Putin‘s unprovoked bloodshed and plunder of his freedom-loving Democratic neighbor has been sought to be justified by several "good" reasons:

There are many Russian speaking people who have emigrated to live in Ukraine and they want to be repatriated;

Putin needs a “buffer “to protect Russia from the non-threat of a non-aggressive Ukraine that relied on promises made by Russia and America to safeguard its sovereignty in exchange for giving up its nuclear deterrent arsenal;

This “buffer” is needed to protect Russia from a non-aggressive group of democratic nations that have banned together in the NATO alliance to defend against this very aggressive landgrab of Ukraine by an authoritarian government that stifles all dissent with murder, prison and torture;

That at one time Ukraine was part of Russia so Putin is justified in reuniting this “runaway“ nation of over 40 million people;

Enough of the “good" reasons. The real reasons, in my opinion, (you are welcome to add or differ), are as follows:

The drain of freedom-loving Russians who have shown their rejection of the criminal policies of a Putin run corrupt government by walking to their Democratic neighbor as a rejection of corrupt elections;

All those Russian speakers who have made their new home in Ukraine could return at any time to Russia if that was their preference;

A large contingent of Russians living in a free democracy communicating with friends and relatives that remain in Russia allows the comparison of the quality of life in a free society rather than the “hijacked” utopia promised in their 1917 revolution;

Ukraine is required by Putin just like the Berlin Wall was needed by Stalin to imprison his subjects IN his sphere of influence rather than to repel non-existent lines of non-Russians longing to join his bankrupt, authoritarian administration;

If there is any merit to Putin‘s right to regain control of a previous part of Russian sovereignty, then England would be justified in declaring war on America, to regain its lost colony and Italy could lay siege to the lost Roman Empire! Rubbish, just plain RUBBISH!

This is the most absurd justification for the Putin destruction of Ukraine and the human casualties he created for both nations.

My friend George Zimmerman, a Holocaust survivor and a forced laborer in Russia after his liberation, answered my question: “What should we do to prevent this shameful part of history from repeating itself“? He emphatically said to “STOP IT AT THE BEGINNING, before we turn people into their own grave diggers."

If not now — when?

Phil Rudnick is a proud resident of Bakersfield. He can be reached at phil@upstartvillage.com.