Blue Skies Over Golden Fields of Grain
It’s a very familiar sight these days, that simple flag with a bright blue bar over a lush yellow bar. It’s a symbol of defiance in the face of fascism, and of people fighting for their homes, families, livelihoods, and country. But there is more to it than that and more to Ukraine than many in the west realize.
A huge percentage of the grain in the world comes from the fields of Ukraine, those same fields represented by that yellow bar on their flag. Wheat, corn, sunflowers (for seeds and oil and they are the national flower), and other staple global food ingredients. Much of that grain feeds the poorer countries of the world. It is likely that the farmers of Ukraine will not be planting this spring, as tanks rumble across their fields and bombs destroy their silos and the roads used to transport their wheat.
A war like this, fought against a democratic and financially solvent country with forty million citizens, reverberates across the world in ways that are not always obvious. Putin’s actions, and they are his actions, may stop production of a basic commodity that helps feed the world.
There are many reasons why we need to do everything possible to end this war and remove a Russian leader who is clearly insane by any standard. The story of the wheat told on the Ukrainian flag is one more chapter in the book of crimes against humanity Putin is committing.
The skies may be blue over Europe this spring, like that blue bar on the flag, but the fields below may be fallow and people, not just Ukrainians, may go hungry in places across the planet.
All for what?