+
Democracy

'Mama, this is so hard'—fallen Russian soldier sends heartbreaking text before his death

russian soldier text to mother
Photo by Egor Myznik on Unsplash

'Mama, I'm in Ukraine. There is a real war raging here. I'm afraid…'

In his final moments, a fallen Russian soldier reached out to his mother. His words are full of regret, confusion and fear.

The text reads:

Mama, I'm in Ukraine. There is a real war raging here. I'm afraid. We are bombing all of the cities together, even targeting civilians. We were told that they would welcome us, and they are falling under our armored vehicles, throwing themselves under the wheels, and not allowing us to pass. They call us fascists. Mama, this is so hard.”

This was after his mother worriedly asked about his whereabouts, why he hadn’t responded to her. She wanted to send her son a package, something to bring the comfort of home. You know, like moms do. She’ll never get to send that package. Or see her boy again. Only minutes later, he was killed.


A transcript of their conversation was read aloud by Ukrainian Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya in front of the U.N. General Assembly as an earnest call to “visualize the magnitude or tragedy” caused by Russia’s invasion.

And the tragedy is indeed massive. This is an act of violence and corruption that leaves both the people of Ukraine and the people of Russia as rubble in the fallout. While the streets of Ukraine fill with the smell of smoke and sound of gunshots, cities in Russia are filling up with anti-war protestors, many who have been detained despite peaceful demonstration. It's a huge risk, one with severe consequences.

Even the Russian soldiers, like the man mentioned above, are victims in their own right. Earlier on Monday, the MFA of Ukraine's Twitter account posted, “Russia promised its soldiers they would be greeted in Ukraine with flowers. Russia has been lying for years about how the Ukraine authorities are keeping Ukrainian people in 'captivity'.”

In a country where only government-sanctioned, Putin-approved propaganda is allowed in the media, Russians by and large are being fed one grossly illegitimate narrative. Namely, that Ukraine is a dictatorship and that Russia’s use of force is a necessary and defensive act. With that kind of coerced vitriol, it’s no wonder that half the population voted that military force was justified.

This young man was made to believe he'd be doing something heroic, and he died under that illusion. And he is one of many.

And yet, in the chaos of misinformation, the words of this dying man offer a sobering dose of brutal reality that shoots straight to the heart. The losses caused by this attack are irrefutable and irrevocable. It is a horror happening on both sides. Russia itself is not the enemy here. Deception, greed and the brutality of an immoral leader are to blame.

More sons and daughters will be lost. More mothers and fathers will wonder whether that next text message will be the last. The real tragedy of war is that it destroys while promising reconstruction.There are no victors, only survivors.

This is only the newest incident that sheds a light on the devastating effect of the “us versus them” mentality. As we continue to read gut-wrenching headlines, it's important to quiet the voice that longs to demonize an entire people for the lack of virtue of one man (and his followers). Just as it is important to practice good social media hygiene during these times, it is crucial to practice empathy. In a time of mindless violence and toxic division tactics, connection is one of the few things truly worth fighting for.

Internet

Relationship expert tells people to never get married unless you're willing to do 3 things

"If you and your partner (both) are unable or unwilling to do these 3 things consistently forever, you won’t make it."

Relationship expert gives people advice on getting married.

Being in a relationship can be difficult at times. Learning someone else's quirks, boundaries, and deep views on the world can be eye-opening and hard. But usually, the happy chemicals released in our brain when we love someone can cause us to overlook things in order to keep the peace.

Jayson Gaddis, a relationship expert, took to Twitter to rip off people's rose-colored glasses and tell them to forego marriage. Honestly, with the divorce rate in this country being as high as it is, he probably could've stopped his tweet right there. Don't get married, the end. Many people would've probably related and not questioned the bold statement, but thankfully he followed up with three things you must be willing to do before going to the chapel.

Before going into his reasons for why he tells people not to get married, Gaddis explained that he is a person that "LOVEs being married." I mean, it would probably make him a pretty weird relationship expert if he hated relationships, so it's probably a good thing he enjoys being married. Surely his spouse appreciates his stance as well.

