One borders Russian Empire, the other borders American Empire.
Is Russia a part of the western tradition? I think their institutions are Mongolian. Moscow was created in the 13th century by as a vassal state of the Mongols. It was much later — in the 18th century, that Czar Peter I decided he preferred the history of Kiev-Rus to that of Muskovy. So he gave the name “Russian” to the Muskovites and to the many diverse populations they had subjugated.
The Russian ethos is to appear strong. By contrast:
The English way of seeing the world: What is the truth? (The Enlightenment happened in England. God bless them.)
The German way: Do your duty. (They didn’t have the luxury of being on an Island.)
The American way: Everybody is my customer. (Hence we’re always smiling.)
The Chinese way: Say what is appropriate. (Being part of the larger composition.)
The Jewish way: Say whatever you must. (Because they were outnumbered among strangers.)
The Russian way: Appear strong.
Maybe the Russian way comes from having such an enormous indefensible borders, wild Muslims to the south, Nomadic raiders to the east. I can understand them, but I can’t forgive them. For centuries, they’ve dragged surrounding civilizations into their morass of corruption and brutality. Their obsession with strength leads to low trust and high transaction costs.
The big difference between Ukraine and Canada is that one borders American Empire, the other borders Russian Empire.
What’s new? The Russians seem to be consolidating the leadership of their diverse mercenary units in the east. Some leaders, and some entire mercenary groups have vanished. Fighting continues. Ukrainians are hamstrung by not being allowed to shoot back. There are some reports of increasing Ukrainian-guerrilla activity. A lot of people are training in case this war gets bigger — finding instructors where ever they can. It’s significant that Ukraine has officially ended government functions in the occupied areas, including pension payments. As of yesterday, there were food riots.
Lastly, most Ukrainians are very proud right now, though poorer — since this time last year, Ukrainians have become about 50% poorer– the value of their currency dropping by half.