In London, a sister remembers her brother who was killed on the front line in Ukraine. In Glasgow, a truck driver receives a call from his wife in Lviv: the war has come to their homeland. And in Connecticut, a college professor ponders Putin’s disintegration.
For the Ukrainian diaspora, Putin’s war has a profound resonance. We asked Ukrainians, expats and political experts from all over the world weight in. The opinions expressed in this comment are their own.
Olesya Khromychuk Historian, writer and director of the Ukrainian Institute in London. She told CNN that her older brother, Volodymyr, was killed by shrapnel in 2017 in the conflict in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine.
“I am a historian. I realize we are living a moment that will be in every European history curriculum. Now is the time to determine where we each want to be on that date. Stand with Ukraine,” Khromeychuk said.
Ukrainian truck driver and father of two Oleksandr Bely, to CNN as he crossed the Polish border into Ukraine. His words are lightly edited for clarity.
“I woke up on Thursday in Glasgow (Scotland) at 6.00 am, my wife called me, told me that the Russians were bombing our capital and our country. That’s it. I drove my truck to London, picked up my car, started driving to Poland – I got there on Saturday.
“My family lives in Lviv. I have two children there. I am a truck driver, and I work everywhere.”
“Ukraine is my home, and if Ukrainians don’t fight for our homeland, who will? We don’t want to live the Russian way of life, we want to live our way of life,” the 39-year-old told CNN.
Marcy Shore Associate Professor of Modern European Intellectual History at Yale University, focusing on Central and Eastern Europe in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Of Putin, she said: “This is no longer the main chess player, the clever great strategist. He is no longer a rational actor, even in the coldest and most cynical sense. He looked sick and restless.” Last Monday’s speech.
This no longer looks like a man playing a high stakes game of chess, now it looks like a scene from “Macbeth”. My hunch was that an elder facing his own death decided to destroy the whole world. It is very possible that Ukraine is fighting for all of us.”
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