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Celebrating Indomitable Spirits

The recent days of terror in the Ukraine have touched me deeply. A peaceful country that has been strategically and ruthlessly attacked because they are valuable. I did not understand why this was happening at first, but since then it has become crystal clear. I saw this outlined by a friend last week.

Being the second largest country by area in Europe and has a population of over 40 million, Ukraine ranks:

1st in Europe in proven recoverable reserves of uranium ores

2nd place in Europe and 10th place in the world in terms of titanium ore reserves

2nd place in the world in terms of exploring reserves of manganese ores (2.3 billion tons, or 12% of the world's reserves)

2nd largest iron ore reserves in the world (30 billion tons)

2nd place in Europe in terms of mercury ore reserves

3rd place in Europe (13th place in the world) in shale gas reserves (22 trillion cubic meters)

4th in the world by the total value of natural resources

7th place in the world in coal reserves (33.9 billion tons)

Ukraine is an important agricultural country:

1st in Europe in terms of arable land area

3rd place in the world by the area of ​​black soil (25% of the world's volume)

1st place in the world in exports of sunflower and sunflower oil

2nd place in the world in barley production and 4th place in barley exports

3rd largest producer and 4th largest exporter of corn in the world

4th largest producer of potatoes in the world

5th largest rye producer in the world

5th place in the world in bee production (75,000 tons)

8th place in the world in wheat exports

9th place in the world in the production of chicken eggs

16th place in the world in cheese exports

Ukraine can meet the food needs of 600 million people.

Ukraine is an important industrialized country:

1st in Europe in ammonia production

Europe's 2nd's and the world's 4th largest natural gas pipeline system

3rd largest in Europe and 8th largest in the world in terms of installed capacity of nuclear power plants

3rd place in Europe and 11th in the world in terms of rail network length (21,700 km)

3rd place in the world (after the US and France) in production of locators and locating equipment

3rd largest iron exporter in the world

4th largest exporter of turbines for nuclear power plants in the world

4th world's largest manufacturer of rocket launchers

4th place in the world in clay exports

4th place in the world in titanium exports

8th place in the world in exports of ores and concentrates

9th place in the world in exports of defense industry products

10th largest steel producer in the world (32.4 million tons)

The article ended saying this is why Ukraine matters. I say no! THIS is not why the Ukraine matters. This is why greed is prompting vicious attacks. The Ukraine matters because of its people, their spirit and the years they have spent fighting for their freedom. My prayers are for them, that they may find peace, the peace they deserve. These are a proud, dignified people who have known great suffering and oppression. My they may finally know a deep and lasting peace.

To honor the people of the Ukraine I share the following.

Lesya Ukrainka was born in February, 1871in the Ukraine, daughter of intellectuals. Lesya was the second child of the Ukrainian writer and publisher Olha Drahomanova-Kosach. Her father, Petro Anonovych Kosach was the head of the district assembly of conciliators (lawyers). Lesya had three younger sisters Olha, Oksana and Isydora, and a younger brother, Mykola. The family was very dedicated to advancing the culture of the Ukranian culture.

Lesya looked very much like her father, with many of his features. They were both highly principled and believed that individuals deserved dignity. Her father was a great mathematician with no gift for language and she had a great gift for languages but no talent when it came to math. She was a poet, dramatist, short story writer, essayist and critic who the foremost woman writer in Ukrainian literature, and a leading figure in its modernist movement. She knew English, German, French, Italian, Greek, Latin, Polish, Russian, Bulgarian and of course, her native Ukrainian.

When she was only ten years old she was stricken with tuberculosis and traveled widely in search of a cure.The illness made it necessary for her to spend time in places where the climate was dry, and, as a result, she spent extended periods of time in Germany, Austria, Italy, Bulgaria, Crimea, the Caucasus, and Egypt. She loved experiencing other cultures, which was evident in many of her literary works, such as The Ancient History of Oriental Peoples, originally written for her younger siblings. Early in her writing career she wrote in a lyrical verse expressing loneliness and social isolation. She also expressed a deep love of freedom and her country. Lesya was a very gifted pianist but because of her tuberculosis, which had settled in her bone, she was unable to take lessons outside of the house. Writing became the main focus of her life.

Her mother was a very strong influence when she was growing up. Ohla was a poet, wrote poetry and short stories for children. She was also very active in the women’s movement publishing a feminist almanac. The only language spoken in the home was Ukrainian and the children were all educated at home by a tutor to avoid schools that taught only Russian. Lesya read well by the age of four and both she and her brother Mykhaylo could read foreign languages well enough to read literature in the original form.

Lesya wrote her first poem, Hope, when she was eight. She wrote it as a reaction to the arrest and exile of her aunt, Olena Kosach, for taking part in a political movement against the tsarist autocracy. At 13, she published her first poem, Lily of the Valley, under a pseudonym, because in the Russian Empire, publications in the Ukrainian language were forbidden. Her first collection of poetry was published secretly in western Ukraine and then smuggled into Kyiv under her pseudonym.

In 1897 she was being treated at sanitarium in Yalta, and she met Serhiy Merzhynsky who was an official from Minsk and also receiving treatment for tuberculosis. They fell in love. She wrote prolifically for him but most of those works went unpublished during her lifetime. Serhiy died with Lesya at his side in 1901. In 1907 she married Klyment Kvitka, a court official, ethnographer and musicologist.

Lesya was a very gifted pianist but because of her tuberculosis, which had settled in her bone, she was unable to take lessons outside of the house. Writing became the main focus of her life.

She was a political and feminist activist joining Marxist organizations to fight against tsarism. She was arrested in 1907 and following her release the tsarist police haunted her.


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