inside sources print logo
Get up to date Delaware Valley news in your inbox

HOLY COW! HISTORY: Ready, Set, Surrender! History’s Shortest War

Wars can drag on forever. History tells of the Hundred Years’ War, the Eighty Years’ War, and the Thirty Years’ War. The 2001-2014 Afghanistan War is considered America’s longest conflict.

Yet sometimes, wars wrap up with surprising swiftness. Take history’s shortest war. How long do you think it lasted? A year? A month? A week?

Not even close.

Get ready to learn what took place during all 38 minutes of the Anglo-Zanzibar War–the briefest conflict ever.

It was fought on a single Thursday morning (from 9:02 to 9:40, to be precise) on August 27, 1896. Here’s how it happened.

Africa was a colonial grab bag in the closing days of the 19th century. Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and even little Belgium were snatching up big chunks of that continent. The Brits especially had grand plans. They dreamed of an unbroken string of colonies on the eastern side of the continent stretching from Egypt down to South Africa.

However, the Germans (always the Germans!) were blocking their way. They wanted to make sure the British dream never came true. So they decided to make things interesting.

The Sultanate of Zanzibar was an island nation in the Indian Ocean near modern Tanzania. The British had recognized its sovereignty in 1886, and for 10 years, everyone played well together. Then the Germans started meddling, hoping to turn Zanzibar against the Brits.

Sheikh Hamad bin Thuwaini had ruled the country as Sultan for four years. He liked the British. But some members of his inner circle didn’t. And wouldn’t you know it, the Sheik died suddenly at age 39 on August 25. It’s widely believed he was poisoned by his cousin, Sheikh Khalid bin Barghash, who immediately proclaimed himself the new Sultan.

Then the fun started.

The Brits hauled out a 30-year-old treaty that said a sultan could only take power with British approval, and the Brits very much disapproved of the new guy, who was pro-German. (Surprise, surprise.)

All day on the 26th, diplomats talked back and forth. It was rapidly becoming obvious negotiations wouldn’t settle the mounting crisis.

British officials decided to snuff the new royal regime in its cradle and began planning accordingly. The Sultan responded by barricading himself inside his palace and turning it into a fortress.

Say what you will about the British, but when you make them mad, they don’t fool around. And the new Sultan had royally ticked them off.

So, four heavily armed British warships steamed into Zanzibar Harbor and pointed their powerful guns at the palace.

By the morning of the 27th, the Brits’ patience had run out. They sent the traditional demand that the palace surrender. The Sultan replied, “We have no intention of hauling down our flag, and we do not believe you would open fire on us.” The British quickly answered with, “We do not want to open fire, but unless you do as you are told, we shall certainly do so.”

They waited 30 minutes and heard nothing. Rear Admiral Harry Rawson raised the signal flag instructing the warships, “Prepare for action.”

Five minutes later, the order was changed to “commence bombardment.” At exactly 9:02, the firing began.

When the guns fell silent at 9:40, the palace and adjoining harem were piles of rubble.

As for the new Sultan, he and his closest advisers took off when the first shells hit, running to the nearby German consulate. They were smuggled to German East Africa and granted asylum. British troops later captured the ex-sultan during World War I and exiled him to St. Helena, the same barren island where the deposed Napoleon Bonaparte had spent his last days.

And so the Anglo-Zanzibar War was over almost as soon as it began. A British sailor was slightly injured; he was his side’s only casualty.

But if this farce sounds like something out of a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, think again. Some three thousand defenders, servants, and slaves were barricaded inside the palace. More than 500 of them, one of six, were killed or seriously wounded.

Thus ended history’s shortest war. It may not be the most bizarre conflict in the annals of warfare, but it sure comes mighty close.

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or

ELAND: DeSantis’ View on Ukraine Should Not Be Dismissed

Florida governor Ron DeSantis, a shadow presidential candidate, recently minimized the salience of continued U.S. support to Ukraine, portraying the Russian invasion of that country as a “territorial dispute” and claiming that it was not among “vital national interests” for the United States. He was roundly pilloried by other Republican candidates, hawkish Republican establishment politicians and, of course, Democrats as a rube, know-nothing governor with no foreign policy experience. 

Yet DeSantis’ position has some merit.

