“Aren’t you afraid of Russia?”  I’m often asked this question by friends and acquaintances who have read my Kyiv Post articles. When I wrote articles for The Korea Times, I was asked if I was afraid of North Korea. Same question, different regime. It’s no secret that North Korea has a track record of abducting foreigners. North Korea also loves firing missiles left and right. It recently fired the highest number of short-range missiles in a single day. I’m not surprised. Russia randomly activates its puppets around the world to project the global player image.

I know a Harvard graduate living in Seoul who gives North Korean defectors a voice by helping them tell their stories in English. His name is Casey Lartigue. While he dislikes this label, Casey Lartigue is a high-profile activist. If Casey Lartigue isn’t afraid of the North Korean regime, then why should I be? I’m just a concerned citizen who writes opinion articles. Hardly a high-profile target.

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Have you noticed how some people think the Russian regime operatives are everywhere? This is the kind of thinking Putin wants us to have. Sure, there are all sorts of bad guys in the world but thinking they’re always around us is downright delusional. You don’t need to strive to be famous. Simply share your thoughts with the world from time to time. Keep a low profile if you want. Just remember there’s a difference between keeping a low profile and being afraid of your own shadow. I think that having a public profile of any kind is a good idea. It lets people see your talent and way of thinking. Most importantly, it opens doors and, as a result, boosts your employment opportunities. You’re not just a nameless face in the crowd.

WORLD BRIEFING: April 21, 2024
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WORLD BRIEFING: April 21, 2024

The world in focus, as seen by a Canadian leading global affairs analyst, writer and speaker, in his review of international media.

Don’t get me wrong here. Even the smallest regime is extremely dangerous. Just remember that no regime is all-powerful, just as no regime is controlled by a dictator who has bodyguards parading around in short skirts. Well, okay, Gaddafi was kind of like that.

An axe-wielding maniac lurking around the corner is a much more immediate threat to your life. Worry about him and not some ridiculous regime.

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Some say writing articles is verbal heroism. I laugh out loud when I read such comments. I’m merely using my writing skills to help the cause of freedom. Let’s not throw around the words “hero” and “heroism” mindlessly, just as we mustn’t misuse the word “Nazi”. When you misuse words, they lose their power.

Do you want real heroism? Ukrainian children resisting Russification and rape are heroes. Polish children who resisted Germanization in the Second World War were heroes. Boris Johnson coming to Kyiv in the dangerous phase of the war. That’s heroism.

If you’re afraid of having any kind of a public profile, you can always join NAFO (The North Atlantic Fellas Organization), a genius group battling Russian propaganda with humor and facts. It’s no secret that Russian warmongers hate comedy, as it erodes their authority. They demand to be taken seriously. I picture a Russian diplomat tempted to send a tweet unleashing his fury on a “bunch of dastardly dogs.” Say it in a Russian accent.

Are you afraid of having a public profile because someone is going to say mean things about you? So what? I don’t care about people throwing jabs at me because I’ve burst their comfortable bubble. What I go through is a tiny fraction of what public figures go through. The Finnish Prime Minister was criticized for partying. Who cares if she parties? She’s one of the few politicians who tell it like it is. When asked how to end the war, she said that Russia must leave Ukraine. Sadly, stating the obvious is shocking to many people these days.

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Russians use absurd tactics to keep the world’s attention away from the genocide taking place in Ukraine.

Case in point, Olena Zelenska, President Zelensky’s wife. was heavily criticized for not sitting ladylike in her photoshoot for Vogue. Was this a Russian psyop by Russian bot armies spouting nonsense? I’m giving Russia too much credit here. The world is already awash with useless idiots who have it ass-backwards. No need for Russia to brainwash them. Clearly, criticizing Olena Zelenska for not sitting ladylike in the middle of a war zone is more important than Russian war crimes. Weird world, huh?

Are you telling me that you care what such dimwits think about your writing, podcasting, whatever? Really? Come on, man! Their opinions aren’t worth your time. If you stop taking any kind of action, it’s going to give envious and stupid people a rush of schadenfreude to see you fail. Don’t give them that satisfaction.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are the author’s and not necessarily those of Kyiv Post. 

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