Written by Dr. Mary Theresa (Terry) Webb, West Lampeter. This piece was first published on April 14, 2022 in LacasterOnline/LNP. Reprinted here with permission from the author.
In 1988, at a medical conference in Izhevsk, Russia, where I had been invited to speak about addiction and addiction recovery, I met Valerie Viner, a strategic Russian officer in charge of nuclear weapon launches. He was caught drinking on the job, was dismissed and found recovery. Forty-one percent of 66,000 military personnel during that time period were dismissed because of drinking while on duty.
Apparently , years later, the Russian army no-drinking message hasn’t reached Lt. Col. Omurbakov, now known as the “Butcher of Bucha.” He commanded Russian soldiers to siege Kyiv and to kill anyone who resisted. His soldiers looted liquor stores and were drunk when killing innocent civilians. Gruesome photographic evidence and surviving civilians tell stories of 450 bodies, some tied up and shot; some half burned; naked bodies of women showing signs of being raped before being shot. When Russians retreated, they left empty liquor bottles scattered on the streets and in fields. Their commander allowed it to happen even after he had been blessed by a Russian Orthodox priest!
Drunken Russian soldiers killing and raping in Ukraine. Do their mothers or wives know? Over a 15-year period I met with Russian wives and mothers in living rooms and gazebos sharing with them a new pathway for their own recovery in support groups. Even though there are now over 400 such family-member support groups in Russia and many more AA groups, more are needed as well as treatment centers to curb the rampant alcohol and drug addiction.”
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