Although DeSantis is technically correct that the conflict between Ukraine and Russia has devolved into a “territorial dispute,” that was not Vladimir Putin’s original intention. He intended for his military to waltz into Kyiv, take the country quickly and make Ukraine a puppet state, somewhat like he has with Belarus to its north. However, the Ukrainians chose to stymie that goal, fighting tenaciously and skillfully to repel grossly incompetent Russian forces. As a result, Putin has had to settle into what likely will be a protracted conflict in Ukraine’s east and southeast to salvage what territory the Russian invasion initially grabbed as Ukraine tries to claw it back.

However, DeSantis’ minimization of the brutal Russian invasion and current large-scale conflagration as a mere “territorial dispute,” although technically correct, is a gross underplaying of what is happening to the hundreds of thousands on both sides who have already died or been wounded. In short, the war in Ukraine is the largest conflict in Europe since World War II and thus could have important ramifications — although not necessarily for the United States.

Although the focus of the outrage was in reaction to DeSantis’ minimization of the conflict as a mere “territorial dispute,” his comment about the conflict not being among U.S. “vital national interests” was a more important point — because it is correct.

This is not 1945, in which Europe and East Asia smoldered in ruin after World War II, thus leaving the largely untouched United States representing half of the world’s gross domestic product. Now the overstretched United States accounts for less than 16 percent of the world’s GDP, yet 38 percent of global military spending; it has accumulated almost $32 trillion in national debt — a not insignificant part of which has been incurred in policing the world, including the long and largely unneeded wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and others as part of the excessive global “war on terror.”

With China continuing to rise, the United States should not again get distracted — as it has been for almost two decades in the greater Middle East — on Ukraine.

Russia, as demonstrated by its massive bungling in Ukraine, is far less of a long-term conventional threat to the faraway United States than it is to the much closer countries of Europe. The wealthy Europeans, who combined have a larger GDP than the United States, should take over the military support for Ukraine — either by providing arms or funding their purchase — against a relatively poor Russia, which has a GDP less than that of Germany alone.

Because the United States can no longer afford to police the world, it should regard Europe as an “economy of force” theater, let the rich Europeans do more for their own security, and redirect even more attention and resources to Asia. The United States has been trying to “pivot to Asia” since the Obama administration, but it always gets distracted by the latest flare-ups elsewhere.

Although the Europeans will argue that they provide more economic aid to Ukraine than the United States, the United States is outstripping all the Europeans combined in military aid to that country. That is fine for the Europeans because temporary economic aid to Ukraine is cheaper than permanently building up their security capabilities to contain even a severely weakened Russia. Why increase spending on security when the United States is providing it?

Contrary to hysteria in the pundit class, DeSantis is correct that even if all of Ukraine fell to Russia, it would not affect vital U.S. security interests — during the Cold War, the United States lived with a Soviet Union that contained Ukraine — although it might make Europe very nervous. Even then, the Russian military had already been so depleted and exhausted by the Ukrainians that it should give the Europeans time to build up their militaries. Because Ukraine is not a vital U.S. security interest, the United States should at least demand that the Europeans take over the supply of military and economic aid to the Ukrainians.

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or

WAR IN UKRAINE: The U.S. Hardware Kyiv Needs Most

Fresh off a surprise visit to Kyiv, President Biden vowed Tuesday that America “will not tire” in its support for Ukraine. To deliver on that commitment, Biden must hold together the bipartisan coalition that’s given Ukraine generous military assistance. Immediately granting Kyiv’s requests for ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System) missiles could help Ukraine retake additional territory and show Congress that U.S. assistance is paying dividends.

Despite Russia’s battlefield failures, Putin remains determined. He has mobilized hundreds of thousands of troops and appointed a new commander tasked with taking the rest of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. The early stages of that offensive are underway.

Kyiv is planning its own counteroffensive, widely expected to occur this spring. To help, the West has stepped up training for Ukrainian troops and pledged additional tanks, armored vehicles and materiel, while Kyiv is mobilizing more soldiers and building additional units.

The good news: Russia’s battered military, increasingly reliant on poorly trained troops, probably can’t pull off large-scale offensive operations — a fact perhaps lost on Putin, who seems impatient for success.

The bad news: That’s not the only way Moscow could potentially salvage the war. Putin likely predicts that if Ukraine’s counteroffensive fails and the conflict grinds on with no end in sight, Western resolve will wane — and with it, the money and materiel on which Kyiv’s war effort depends.

Ukraine has solid prospects for success. Its military has proven it can achieve results when adequately resourced.

Ukraine’s previous counteroffensives in the country’s south and east capitalized on Russian manpower shortages. But Russia’s forces in Ukraine have roughly doubled, thanks to mobilization, and now have considerably less territory to defend following Russia’s retreats last year. Meanwhile, Russia has built fortified defensive lines stretching across the battlefield.

