My Point of View: Fight against Russia is a fight against evil in the world

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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My Point of View by Joe Pacovsky

President Biden has just achieved something that no other president in history has ever done. He has visited an active war zone that is not under the control of the United States military. That while taking a 10-hour train ride in the war zone to reach Kiev, Ukraine. No other president in the United States almost 250-year history has visited an active war zone not under the control of the U.S. military.

Joe Pacovsky

Of course, the Republicans disparaged his trip. They mocked him for not going to East Palestine, Ohio, to visit the train derailment site. The train derailment is a real disaster. Federal agencies have been and are on site to assist and are providing any needed aid. A presidential visit would be very disruptive with the necessary security and transportation issues.

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Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of billions of dollars of property damage. Thousands of war crimes are being investigated. Russia is using rape, torture and forced separation of parents and children in the pursuit of its unprovoked war on Ukraine. The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Putin on charges of war crimes.

Twenty-eight-year-old Andrew Peters from Marshfield, Wisconsin, the city I worked much of my career in, was killed in action Feb. 16, 2023, in Ukraine. He was a U.S. Army veteran who served in Afghanistan in 2014. He joined Ukraine’s International Legion in November 2022 to fight for Ukrainian freedom. His father John Peters said, “Andrew had a strong sense of what was right and wrong. He felt the need to use his prior military combat skills to help the Ukrainian people fight and liberate their country. Andrew was extremely close to his fellow soldiers and was liked by everyone. We are all extremely proud of his bravery and selfless sacrifice.”

Mr. Peter’s sacrifice is in contrast to some American companies who continue to do business with Russia helping to fund their war machine. Menards has a building supply store in Marshfield, as well as numerous cities across Minnesota and Wisconsin. Menards, as well as other building suppliers, are buying Russian plywood. Doing business with Russian companies boosts the Russian economy which helps their ability to continue their brutal aggression against Ukraine.

Jeffery Sonnenfeld with Yale’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute has been tracking companies that have left or stayed in Russia. There are numerous other local and recognizable companies doing business in Russia. Some with an “F” grade, meaning “business as usual in Russia,” include Titan International (the tractor manufacturer), Hard Rock Café, TGI Friday and Huntsman Corp. Some with a “D” grade, meaning “holding off new investments,” include Medtronic, Proctor and Gamble, SC Johnson and Manitowoc (the crane manufacturer).

To their credit, there have been thousands of companies that have left Russia. The fight against Russia’s brutal aggression really is the fight against evil.

Joe Pacovsky is a member of the Freeborn County DFL Party.