Ukraine Bombed And Our Friend is Trapped There

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Photo by Ministry of Defence of Ukraine @ Flickr

The world woke up this morning to a new reality: Russia has attacked the Ukraine and war has broken out.

We’re in Europe right now, but thankfully we’re nowhere near this conflict so we’re not the ones in danger. But a friend of ours is, and we’re very very worried about him.

We first met Johnny FD at the Digital Nomad conference in Chiang Mai back in 2020. We interviewed him on this very blog, and he interviewed us for his podcast. Our conversations centred around digital nomadism, remote work, and Financial Independence. Never in a million years did I think he’d end up in a war zone, but here we are.

Since the pandemic hit, Johnny chose to keep travelling while we flew back home to Canada. Last I heard he was bouncing around in Southeast Asia. At some point last year, he visited the Ukraine and, from what I can tell, fell in love with the country and its capital Kyiv, in particular.

As 2021 turned to 2022 and rumours of an invasion started to circulate, he chose to stay. As the situation became hotter and his inbox flooded with messages telling him to leave, he chose to stay. Even up to a few days ago when his parents were begging him to get the hell out of dodge, he chose to stay.

This morning, he was woken up by the sounds of explosions. The airport had just been bombed.

Johnny FD is now trapped in Kyiv.

And in typical Johnny FD fashion, he is live-streaming the whole thing.

President Joe Biden evacuated Americans from the country weeks ago because if Russia did end up invading, he wouldn’t be able to send US troops back in for fear of starting World War III.

That means he’s one of the last American citizens still in the Ukraine.

I don’t know how this is going to turn out for the Ukraine, and I don’t know how this is going to turn out for him, but there’s a good chance that he’s going to become an international news story very soon. I truly hope that this story has a happy ending, but I honestly don’t know right now.

Stay safe, Johnny FD. Keep your head down and we’ll grab a beer together when you’re back home. I bet you’ll have a HELL of a story to tell us.

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43 thoughts on “Ukraine Bombed And Our Friend is Trapped There”

  1. Johnny could have left when news broke out that Russia would attack, but this gives him content and more followers. Not shit talking but he made his own decisions.. It’s dangerous and pure ignorance.

    1. Indeed! And what a nice plug for him this blog post is. Also, “the Ukraine” is how Russians who don’t view it as an independent country refer to it, it’s just “Ukraine”.

        1. I’m still seeing “the” before “Ukraine” in 4 different spots in the body of the article.

          Also, learned something today!

      1. Yep, it’s always Ukraine because there are no articles in Ukrainian (no a, an, or the) so it’s nonsensical to add it to their country’s name, and because it was The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic so it’s considered diminutive to call it The Ukraine among Ukrainians.

        As well, the Ukrainian spelling of its capital is Kyiv. The Russians spell it Kiev.

        It seems most of the articles I’ve found have made these corrections, which is a great improvement from Orange Revolution. I hope you can make these edits quickly and easily because it’s a minor detail, but an important one culturally.

    2. 100% agree with this. No sympathy from me either.

      He even posted on IG a post with the caption “Come at me bro” to reference the Russian invasion. What a clown.

      He also bought an appt there and as a classic “sunk cost fallacy,” rationalized his way into staying. It’s not like the 5 Eyes Intelligence and NATO countries haven’t been warning about this for weeks during the build up.

      What is even worse is that he downplayed the military buildup this whole time on his social media, influencing others to stay as well.

      1. Zero sympathy either!

        The funny thing is that he did an interview for RT (Russia Today – state sponsored network) claiming that all Ukrainians love Russians (they don’t) and that it was super peaceful in Kiev while the country was surrounded. Pissed a lot of people off in Ukraine and shows he isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.

  2. I remember the interview with Johnny FD! …So scary. Thanks for keeping us posted and sending lots of positive thoughts for a safe outcome. And thanks to the other commenters who are focusing on the intended message in this post: care and concern for fellow humans.

  3. Putin has planned the invasion for quite some time, perhaps even influenced the West to become weaker thru the Russian oligarchs funding politics in UK, and thru Trump-ism in the US.

    This is the beginning of Putin’s tyranny, which will sooner or later turn into a all out war. The question is when will we recognize the threat? Hitler was allowed to continue his take over for quite some time, before he was stopped. As a result many people needlessly died. China will be the next one to flex on its neighbouring counties.

    This time around… the Russians don’t even want the war, only Putin does.

    The only solution to a staunch aggressor that I can see it to physically take him out asap. Sanctions will do little to stop Putin. He’s the richest man in the world with reserves of fuel and money. And a very clever one that plans ahead unlike the UK or US politicians too busy lining their own pockets.

  4. Have any of you considered the hundreds of thousands of people that are currently fighting and fleeing a war in their country? Are you even able to imagine what it means to be leaving your home and belongings behind, fleeing into an unknown future, not sure what you might be returning to – or if you will ever be able to return to your home? That is, if you and your family are actually lucky enough to make it out alive. Think about this for a minute.

    Sure sucks for that American guy to be stuck there for now before he gets to fly back to safety and live a likely cushy live, glad we all get a “HELL of a story” out of his poor decision-making (he could have left when all the signs and warnings were there!). And sure, let’s not forget the stock market, and how much money we might lose over this “inconvenience”. Humanity has reached a new low on many levels.

