Dimko Zhluktenko

I had bought a drone for a project and wanted to donate it to Ukraine. It’s annoyingly expensive and difficult to send stuff to Ukraine, even from Boston. And who would I send it to? I eventually stumbled on a Ukrainian on Twitter who collects money and sends stuff to the front line. He’s a software developer, like me (though much younger!). He seemed legit and the best way to maximize any contribution (no middlemen). You can find him on Twitter: Dimko Zhluktenko.

For weeks we tried to figure out how to get the $700 drone to him. It was such a hassle I eventually sold the drone and sent him the money, $300. He said my donation would enter me in a contest for those famous Ukrainian stamps. I won a set. I told him to resell my stamps and use the money for Ukraine.

Instead, he insisted on sending me a box of the stamps and assorted gifts, pictured above. When the box came in the mail I had no idea what it was.

I especially love the Antonov 225 stuffed toy airplane. When Russia destroyed an Antonov in Ukraine, early on, I believe every geek the world over shed a tear. I watched Operator Starsky tour the wreckage with Crimea-born, Ukrainian pilot Denys Davydov, later on.

Who sends anyone boxes of gifts but family? And yet we’ve never had a bonding experience. Just messages sent back and forth, most waiting days for a reply.

Reading Dimko’s Twitter posts I feel the same range of feelings, frustrations and pain. (I spend very little time on Twitter so probably miss much of what he posts). The two I follow daily is Nadin and Stefan Korshak (on FB though he copies stories onto Medium).

I read and watch a lot of other stuff which makes me very emotional.

For example. Here is a Russian tourist in Turkey giving the finger to women protesting the killing of infants in Ukraine.

Then there’s a video showing Ukrainian helping old people.

Every day I become more brittle. Russia = Evil. Ukraine = Defenders of Humanity.

Putin and all who work in his government are evil. Full stop. For what are all these children and people dying for? I felt I understood the geopolitical reasons for Russia playing a gambit against Ukraine. But when it failed, what can Russia hope to accomplish?

I no longer have much sympathy for any Russian trying to excuse the war. Either they say they are powerless to stop it but believe it evil, or they are evil. Never in my very philosophical life did I believe I would get this black and white.

Putin and his government are psychopaths.

It’s a sad day for humanity when it does business with psychopaths. Everyone should have stopped buying Russian gas/oil and products the day Russia started indiscriminately killing people. Failure #1.

We could all survive the winter in our coats.

Failure #2. The U.S. boasts it keeps a large military to keep the world safe from psychopaths. Fear of nuclear war is not an excuse to me. This is the shame I carry that my government is not fighting alongside Ukraine.

Maybe it’s for the best. I don’t know. Only the future will tell if there was a red-line we shouldn’t have let Russia cross for six months.

Anyway, reading this you probably figured why I’m not writing as much lately. The war is deeply upsetting. I am not right in the head.

The gift from Dimko should make me happy, but it makes me sad. I wish the Russians would do more to get rid of their ahole. Or at least not flip the bird to Ukrainians in Turkey. Of course, all Russians are not bad. I still get a laugh from Roman of NFKRZ and enjoy the warmth of Niki Proshin.

I have to say, though, eventually I will turn on them too. For the next 100 years it may be the Russians who are the Nazis of central casting. The U.S. won’t come out so good either.

I hate this piece. I have to write something. What Ukrainians do while no one is watching — it’s important to know.

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Max Rottersman

Max Rottersman

1.6K Followers

I try to write stories that go where the general media doesn’t.