They came briefly out of their hiding places Monday, desperate to find food before the three-mile Russian convoy makes it to Kyiv. At supermarkets, long lines spread around the block, as Ukrainians -- anxious to get back to shelter before more explosions -- raced to find anything on sparse shelves. For some, it was the first time they'd been outside in four or five days. As usual, no one has any idea what night will bring.
Outside Kyiv, the world continues to cheer on a Ukraine that most people doubted would still be fighting. Taking their cues from a resolute president, Volodymyr Zelensky, the strength of the grassroots resistance has taken even Russia by surprise. Kremlin officials refused to answer questions early Monday about the progress of the invasion, the latest proof that things aren't going as Vladimir Putin expected.
In the meantime, satellite images show a huge column of tanks and Russian troops inching closer to the capital city. Heavy street fighting has broken out in almost every district, officials warn, leaving a bloody trail of "unexploded grenades, smoking vehicles, and dead bodies." In one of the more chilling images, the British Ministry of Defense reported that Putin's soldiers are bringing along portable incinerators to "evaporate" fallen soldiers. The U.K. defense secretary, Ben Wallace, pointed out, "If I was a soldier and knew that my generals had so little faith in me that they followed me around the battlefield with a mobile crematorium, or I was the mother or father of a son, potentially deployed into a combat zone, and my government thought that the way to cover up losses was a mobile crematorium, I'd be deeply, deeply worried."
Ceasefire talks between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations ended early afternoon, punctuated by more bombing in Kyiv. For now, nothing has changed. Archbishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Catholic Archparchy of Philadelphia urged people to pray. "Ukrainians have had a very hard history," he said on "Washington Watch." "Fifty million people were killed in the 20th century by the totalitarian regimes and world wars. Russia has been at war with Ukraine for the last eight years. This is just an escalation, and it's become a comprehensive war. People are tough, but people don't want to die. [They're] afraid for their children, for their families, for their homes..."
If there is one hope, Gudziak said, it's the country's tenacity. Momentum, he believes, is on the Ukrainian side. "The Russian army has about 10 times as much resources in the Ukrainian army, but the Russian soldiers really are not motivated. Some of them who have been captured today have confessed that three days ago, they didn't know what they were [doing]. They were kept in the dark. These are young guys who are being manipulated by a political system... The Ukrainian[s] know this is a fight for the life or death -- not only for their country, but their families."
It would've been nice, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) argued, if they had the benefit of the $85 billion dollars of weapons and equipment Biden left in Afghanistan. "It'd [also] be nice if the State Department would be focused on real diplomacy versus... 'Oh, what pronoun do you what to use?"
It's the same extremism infecting and distracting our military, Rep. Barry Moore (R-Ala.) pointed out. "General [Mike] Milley sent a pretty poor message when he was concerned about so many social engineering moves rather than what it really takes to fight and win a war... Woke generals and leadership in the House and the Senate -- those sort of things, they do not protect the American people... They need to be a thing of the past. We need to move on and get back to what really matters."
Other U.S. leaders are turning the heat up on Biden over his absurd energy policy, demanding that he crack down on Russia by reopening our pipelines. "We have never seen such a huge gap between the foreign-policy needs of the West in energy and the complete refusal of U.S. policy-makers to resist the special-interest demands of environmental groups..." energy expert James Lucier said.
And yet when George Stephanopoulos pressed White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki about reverting back to the Trump policies Sunday, she towed the green line. "The Keystone Pipeline was not processing oil through the system. That does not solve any problems. That's a misdiagnosis... of what needs to happen."
But the real misdiagnosis, the American people have learned painfully, was ever trusting Joe Biden to handle these issues in the first place. As he's proven from day one, he'll always put the extreme Left's interest ahead of our own. In this case, that's proven fatal -- for him and for Ukraine.