“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana

I had a friend who fought with the Ukrainians against the Russians, trying to stop them from crossing the Donets River near Kharkov, then at the Dnepr River to stop them from taking Kiev, Ukraine’s capital.

They had to blow up a bridge across the Dnepr to stop the Russians there. One may assume this battle took place last year, when this same bridge was blown up for the same reason, but one would be wrong.

This battle happened in 1944 during World War II. My friend was a tank commander in the German army’s 11th Panzer Division, during the invasion of Russia, fighting with Ukrainians who saw the Germans as liberators from Russian domination. This battle is described in the book “Ghost Division,” by A. Harding Ganz.

My friend, who died some years ago, recalled the horrors of a war we seem to have forgotten.

The Ukrainians have been at war and fought with the Russians multiple times for centuries. About every 50 years they’ve gotten into another war since Catherine the Great ruled Russia in 1793.


Before that they were known as Rus’land, when they and the Rus tribe from which Russia came to be known fought constant wars.

Now today the U.S. and NATO are mixed up in another one of their wars. This will never end. A few years down the road they will be at war again.

We should remember Santayana’s words.

Lawrence Everett, South Paris

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