DATELINE RBNews NAPA 2022 – VETERANS PARK, Yountville, California Feb. 25

The Faces of War

It is the most egregious violation of international law since 1939 when Hitler ordered the invasion of Poland. Russia, under the orders of Vladimir Putin, has invaded the sovereign country of Ukraine with the full might of the Russian military. The act of deadly aggression has been condemned by most of the world, three notable exceptions being Saudi Arabia, Red China and North Korea.

Local activist and teacher Debbie Alter-Starr and husband Andy Starr happen to have a son, Aaron, and his significant other, Ana, both of whom are stalled at the Ukraine-Poland border. The hold-up is apparently due to Anna’s status as a Ukrainian refuge, each of whom must undergo more rigorous vetting than Americans such as Aaron before being allowed to exit Ukraine and enter Poland.

Alter-Starr told this writer that “I’m not that worried right now. They won’t bomb the Ukrainian and Polish border. They are just getting tired.”

Aaron is friends with three Ukrainian female students, Victoria Stepanenko, Viktoriia Honcharuk, Anastasiia Tokar, and a Polish lad, Kuba Warmuz, all of whom are engaged in collegiate studies in the United States as international students and spoke a little later at a rally.

They met at the Starr’s home and talked with San Francisco’s KPIX Channel 5 reporter Andria Borba, who met up with the Starr family and the students again at the Veterans Park in South Yountville … a more than appropriate setting. The students spoke to a small gathering of about three dozen folks briefly regarding the general situation in their home country. They have been trying to make contact with their families in Ukraine, which has had missile bombardments in most if not all the major Ukrainian cities. At least one of them said she wanted to return to join the fighting for her country, but said that it is impossible to get into the country right now.

Not only is Putin murdering Ukrainians, he is deliberately targeting cities – he is murdering civilians – a war crime.

The support rally in Yountville is only one of several, and only one of many around the country. More are anticipated in the near future.

According to one news source, the Russians are meeting more resistance than they anticipated.

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