The war will likely drag on through 2023 and beyond. If so, Ukraine’s Western support will face two interrelated threats.

The first concerns the availability of military aid, particularly artillery ammunition. For all the attention on tanks and fighter jets, artillery remains central to this war. With its stocks of Soviet-made munitions largely exhausted and its defense industry decimated, Kyiv depends on Western supplies. But Western stockpiles are dwindling, and Ukrainian artillery shell consumption far outstrips Western production. All told, annual U.S. and European production would last Ukraine about three months.

Washington is working to increase output, and the EU is mulling similar measures. But production won’t increase significantly until next year, meaning the West must dig deep over the medium term. Although Moscow faces its challenges with ammunition stocks and production, Russia’s defense industrial base is running on a war footing and doesn’t face commercial and regulatory constraints that impede Western industry.

The Pentagon hopes that helping Ukraine’s military transition to a style of fighting that emphasizes maneuver rather than artillery-centric attritional warfare will reduce artillery consumption. Ukraine has conducted successful maneuvers only where Russian lines were weak. Kyiv will likely enjoy no such luxury going forward.

The second threat concerns political support. Most American lawmakers recognize that aid for Ukraine represents a cost-effective investment in U.S. security. Yet a small but vocal minority staunchly opposes further assistance. A growing number of voters, particularly conservatives, similarly question whether to continue aiding Kyiv.

Funding from the Ukraine aid bill Congress passed in December will run out as early as this summer, meaning lawmakers must agree on another one. As U.S. officials have warned Kyiv, that bill will be tougher to pass.

If Ukraine’s counteroffensive stalls, these challenges could compound. Western policymakers may be reluctant to invest in what many will wrongly diagnose as a stalemate. In fact, the conflict will remain an intense war of attrition; Ukraine’s military will need a steady supply of aid lest Russia gradually grinds it down. Some will be tempted to push Kyiv toward peace talks, even though Putin has shown no interest in peace and would likely exploit a potential ceasefire to gather Russia’s strength for a follow-on war.

Biden can get ahead by immediately granting Kyiv’s repeated requests for ATACMS missiles. This system, whose range far exceeds Ukraine’s current Western-supplied rocket artillery, can help blunt Moscow’s offensive and weaken Russia’s ability to resist Ukrainian advances. Also, ATACMS can help reduce Kyiv’s artillery shell consumption by facilitating maneuver while facilitating Ukrainian gains that inspire further Western support.

In Kyiv, Biden reiterated his pledge to support Ukraine “for as long as it takes.” What he does now will go a long way toward determining how long that is.

Point: How Should We Define This War?

For an alternate view see: “Counterpoint: U.S. Should Turn Ukraine War Over to Its European Allies”

War, it is rightly said, is the realm of uncertainty. This mantra is worth chanting on the looming first anniversary of Russia’s renewed invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. The ways in which Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and the Ukrainian army have defied predictions have been well cataloged, though perhaps not fully digested in some Western quarters. So, instead of imagining how and when the war will end, it is far better to ask the right questions than to guess at answers.

The most important question is: How should we define this war? Properly understood, the defense of Ukraine is a war cocooned in a larger war to contain Russian imperialist aggression. Should the “hot” Ukrainian war end with Kyiv’s original borders reclaimed, a “colder” contest still would have to be fought in the “gray zones” of information, ideology and influence. It would long continue as the antagonism between liberal Western societies and Russian autocracy is fundamental. Anticipating a “frozen conflict” is wise, although it very much matters where the iceberg begins and whether it continues to shrink or grows again.

Even in the Ukrainian context, a chill has set in that will likely last through the year, as Ukrainians have begun to look past 2023 in their desire to regain full sovereignty. To start with, they realize that modern Western weaponry, though imparting a critical qualitative advantage, will arrive slower, or in sufficient quantity, for a genuinely decisive counteroffensive. While one may hope that President Biden and his cautious advisers have learned that there is a real prospect of Ukrainian success, they have taken too long to do so and still lack the needed sense of urgency in providing the Ukrainian army with the tools required.

By contrast, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has reacted with greater agility to the opportunity offered by the winter pause on the battlefield. While his tactics have been gruesome — throwing conscripts and convict infantry against Ukrainian lines in the Donbas near the town of Bahkmut — they have exacted a heavy price in Ukrainian manpower. Another Russian innovation has been waves of drone and missile attacks on power grids, other infrastructure and civilian targets. None of these represents a path to the complete victory Putin desires, that being the re-absorption of Ukraine into a revived Russian empire. But he has taken the bloom off the rose of triumphalism that flowered in the wake of the Kharkiv counteroffensive last fall.

