Poso Brothers Special: Life in Ukraine During the War
On Sunday, Jack Posobiec of Human Events Daily dropped his second special on Ukraine, this one called The Truth About Ukraine. It’s a follow-up to his Night Train to Odessa, recorded as the title suggests.
In this special, Jack interviews his brother Kevin, who traveled with him to Ukraine, to get his views and experiences on that trip, and what he saw on the ground.
In Night Train to Odessa, Posobiec offered an honest look from on the ground deep in Southern Ukraine. He and his crew traveled 1,200 miles by train and car, more than 40 hours from the border city of Lviv in the West, to blockaded Odessa on the Black Sea, and the besieged city of Mykolaiv.
As Jack recorded that podcast episode in one compartment, Kevin took advantage of a sleeper compartment. He discussed the aspects of daily life that he found so different from in the US.
“So many other things, like the American rules and regulations that we have, are just non-existent,” he said. “Being able to open the windows on the train,” he said, offering the idea that some freedoms emerge in the mere absence of rules. But there also weren’t a bunch of Pride flags, or apparently leftist culture, like “blue hair, purple hair, nose rings,” he said.
Cultural differences don’t stop there. Same-sex marriage isn’t legal in most of Eastern Europe, obesity wasn’t a big issue, and “everybody was supportive of their country,” Jack said.
The litigious nature of American culture, Kevin said, was noticeably not present. “There’s so much more common sense incentives and freedom,” he said.
“You felt freer?” Jack asked.
“I did, yeah,” Kevin said.
The brothers joked about the lack of legal waivers needed to do things like jump in Lake Geneva, the lack of guard rails, and the apparent lack of regulatory oversight on risk-taking practices.
The two traveled to Poland to see the village their family hails from, which is a 40 minute drive to the border of Ukraine. The history of Poland, they said, was visible in their churches, many of which had survived from before World War II. Kevin was surprised to see the protective scaffolding placed around sacred statues, until he realized it wasn’t due to the potential for vandalism, but in case of bombing.
Kevin recalled seeing the side altar of one church in Ukraine holding a display of old ammunition, complete with artillery shells. Jack and Kevin spoke about how normal things felt in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, while the deeper they went into the country the atmosphere changed.
Men, they noted, are not permitted to leave Ukraine, and they get called up for training, and to fight, as needed. Young widows, too, made an impact on the brothers, who found that these were not old women, but in their 20s and 30s, women who had lost their husbands in this current conflict.
Kevin spoke about being in touch with God during this trip, praying for guidance as to how he would be most useful, and how to use the skill he has, such as carpentry, to be helpful. Many Americans, Jack pointed out, have traveled to Ukraine to help out in a humanitarian way. He recounted a story in which his wife found a volunteer from Nashville in a Covid testing tent, who had funded her multiple trips via crowdfunding.
And while Ukrainian flags have become ubiquitous in the US, there weren’t many US flags in Ukraine, despite the hefty funding packages that have traveled from the US to that nation. Kevin noticed this particularly.
“Here in the US and really across Europe, we saw this, people have Ukrainian flags all over the place, people putting them on their Twitter accounts, people putting stickers on their cars t-shirts. We were at the Paul McCartney concert the other night and I saw people there with Ukraine shirts on,” Jack said.
“I hadn’t even thought of it that way. And I tweeted that you said that after War Room the other day, that it occurred to you that when you were in Ukraine, you didn’t see anybody flying any American flags,” Jack said.
Kevin had been approached by security who prevented him from filming aid tents in Ukraine, and demanded that he delete the footage. He did, but it’s likely in his recently deleted, the brothers joked. It was curious as to where the aid from the US and Western Europe was going.
The conflict gave the two a real sense of why their grandfather had picked up and left Poland for the US, noting that while the country, the people, the culture are great, “every time the great empires rumble,” people get caught in the fray and their lives are upended.
Yet still, it was clear to them why others would choose to stay. “Because the narrative we get is like, ‘Hey, listen, we have all these refugees. Everybody’s running away from the war, blah, blah, blah.’ And then you get there—
“And there are people who stay,” Jack said.
“Yeah, there’s people that stay. And they just know that it’s, not that it’s all bs, but like, they know. Like, where else might go like, ‘this is my home. I love my home.’ And you know, they’re just tired of it,” Kevin said. In fact, of the 3 million that left Ukraine, 1 million have returned.
This, they noted, is one of the many aspects of life in this war zone that has been conveniently left out of much of the conversation about the war in Ukraine.
The pair will travel together with Turning Point USA to Israel in September.