I woke up this morning - and remembered - Putin invaded Ukraine. Waking up in the morning as a very young boy at Prep school, realising I had a Stripe in my pocket that meant I was going to be beaten that morning. I have had that feeling several times in my life - that same feeling of dread that we all recognise suddenly overwhelmed me this morning.
Entirely unprovoked, Putin and his cronies inflicted this nightmare of all-out war on the innocent Ukrainian people, shattering the lives of millions.
My immediate reaction is I want to go and help. There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that if I were a younger man - I would not hesitate - I would go today. They might turn me away - they might make me an officer in their army - no matter; I would be quite content to be cannon-fodder for them.
The injustice of what is happening and the awful lack of immediate response is shocking. My heart bleeds for the people of Ukraine, and I am feeling embarrassed to be British - that my life is unaffected by Putin and everyone is sitting on the sidelines, watching. Lots of platitudes and well-meaning words but no action. What a shocking indictment of democracy and Western civilisation. Ukrainians are full of fear, dread, and, I am sure, gritty determination, but the deck is so clearly stacked against them.
It is like a crowd watching the Bully beat and kick some poor individual, and no one watching intervenes or goes to their aid. It makes me angry and ashamed.
If you have experienced war first hand - once is enough. But you also get to understand that some things are worth dying for - and democracy is one of them. Sometimes doing the right thing is more important than doing the safe thing. And besides, there is every possibility that we are only delaying the inevitable.
That we allow this to happen to Ukraine and don't come to their aid will shame us as a nation forever.
Rikki - Suffolk - UK - Friday 25th February - 2022