Nolan Out Loud: Don't let Ukraine fall

Nolan Finley
The Detroit News
Ukrainian soldiers take positions in downtown Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. Russia pressed its invasion of Ukraine to the outskirts of the capital Friday after unleashing airstrikes on cities and military bases and sending in troops and tanks from three sides in an attack that could rewrite the global post-Cold War security order.

I didn't expect Ukraine to last through the weekend. But four days after Russian President Vladimir Putin unleased his army on his neighbor, the Ukrainian resistance is holding.

If Putin expected a cake walk through Ukraine, he must be frustrated. Civilians are arming themselves with every weapon imaginable and joining their military forces in countering their hated enemy.

And at last the international community is doing more than just jawboning its support of Ukraine. Germany, which had been a hold-out on military aid and the toughest sanctions, has agreed to send military hardware and go along with the harsher economic sanctions proposed by the European Union. The United States is shipping more arms as well.

The hope now is the Ukrainians can hold out long enough for the equipment to reach them, and for the sanctions to begin shutting down Russia's economy.

It is a big deal the EU banned Russian aircraft from European airspace. The more Russia can be isolated, the more domestic pushback Putin will receive.

There is no counting on Putin to act in the best interest of his people, or to make rational choices. His ego is too large. Some signs are emerging that Putin might seek a negotiated settlement to save face. But the Ukrainians don't seem in the mood to concede much to the tyrant.

They will have a stronger bargaining position if Putin sees the West will not let Ukraine fall.

Comrade Tlaib

Democrats in the newly drawn 12th Congressional District may be surprised to learn the person who wants to represent them in Congress is not a Democrat first. Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Dearborn will give a rebuttal to President Joe Biden's State of the Union address on behalf of the Working Families Party, a far, far left wing outfit that has been called the progressive tea party. Tlaib abandoned her old 13th District, thinking she'd have an easier campaign in the 12th where incumbent Rep. Brenda Lawrence is retiring. Hard to believe the residents of Livonia, Redford Township, Southfield and other suburban communities have much desire for a neo-Marxist as their rep.

Padding their pockets

The Michigan Independent Redistricting Commission has overspent its budget by $1.2 million. So what does it do? Vote itself a 7% raise to make up for inflation. The commissioners, at about $59,000 a year, are paying themselves $20,000 above the minimum salary set by the 2018 ballot proposal that created the panel. They may not be politicians, but they're learning the game. They're also spending $50,000 on a documentary about their work, and $48,000 for an opinion poll to find out what the public thinks of them. 

Recommended reading

Volodymyr Zelensky started his career as a comedian. But now the Ukrainian president is the world's newest hero.

The National Interest examines whether a negotiated settlement to the Ukraine-Russia conflict is possible. 

Biden will give his version of the State of the Union Tuesday night. This poll from the Hoover Institution reveals how Americans' see the nation.  

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