Having painted this current dark and bloody portrait, the prospect of a Ukrainian victory seems more distant, but it remains, in fact, real and realizable. The Ukrainian military has lost some of its best and most experienced fighters, but those who come next, with cadres increasingly trained in the West to execute more complex combined-arms campaigns, will arguably enjoy a greater tactical advantage over their enemies. The Russians cannot recruit, equip or train enough competent soldiers and pilots. There is also a widening morale and motivation gap. For Ukraine, this is undeniably a great patriotic war, while despite Putin’s propaganda efforts, it is not that for Russia. Putin cannot overcome his “Fatherland Deficit.”

Ukrainian victory is also highly dependent on continued Western support, and that means, first and foremost, American support. Biden has thus far paced U.S. weapons transfers to remain more or less in step with America’s European allies; he has been especially deferential to the Hamlet-like doubts of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

That’s going to be increasingly difficult to do: the Eastern European states who have been most generous in donating their own stocks of Warsaw Pact-era equipment don’t have much more to give, and, as the late kerfuffle over German-made Leopard tanks has shown, neither do the West Europeans.

The European cupboard is bare, and only the United States retains the kind of stockpiles and defense industrial capacity to sustain the effort to build up Ukrainian capability and capacity.

Many critics of Biden’s policy have made a zero-sum argument: support for Ukraine comes at the expense of U.S. interests in East Asia. This is not only a military misunderstanding — the kinds of forces needed for a land war in central Europe differ from those optimal for air-sea operations in the western Pacific — but also a misunderstanding of American strategy. In the realm of uncertainty, this remains a constant: superpowers cannot “pivot,” but must act globally and in the long run.

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or

KING: Veterans Who Have Borne the Battle Suffer the Peace in Isolation

For those who serve in the military, that is the ultimate bonding time: Camaraderie beyond imagining and sharing beyond compare. Laughing, fearing, hurting, hoping, and, sometimes, dying together. A time when the future is just a day ahead, a command away and if in combat, a time when death can arrive in an instant.

When men and women survive in the military, their greatest struggle lies ahead: Reentering civilian life.

Coming home, demobilized, set adrift in a sea of indifference, the veteran is separated from the ties that bind, in a world of alien values, mixed signals, and terrible, inescapable, nightmarish loneliness. This is compounded by the stresses of finding accommodation, work, and a purposeful life.

Our returning veterans are committing suicide at a greater rate than at any other time in our history. In recognition of Veterans Day, I talked with Frank Larkin, who works to connect Americans, especially those who have worn or are wearing the uniform, with veterans through a simple call and to help vets navigate their lives after service.

Larkin is a former Navy SEAL, a former U.S. Senate sergeant at arms, a former U.S. Secret Service agent, and he has worn the uniform of two police departments. But mostly, he is the grieving father of Ryan, a Navy SEAL who saw duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and who took his own life five years ago.

“I couldn’t save my own son,” he told me in an emotional moment during the interview I did with him on “White House Chronicle” on PBS.

Currently, Larkin is chief operating officer of the Troops First Foundation and chairman of the Warrior Call Initiative.

Larkin said “isolation” is the biggest pressure on former troops. They are cut off from the world they know – which he called “their tribe” — and plunged into one they don’t know, alone with their memories. These can amount to what Larkin calls “moral damage,” things that they have done and seen in the battle space which they can’t share with the civilian world. Things that have changed them.

Larkin said of his own son, “He came back changed. I could see it, but I couldn’t reach him, nor could my wife who is a medical professional.”

There are physical injuries as well. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is the best known, but there are others. For example, Larkin said, today’s weaponry may be damaging troops, especially in training. Blast waves and repeated recoil shaking may be causing Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), which is different from the brain injury suffered by football players. With TBI, there are minute tears in the brain which can’t be detected with normal brain scans.

These blast or shock waves from high-velocity weapons are a constant in training. Larkin noted that when a soldier fires a Carl Gustav shoulder-mounted rocket launcher, “It’s like getting your head blown off.”

After World War II, there were ticker tape parades. Every warrior was a hero. Everyone had served or knew someone who had served. The war had been a common shared experience. Most men and a lot of women had “done their bit” in the parlance of the Greatest Generation.

That began to change with Korea, and especially with Vietnam; returning troops weren’t celebrated and those wars weren’t a matter of national pride.