Keep ReadingShow less

Tater Tots, fresh out of the oven.

It’s hard to imagine growing up in America without Tater Tots. They are one of the most popular kiddie foods, right up there with chicken nuggets, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and macaroni and cheese. The funny thing is the only reason Tater Tots exist is that their creators needed something to do with leftover food waste.

The Tater Tot is the brainchild of two Mormon brothers, F. Nephi and Golden Grigg, who started a factory on the Oregon-Idaho border that they appropriately named Ore-Ida. The brothers started the factory in 1951 after being convinced that frozen foods were the next big thing.

According to Eater, between 1945 and 1946, Americans bought 800 million pounds of frozen food.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

One moment in history shot Tracy Chapman to music stardom. Watch it now.

She captivated millions with nothing but her guitar and an iconic voice.

Imagine being in the crowd and hearing "Fast Car" for the first time

While a catchy hook might make a song go viral, very few songs create such a unifying impact that they achieve timeless resonance. Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” is one of those songs.

So much courage and raw honesty is packed into the lyrics, only to be elevated by Chapman’s signature androgynous and soulful voice. Imagine being in the crowd and seeing her as a relatively unknown talent and hearing that song for the first time. Would you instantly recognize that you were witnessing a pivotal moment in musical history?

For concert goers at Wembley Stadium in the late 80s, this was the scenario.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Developmental scientist shared her 'anti-parenting advice' and parents are relieved

In a viral Twitter thread, Dorsa Amir addresses the "extreme pressure put on parents in the West."

Photo by kabita Darlami on Unsplash, @DorsaAmir/Twitter

Parents, maybe give yourselves a break

For every grain of sand on all the world’s beaches, for every star in the known universe…there is a piece well intentioned, but possibly stress-inducing parenting advice.

Whether it’s the astounding amount of hidden dangers that parents might be unwittingly exposing their child to, or the myriad ways they might be missing on maximizing every moment of interaction, the internet is teeming with so much information that it can be impossible for parents to feel like they’re doing enough to protect and nurture their kids.

However, developmental scientist and mom Dorsa Amir has a bit of “anti-parenting advice” that help parents worry a little less about how they’re measuring up.

First and foremost—not everything has to be a learning opportunity. Honestly, this wisdom also applies to adults who feel the need to be consistently productive…raises hand while doing taxes and listening to a podcast on personal development
Keep ReadingShow less

A guy with road rage screaming out of his car.

A psychologist who’s an expert in narcissism has released a telling video that reveals one of the red flags of the disorder, being an erratic driver.

"Most people, when they tell the story backwards of a narcissistic relationship, are able to see the red flags very clearly,” Dr. Ramani said in her video. “However, seeing them forwards isn't hard. But if you see them too late, it means you've already been through the narcissistic relationship, you're devastated and have likely wasted a lot of time."

Dr. Ramani Durvasula is a licensed clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, Professor Emerita of Psychology at California State University and author of several books, including “Should I Stay or Should I Go: Surviving A Relationship with a Narcissist.”

Keep ReadingShow less
www.youtube.com

Man hailed 'Highway Hero' for running across four lanes of traffic

Holy cow, Bat Man! You're always supposed to be aware of other vehicles when you're driving but what do you do when you notice someone has lost consciousness while speeding down the highway?

It's a scenario that no one wants to see play out, but for Adolfo Molina, the scenario became reality and he didn't hesitate to spring into action. Molina was driving down the highway when he spotted a woman in a blue car who lost consciousness as her car careened down the shoulder of the highway. The concerned driver quickly pulled over in order to attempt to rescue the woman.

But there was a problem, he had to cross four lanes of traffic on the highway just to make it to the woman's still moving car. That obstacle didn't stop him. Molina sprinted across the highway, crossing right in front of a black pick up truck before running at full speed to attempt to open the woman's door and stop her car.

Keep ReadingShow less