As the world witnesses the brutal assault on Ukraine, Anthony Lewis says Ukrainians are doing what they have done before in their history, bearing witness.
Since February 25th we have watched the Ukrainians hold back Putin’s invasion. The Ukrainians may yet prevail. Not because it will be easy. And not because it will end well. But because the opposite may be true. And that has proven historically to be one of the strengths of the Ukrainian people.
The Greek word ‘martyr’ literally means to bear witness, specifically through one's own suffering or even death.
The Ukrainians bore witness during their forced starvation in the 1930s, during their occupation in WWII, during the Chernobyl disaster, and later in 2014 when over 100 civilians were gunned down during the Maidan Revolution. They know what it means to do this.
And now as Ukrainian teachers and mothers and storeowners and students stockpile their homemade Molotov cocktails, they continue to bear witness.