  5. I hope he doesn’t get killed, but this sense for wanting to be internet famous for the clicks is pretty jarring. How self-important can someone be to purposely pull a stunt like this?

    1. Pretty much. US government has been begging US citizens to leave Ukraine for..oh.. god knows how long.
      Nobody cares whether he is the last American in the country or not and pretty sure he could certainly make other people’s life in danger. Astonishingly stupid stunt for meaningless internet fame.. Like Justine said, hope he doesn’t get killed.

  6. As the whole Twitter is saying, it’s Biden’s WAR ! Dems are dogs of war and always were….Let’s get Trump Back !

      1. True.
        Obama=Iraq and Afghanistan wars on never found weapons of mass destructions (BS)
        Biden=Shamefully ended one and started another now by trying to expand Nato where it’s none of its business.
        Put yourself in Putin’s shoes. What if Canada was to join Russia and China in let’s call it a RED NATO ? Would US stay quiet?

        1. Actually True: War in Afghanistan and Iraq started by GWB.

          Actually True: Trump kissing Putin’s ass at every opportunity and making America look weak.

          Also True: Trump being handled by his babysitters so he wouldn’t find the red button or start a war with China, North Korea, or anywhere else he couldn’t pronounce.

          Also True: Biden actually standing up to a real thug while not sending troops into Ukraine, and not starting World War III with a lunatic.

          Obviously True: That you don’t know shit about what’s going on in the world.

          1. Shut up Democrat. Republics will show you this year the true. And 2024 Trump will be back to make guys like you shut up for good.
            Biden is the weakest of the weak presidents. It’s a shame for this country and might get us all nuked cuz there’s no stopping Russia and he should know not to poke him with a short stick. Trump was smart enough to not provoke the most powerful leader in the world along Xi. They both have more nukes than everyone else together

  7. I hope your friend makes it out OK. He’s most certainly not the last American there but it is bizarre that those who recklessly chose a more risky (perhaps selfish) path become the heroes now and garner a disproportionate amount of public sympathy as in this post. While those who heeded government orders and left leading up to this to make sure they’re not a liability to the country come wartime are merely taken for granted and don’t get anywhere the outpouring in sentiment. Such is the internet.

    1. Exactly. We should have no sympathy for those people who chose to be there. Only for those who had no choice but to abandon the war zone because they always lived there.

  8. He’s not trapped as the title states if it was his decision to stay. Is he in grave danger? Definitely.

    I share the general sentiment here. He doesn’t deserve people’s time of day. Not wishing anything bad happening to him but he won’t have my sympathy if something does given that he placed himself in that predicament.

  9. It is disappointing to see you guys put out a post like this. I find it incredibly selfish/ignorant/naïve for your friend to be staying there and then posting about it on social media. If he gets injured (which I hope he doesn’t) he will be taking medical resources away from people who can’t leave and need them and also potentially putting other Americans at risk who may then have to try to extricate him. The definition of privilege.

  10. This may be my first post here. I agree with those saying that it was incredibly reckless and selfish of Johnny to stay in a war zone. Even if nothing happens to him, he is taking away needed resources from Ukrainians. Even more so if he needs medical care.
    Maybe he thinks he’s the new Ernest Hemingway.
    It’s still possible to leave the country and maybe he‘s come to his senses and is currently in one of those long lines to enter Poland or Romania. That would be a post I‘d like to see.

  11. Johnny FD is an idiot (he acknowledged it himself in a recent youtube video – yes, I do my research) and a moron. Plus, does an interview with RT News and then does a video to acknowledge that he sounded like a stupid shill for the invaders. Sorry, no sympathy here. He did this to himself. Hopefully, he comes out of this on the other side unscathed but if not, he has no one else to blame but himself. All for clicks and exposure. How desperate must you be to prioritize that over personal safety. Schmuck!

    And your blog post continues to indicate “the” Ukraine. It’s Ukraine. Is it “the” Canada now? This was a very bad blog post that should not have been posted. I can see more idiots trying to copy Johnny FD as a result.

    In case it was missed, absolute stupidity!

    1. No sympathy for this guy who had the opportunity to leave to a comfortable home, while others are fleeing their warzone homes with no where to go or fighting to the death.

      Separately: All respect and solidarity to the heroic people of Ukraine!

  12. It seems nobody really is asking why Putin is doing this. Because the US was doing the same they did with the missiles in Cuba during the cold War. Having a Nato base 100km from Moscow? Really? If I were Putin I’d do the same as he did

  13. Some people in the era of TikTok cannot afford not being at the center of the stage anymore, even when that is putting their lives in danger. This is what social media is doing to the peanut brains of these kids from gen Z and gen Alpha

  14. This guy and Bald had no business staying in Ukraine once the invasion happened. Also it was very selfish of Johnny to stay back during the first few days to continue making videos for his YT channel (aka money). And now it’s April and this idiot has returned to Ukraine…to continue making videos as a war tourist and to check if his precious apartments are still standing. Why did Ukrainian authorities let him back in? He has no business being there, even if he owns property. How does he live in Ukraine for +2 years and still not speak or understand Ukrainian and Russian? He thinks that he’s a “journalist” all of a sudden now. He emits huge idiot energy

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