To the Editor:
History of the Ukraine: During 1932-33, Stalin (Russian leader) imposed a famine (Holodomor) on the people of Ukraine that cost the lives of 7 to 12 million Ukrainians. In 1941 the Nazi’s attacked Poland. Many thought that Germany would liberate them but found out the opposite. The Ukrainian Insurgent Army fought both the Nazis and the Reds, continuing to fight the Communist Russian forces until 1950.
When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991 and the Ukraine gained independence, the Ukrainian government kept the Soviet strict licensing and registration requirements on gun ownership.
The recent Russian aggression has revived Ukrainian memories. In November 2013, after Pres. Yanukovych rejected an international agreement which would have given Ukraine closer ties with the European Union, angry citizens took to the streets protesting for many months. Government security forces cracked down on protestors and dozens were killed. Pres. Yanukovych fled. The Ukrainian parliament elected a new president who immediately proposed a constitutional amendment that required that all able-bodied citizens complete military training and gave every Ukrainian the right to possess firearms to protect his life, property, constitutional rights and freedom. This destabilization led to the Russian invasion of Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula on the southern side of Ukraine. On Thursday Feb. 27, 2014 gunmen with no insignia on their uniforms seized government buildings in Crimea, and took control of two Crimean airports. Later it was proven that these soldiers were actually Russian troops.
On Feb. 23, 2022 as Russian troops stood poised to attack, the Ukrainian Parliament passed a law granting citizens the right to buy and carry firearms for self-defense, including AR-15 and AK-47 semi-automatic rifles. Prior to the Russian attack, the Ukrainian government gave thousands of rifles to their citizens. Second Amendment supporters see Ukrainian resistance as exemplifying the virtues of having an armed citizen militia.
So, the next time you hear U.S. politicians proposing restrictions on Second Amendment rights, remember the Ukraine.