shocked and saddened by what the Russian government is doing. Regardless of what happens here, visa rules require me to leave. I have tickets to fly on March 4th back to the states from Bucharest, Romania instead of Kiev, Ukraine. grace and peace, Robert Gamble Below: That's me looking up at the Ukrainian flag in blue and yellow. "Presbygonia" is a t-shirt created by the Youth Group of First Pres Ft Worth, TX. "everyone's welcome, no one's perfect and anything's possible."



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