Then the draft ended, Larkin reminded me, and going to war ceased to be a shared experience. It became a discrete occupation, although U.S. troops have been at war or in harm’s way for two decades now. But without the draft, it is out of mind, out of sight, out of caring. Many of us don’t know a single veteran in these days of the volunteer army. We respect them in absentia, sometimes just on Veterans Day.

If all isn’t well with mental health out there in the battle space of civilian life, it isn’t well inside the military either. Suicide among serving men and women, is at record highs too.

More veterans have died from suicide than died in Vietnam combat, Larkin said. His initiative, Warrior Call, advocates that a simple phone call can save a life. “‘How are you doing? I’m thinking about you, buddy,’ is all you have to do,” Larkin said.

Veterans Day has become about sales and discounts, less and less about those who have borne and battle and now must bear the aftermath, often in terrible isolation.

Former Ukrainian Prisoner Speaks in Montgomery County

Andriy Putilov is lucky to be alive.

Putilov, a Ukrainian politician, survived hardship and loss since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. After enduring 70 days of torture and abuse as a Russian political prisoner, he brought his story to the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Jenkintown recently.

Speaking to an audience with many fluent in Ukrainian and Russian, the former governor and member of Ukraine’s parliament detailed his April 9 capture and detainment for 70 days in a small, earthen cell. He had successfully moved his family out of the violence that engulfed the Kherson province in Eastern Ukraine. Still, he was captured when he returned to the family home after days of hiding in various safe apartments.

“They beat us with sticks,” Putilov said of his captors through translator Nadia Gordynksy. “Those people who watched us, they were like very elaborate Gestapo forces.”

Putilov claimed the Russians view Ukrainians as “subhumans” and marveled at their cruelty. He also claimed the invaders attempted to create and use biological weapons against the Ukrainians. Reports from the invasion, now in its eighth month, have cataloged numerous war crimes and other despicable acts.

“They hate us on a molecular level,” Putilov said of the Russians.

During his capture, Putilov underwent some profound changes. Despite serving in the national parliament, he was used to speaking a blend of Russian and Ukrainian, more familiar to Eastern Ukraine, as he did during the speech Saturday. Since the invasion, he has made an effort to improve his fluency in Ukrainian.

He also had a spiritual awakening. Eastern Ukraine is more multi-faith and less religious than the country’s western region. Putilov said he prayed for the first time on his knees while imprisoned, praying as much as 10 times a day. He credits his “faith in God” for helping him get through his captivity.

The Russians offered Putilov a position in the occupying government, based on his experience in administration, using what he described as KGB tactics to persuade him. He refused, saying he would prefer to die than aid his captors. After what Putilov called a “show trial” for actions against occupied areas of Ukraine and terrorism charges, he was finally freed as part of a prisoner exchange.

After his release, Putilov traveled to the United States, where he has family, and asked the state government for assistance. He met with Gov. Tom Wolf (D) to discuss an “agreement of friendship” and creating a sister-state relationship with Kherson. As of March, Pennsylvania has 122,000 residents of Ukrainian descent, the second highest in the U.S.

Toward the end of the talk, U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks/Montgomery) stopped by. The Ukraine and Ukrainian American Caucus co-chair acknowledged that “war fatigue” has set in as the invasion has gone on. The ranking member of the Foreign Affairs subcommittee that covers Europe admitted war fatigue is slowing further aid to the resistance.

“[The invasion] goes from the front page to the back page of the news,” Fitzpatrick said. “That’s the problem. We’re trying to keep it front and center, also to educate my colleagues and the people of America why it is so important to support the people of Ukraine and protect freedom against dictatorship.”

Cultural Center president Eugene A. Luciw also discussed the importance of backing the Ukrainians. Before the invasion, the country enjoyed progress toward more technology. Many residents who left Ukraine to live in Europe are now moving back.

“[Putilov gave us] a revitalized view of our mission,” Luciw said afterward. “It is not only to sustain, which is extremely important, the approximately 12 to 13 million displaced Ukrainians in Europe and even here in the United States, but sustain them in a way that creates the steps that Ukraine will win the war and ultimately restore itself so the people have hope and prayer that they can return to their homes and live a very fruitful life.”

The Ukrainian Cultural Center has helped refugees coming to the area since the invasion started in February. Those services have been offered in addition to their regular actions in the community, from dinners to operating a credit union. Members have also sent clothing, medical items, and other supplies to embattled Ukraine.

