SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s dark in Ukraine as we check back in with Mitchell native Brian Bonner. The lights are kept low and for his safety, he doesn’t want his location revealed.
Bonner has spent the last 14 years in Ukraine, much of that time as editor of the Kyiv Post newspaper. He says being under attack day and night is draining.
“There is no peace, actually you wake up every few hours at night, you know you get exhausted so you fall asleep,” said Bonner.
There is no end in sight for Bonner, at least right now.
“Until the war stops, you are in it. And I’m not a combatant so, I don’t want to become a victim more than I am, and more than we are but that’s it you’re in it for the long haul,” said Bonner.
Tom Hanson- You were back here last month and we were talking, you were back here visiting family and friends in the U.S and you went back to Ukraine, why did you go back?
“Well it’s my home and despite the warning, I think people were including myself a little bit still in shock that they actually did this and I think everybody wanted to believe that it wasn’t going to happen but in retrospect, we were being terribly, terribly naive,” said Bonner.
Bonner says the sanctions imposed by the west are welcome, he just wishes more could be done.
“This is a war against humanity this is a genocide this is an attempt to destroy a nation in the 21st century,” said Bonner.
Bonner thinks Ukrainians can turn the tide if they have enough support in the form of weapons like fighter planes and missile defense systems and embargos against Russia.
“This is a fight between good and evil, I know the people of South Dakota are on the side of good, it’s going to be a bit of an economic sacrifice for everybody,” said Bonner.
Bonner, who is a graduate of Mitchell High School, believes if the Ukrainians can’t stop Putin with western help, it will just embolden him.
“If Russia is allowed to destroy Ukraine a peaceful nation of 40 million people, he’s not going to stop there,” said Bonner.