News of the Ukrainian mothers who last week travelled into Russian territory and rescued their 16 children kidnapped by Russian troops, brought to mind another similar but truly hilarious incident.
That was during the vicious war of independence with Russia by tiny Chechnya two decades back.
The Chechens have spent four centuries in vain fighting Russia and have a well-deserved reputation for their ferocity and grit. Despite a population less than Auckland’s, such was their courage they held off the Russians for six years with considerable loss of life on both sides.
This led to conscription of young Russian lads which unsurprisingly did not go down well with their mothers, moreso given the heavy death toll.
The upshot was a large group of angry Moscow mothers rented a bus and drove the near 2000 kilometres south into Chechnya to find their sons. They were accompanied by a camera man who filmed the entire affair which was shown world-wide.
Once over the border they were halted by Russian soldiers, their leader, a giant of a man, stepping up and barring them from continuing their journey.
He didn’t last long. Out came the handbags and he and his colleagues quickly fled from the avalanche of handbag head swiping. They then continued their journey handbagging all other military personel who tried to stop them. Eventually, on reaching the barracks, they bowled in, grabbed their sons by their ears and frog marched them to the bus for their long ride home.
The ancient Greek comic play “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes recounts how the womenfolk denied their husbands sex until they ended the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens. Sadly that was a fiction to highlight the stupidity of warfare.
I’ve fought my own battles on that front with some success going back to my school days. But that’s another story.
The indisputable fact is that warfare is mankind’s greatest failure, invariably caused by dictatorial leaders with expansion ambitions. The passion to lead people is a continuing puzzle to me, I shall write about soon.