POTAPOVA: Letter From Ukraine as War Continues

Dear Friends,

A lot has changed from the last time we talked. What putin* planned to accomplish in less than a week turned into four months of an atrocious war with almost 1 million Ukrainians losing their homes, over 7 million refugees fleeing the country, and almost 3,000 missile strikes on different regions of Ukraine—what russians claimed to be attacks on military facilities, now turned into the blunt and vicious bombings of civilians, with hundreds of innocent people burned and killed, 344 of those – children.

Four months and counting.

They don’t give up on the idea of capturing the south of Ukraine and controlling both Azov and the Black Sea, and if all goes well, they move further. Meaning they want to capture the whole of Ukraine. At the same time, they spread the Ukraine fatigue rhetoric in Europe, lie about attacking “only military objects,” threaten with global hunger, call foreign politicians names, and leave all their dead on the battlefield. When it seems like they’ve reached the bottom, we see them reaching and breaking new limits again and again.

You asked what actions the U.S. could take to help. I will name a few not only for America but for the whole world.

Number one – boycott. You mentioned russian vodka. Well, their vodka is the easiest product the world can boycott. Oil and gas, other commodities, food, cars, arts, and literature – I could continue the list, but I guess you’ve got the idea. Boycotting literally everything of russian origin speeds up their complete isolation and turns the aggressor into a pariah. Governments across the world should accelerate action to make large businesses leave russia and impose stricter trade limitations (if not bans).

By the way, Belarus joined the club long ago and deserves serious response and sanctions too.

Number two – #ArmUkraineNow. We deeply appreciate the collective response of the West to the russian aggression in Ukraine. What we need now is the West holding the line. Continue standing with Ukraine and helping us resist. Ukraine fatigue is a sinister media narrative, especially considering the russian threats to Poland and the Baltics, which could unleash World War III. Weapons and financial aid that Ukraine already received or expects to receive have been unprecedented. However, we continue losing thousands of our men and women every day while the decisions in the cabinets are being made. Whenever possible, faster decision-making should be considered – it literally saves lives.

Number three – help us punish the killers for the thousands of their war crimes. I mean the international levers of influence enabling Ukraine to claim and recover damages done to our infrastructure, housing stock, people, and cultural heritage. Recently, Canada has become the first country to adopt legislation that allows seizing Russian assets and transferring them to Ukraine. Large global economies should do the same. We know it can take decades to make russia liable for its crimes, just as it was with the fascists in the Nuremberg process or with the genocide architects in the former Yugoslavia. To elaborate the mechanism for the liability of russia, the world has to start now.

Number four – russians came to exterminate us, to break our backbone. Please help us make the russian state liable for the thousands of forcible deportations for the way they treat Ukrainian captives. What they do is deliberate extermination. All our people must be returned home. Take five minutes to read the interview with Yuliya Payevska; a Ukrainian paramedic recently saved from russian captivity. Isn’t that genocide?

They came to break the backbones not only of the Ukrainian people but even of our pets. Yesterday I read the news about a dog named Lys (Fox in English) found in Kyiv region in a trash pit. Although alive, he had a vertebrae fracture, russian soldiers also broke his feet and then mined him. What kind of a creature is capable of that hatred? Would you sit to negotiate peace and then shake hands over the agreement with barbarians?

And number five –donate. Did you hear about Ukrainians donating around $ 20 million to buy Bayraktars (unmanned aerial vehicles) in 3 days? Be like us, stand with us, and help us prevail.


*EDITOR’S NOTE: putin and russia are not capitalized to show her disdain for the aggressors.


Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or

LOMBORG: How to Alleviate the Looming Global Hunger Crisis

global food crisis is looming, so policymakers everywhere need to think hard about how to make food cheaper and more plentiful. That requires making a commitment to producing more fertilizer and better seeds, maximizing the potential offered by genetic modification, and abandoning the rich world’s obsession with organics.

Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine is making less food available because the two nations have been responsible for more than a quarter of global wheat exports and big quantities of barley, corn and vegetable oil. On top of punishing climate policies and the world emerging from the pandemic, prices of fertilizer, energy and transport are soaring, and food prices have climbed 61 percent over the last two years.

The war has exposed some harsh truths. One is that Europe — which portrays itself as a green energy trailblazer — is highly reliant on Russian gas, especially when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing. The war has reaffirmed the basic reality that fossil fuels remain crucial for the vast majority of global needs. And the emerging food crisis now reveals another harsh truth: organic farming cannot feed the world and could even worsen future crises.

