One of the many Kremlin dictators to attempt to break Ukraine was Joseph Stalin, who undertook and implemented the "Holodomor" – the Soviet's man-made plan of mass starvation targeting Ukraine in an attempt to eradicate our independence movement.
The Holodomor famine of 1932 and 1933 killed around four million Ukrainians in a blatant effort of genocide.
But Ukraine survived.
On the fourth Saturday of each November, as we have done in the past, our nation commemorated Holodomor victims by lighting candles in their memory.
This year, however, our ceremonies were interrupted by another Russian dictator.
Vladimir Putin chose our most solemn anniversary to launch his biggest drone and missile attack since he began his doomed invasion of Ukraine.
In a six-hour frenzy of attacks, Russian forces launched 75 Iranian-built kamikaze drones targeting Kyiv, our capital.
The results could have been devastating.
The aim of the attack was a war crime itself – on civilian areas intended to kill innocent women and children, among others.
Putin's attacks were clearly intended to test our defenses while spreading terror.
Thanks to the unyielding support of our ally the United States and supportive countries around the world we were able to shoot down 74 of the 75 drones as well as a cruise missile.
Sadly, the debris from the drones we destroyed fell on civilian areas – in one case damaging a kindergarten. An 11-year-old girl was among several people injured.
Yet the Russian blitzkrieg had clearly failed in every important respect.
The Kremlin had the plainest of answers to its terror test: Ukraine cannot be defeated.
Of course, Putin will not stop trying.
More drone armadas are certain to follow. And more Russian soldiers will be sent needlessly to their deaths.
As we approach winter, the Kremlin hasn't abandoned its attempts to destroy our energy grid, robbing us of light and heat.
How should we respond to his unrelenting belligerence?
What conclusions should the rest of the world draw from this madness we see in Ukraine but also in Israel and elsewhere?
In Israel we saw Hamas' monstrous attack mirror the types of attacks Russia's army has perpetrated on Ukraine.
In Yemen Houthi rebels are firing, with near impunity missiles, at U.S. warships and other targets across the region.
North Korea has once again scorned United Nations Security Council resolutions by placing a spy satellite in space.
Kim Jong-un and his equally sinister daughter, Jue Ae, are boasting of a "new era of space power."
Meanwhile Iran is a key figure in global belligerence while happily supplying its military hardware to anyone who hates America.
Former U.S. President George W. Bush famously spoke of an "Axis of Evil," originally comprising Iran, Iraq, and North Korea.
Today we are witnessing the spread of an Axis of Insanity defined by the most obscene and horrific military acts that civilized people cannot afford to ignore.
This new and evil Axis is a growing alliance of autocracies uniting to wage war against the free world with the United States as the number one target.
Thankfully, Ukraine is not alone in fighting against the Axis.
We remain a bastion of democratic expression, individual freedom, and civilized values.
We aspire to emulate America, not the dark system of Russia. And that fact deeply threatens Putin.
But we can only remain free with the help of our friends.
The help of America and other nations has produced immeasurable benefits, not just for Ukraine but the entire Western world.
Our defense forces have blocked the westward sweep of Russia's imperial ambitions.
We have already liberated half of the territory Russia has occupied since February last year.
Our counteroffensives have destroyed thousands of Russian tanks, armored vehicles, and artillery systems.
The Russian army has lost so many men it now must rely on mercenaries and prisoners who were released only to fight us.
We are succeeding. The Ukrainian defense forces have already secured several bridgeheads on the left bank of the Dnieper River in the Kherson region.
Yet we are only too aware that we could not have launched and developed our counteroffensive without aid from the United States and others.
We will forever be grateful to the United States and its people for its unprecedented support.
When the invasion happened we faced off against the supposed mighty Russian military with a small batch of Javelins, portable anti-tank missiles, provided by the U.S.
Since then, our successes in repelling the Russians have unlocked a powerful flow of modern weaponry and equipment.
Today, we have Patriot air defense batteries, Abrams tanks, M777 howitzers and other advanced technological systems.
Indeed, our war provides a valuable possibility for America and our allies to learn from this war and improve weaponry and rapidly adapt to new modes of warfare in the future.
We have entered a new age of unmanned aerial vehicles – UAVs. The sky above Ukraine has turned into a virtual battlefield, with weapons controlled by combatants who are often distant from the actual fighting.
One relatively cheap Ukrainian UAV recently destroyed four Russian tanks in a single day.
We have virtually no navy, but in parts of the Black Sea our drones, missiles and other high-tech weapons have kept the Russian fleet at bay or even forced their retreat.
The knowledge that U.S. generals and civilian strategists are obtaining from the Ukrainian independence war may well prove vital to future U.S. security.
All this has convinced us that a closer alignment of NATO and Ukraine defense strategies would serve all of us well and deter our joint enemies.
Increased cooperation between Ukrainian and American defense industry companies is already helping to strengthen the U.S. military as stocks of old weapons and ammunition are replaced with newer and more modern materials.
Much of the aid provided by the U.S. goes directly to American defense contractors, providing new jobs for skilled U.S. workers.
We believe there is still plenty of potential for increased cooperation.
That is why, on Dec. 6 and 7, a two-day joint U.S.-Ukraine conference on mutual defense issues will take place in Washington, D.C.
The main goal is enhancing defense industries' cooperation for a substantial increase in weapon production in Ukraine, the U.S. and also in other NATO member countries.
Ukraine's priority is acquiring the equipment and ammunition we so badly need to fight.
But we must also look to the future.
One day Putin will be gone, but his Axis of Insanity could well remain with nations led by similar megalomaniacs holding visions of world domination.
If we act strongly together in defense of our democratic values now, we will deter these dark angels of insanity from imposing their way of life upon us.
Andriy Yermak advises Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and serves as Head of the Office of President.
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