Long simply a fashionable trend for the world’s 1 percent, environmentalists have increasingly peddled the beguiling idea that organic farming can solve hunger. The European Union is actively pushing for a tripling of organic farming on the continent by 2030, while a majority of Germans actually think organic farming can help feed the world.

However, research conclusively shows that organic farming produces much less food than conventional farming per acre. Moreover, organic farming requires farmers to rotate soil out of production for pasture, fallow or cover crops, reducing its effectiveness. In total, organic approaches produce between a quarter and half less food than conventional, scientific-driven agriculture.

This not only makes organic food more expensive, but it means that organic farmers would need much more land to feed the same number of people as today — possibly almost twice the area. Given that agriculture currently uses 40 percent of Earth’s ice-free land, switching to organics would mean destroying large swathes of nature for less effective production.

The catastrophe unfolding in Sri Lanka provides a sobering lesson. The government last year enforced a full transition to organic farming, appointing organics gurus as agricultural advisers, including some who claimed dubious links between agricultural chemicals and health problems. Despite extravagant claims that organic methods could produce comparable yields to conventional farming, within months the policy produced nothing but misery, with some food prices quintupling.

Sri Lanka had been self-sufficient in rice production for decades, but tragically has now been forced to import $450 million worth of rice. Tea, the nation’s primary export crop and source of foreign exchange, was devastated, with economic losses estimated at $425 million. Before the country spiraled downward toward brutal violence and political resignations, the government was forced to offer $200 million in compensation to farmers and come up with $149 million in subsidies.

Sri Lanka’s organic experiment failed fundamentally because of one simple fact: it does not have enough land to replace synthetic nitrogen fertilizer with animal manure. To shift to organics and keep production, it would need five to seven times more manure than its total manure today.

Synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, mostly made with natural gas, are a modern miracle, crucial for feeding the world. Largely thanks to this fertilizer, agricultural outputs were tripled in the last half-century, as the human population doubled. Artificial fertilizer and modern farming inputs are the reason the number of people working on farms has been slashed in every rich country, freeing people for other productive occupations.

In fact, one dirty secret of organic farming is that, in rich countries, the vast majority of existing organic crops depend on imported nitrogen laundered from animal manure, which ultimately comes from fossil fuel fertilizers used on conventional farms.

Without those inputs, if a country — or the world — were to go entirely organic, nitrogen scarcity quickly becomes disastrous, just like we saw in Sri Lanka. That is why research shows going organic globally can only feed about half the current world population. Organic farming will lead to more expensive, scarcer food for fewer people, while gobbling up more nature.

To sustainably feed the world and withstand future global shocks, we need to produce food better and cheaper. History shows that the best way to achieve that is by improving seeds, including by using genetic modification, along with expanding fertilizer, pesticides and irrigation. This will allow us to produce more food, curb prices, alleviate hunger and save nature.

Follow us on social media:Twitter: @DV_Journal or

Putin Bans Brian Fitzpatrick From Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin is known to have a long list of enemies. So long, it reaches all the way to Bucks County, Pa.

Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) is on Putin’s list of people banished from Russia’s borders, along with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

The list is both lengthy and impressive. It features people from many walks of life: Politicians, business executives — even acclaimed actor Morgan Freeman made the list of 963 people who are now banned from entering Russia.

Perhaps the most unexpected name is Fitzpatrick’s brother Mike. A former congressman himself, Mike passed away in 2020 after a battle with cancer. Both Brian Fitzpatrick and his brother were outspoken supporters of Ukraine.

“The current landscape in Russia is one that is ruled by a murderous war criminal who denies its citizens basic human and civil rights, imprisons peaceful protesters, and indoctrinates its citizens with state-controlled propaganda,” Fitzpatrick told the Delaware Valley Journal.

Despite massive sanctions from the U.S., the E.U., and the West, Putin has continued waging war against Ukraine, an assault that has now lasted more than 100 days. His army is facing accusations of war crimes in its attempts to secure some of Ukraine’s cities. Buildings have been bombed, entire towns have been leveled and promises of safe passage have been violated. Children and the elderly have been among the civilian casualties. Fitzpatrick has been supportive of the measures that Biden has taken so far in its attempts to cripple the Russian economy, but argues America should do more.

“As long as Vladimir Putin is leading Russia, the entire world should boycott them and not contribute a single dime to their economy,” said Fitzpatrick.

While Putin is not making many friends in the U.S., a study conducted by Statista last month found 80 percent approved of Putin’s leadership. However, many critics have suspicions as to how accurate polls taken inside a state such as Russia can be.

Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick continues his fight against Russia and its treatment of Ukraine.

“I encourage everyone on Putin’s ‘ban list’ to join me in visiting Ukraine to meet a real leader like Volodymyr Zelenskyy, someone who shares our values and defends freedom and democracy in Ukraine and across the globe,” said Fitzpatrick.


Follow us on social media:Twitter: @DV_Journal or

BROOKE: Ukraine War, Day 100: The Unimpressive Performance of Russia’s Military Thus Far

February 24, the day Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, is going down as a turning point in modern history.

As we hit the war’s 100-day mark on Friday, one of the most significant lessons is Russia’s much-feared “modernized” army, the largest in Europe, is, well, not so impressive.

On Feb. 25, many Western pundits predicted that the Russian army, the successor to the Soviet Union’s Big Red Machine, would roll into Kyiv in days. Putin thought the same. Many elite units he sent south to Kyiv carried dress uniforms in their backpacks. They were preparing for a victory parade down Kreshchatyk, the main avenue of Ukraine’s capital.

Instead, the world watched as Ukrainians rallied to stop the Russians dead in their tracks. Partisan units used drones to blow up tanks. U.S.-supplied Stinger missiles shot down so many helicopters and bombers that Russia never controlled the air. Diesel supplies ran out. Soldiers deserted their units.

Blocked in Kyiv’s suburbs, Russian soldiers descended into looting, drinking, raping and shooting civilians. Before retreating north to Belarus, Russian occupiers in Kyiv Region killed at least 1,500 civilians and destroyed 5,000 houses and 161 high-rise apartment buildings.

According to a daily tally maintained by Robert Homans, an American Ukraine expert in Washington, Russia lost 30,700 soldiers in the first three months of the war — more than double the 14,453 Soviet soldiers killed during the Soviet Union’s 10-year occupation of Afghanistan.

According to this tally, which draws on seven Ukrainian sources, Russia has lost: 208 fixed-wing aircraft in Ukraine, almost double the losses in Afghanistan; 866 artillery pieces, double the losses in Afghanistan; 3,343 armored personnel carriers, 2.5 times the losses in Afghanistan; and 1,361 tanks, nine times the losses in Afghanistan.

Going into the war, Westerners were guided by past gee-whiz articles, such as this April 2, 2014, piece in The New York Times: “In Crimea, Russia Showcases a Rebooted Army.” Written by two veteran reporters, the article came out two weeks after Russia’s virtually bloodless annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, on the Black Sea. That surprise operation blindsided Ukraine’s unprepared and demoralized military. In that overwhelmingly Russia-speaking area, 9,268 soldiers and sailors — half of Ukraine’s military — defected. Only two Ukrainian soldiers died defending Crimea.

Virtually untested in a police action, Russia’s army looked sharp.

“Their uniforms were crisp and neat, and their new helmets were bedecked with tinted safety goggles,” reported the Times. “They were sober.”

Aleksandr Golts, an independent military analyst in Moscow, praised Putin’s massive military spending in the early 2000s, saying: “As a result of these reforms, Russia now has absolute superiority over any country in the post-Soviet space.”

The last word went to Mikhail Khodaryonok, a reserve Russian army colonel who was then editor in chief of Moscow’s Military-Industrial Courier. He told the Times: “Everything is in order. There is no more such shame as broken tanks and A.P.C.’s on the road, and outdated weaponry. … The epoch of decay has been fully overcome, and the armed forces of the country are on the rise.”

Fast forward to two weeks ago.

The same Mikhail Khodaryonok shocked viewers of “60 Minutes,” the main talk show on Russia’s state-owned Rossiya 1 TV channel.

“The situation (for Russia) will clearly get worse,” he warned on May 16. Citing the massive Western aid in the pipeline for Ukraine this summer, he said: “The Ukrainian army can arm a million people.”

Referring to Ukrainian soldiers, he noted: “The desire to defend their motherland very much exists. Ultimate victory on the battlefield is determined by the high morale of troops who are spilling blood for the ideas they are ready to fight for.”

Beyond the battlefield, the veteran Russian analyst said: “The biggest problem with (Russia’s) military and political situation is that we are in total political isolation and the whole world is against us. … The situation cannot be considered normal when against us, there is a coalition of 42 countries and when our resources, military-political and military-technical, are limited.”

Two days later, Khodaryonok reappeared on the same show. He reassured viewers of state-controlled TV that the outlook for Russian soldiers in Ukraine this summer is not so bad.

Follow us on social media:Twitter: @DV_Journal or