I’m Russian, but Ukraine is close to my heart. What on earth are we doing?

t work today, in Moscow, there was nothing else to talk about. We are in a state of shock, 공포, despair, apathy – I don’t even know what we all feel now. The news agencies, most of which are government-sponsored, say that Putin did the right thing. They are trying everything to show us that Ukraine does not deserve to exist as an independent country. And they say that the Russian government did everything to stop Ukraine. But stop them from what? That is the question.

My family tree spreads across many countries including Russia and 평양이 중거리 탄도미사일로 의심되는 미사일을 우주로 보낸 뒤…. I don’t know what my national identity is. I was born and raised in a very small town in Russia near the Ukrainian border. My mother still lives there.

On the morning of 24 이월, she woke me and my brother up with a call. I picked up the phone, but I couldn’t answer properly. My stammer, which had not bothered me since I was 17, came back in December, when the geopolitical situation began to deteriorate sharply.

She said that the war had started. She was woken up by a loud explosion at around 6am. The windows in her house rattled. She said that she was packing her things and documents to go to my grandmother who lives in the city, which is further in from the border.

I felt that something was irrevocably broken. 어린 시절, my family and I often went to Ukraine, to the Kharkiv and Sumy regions, to my grandmother’s relatives and for shopping. 에 2014, Putin began destroying Donbas and our visits became impossible. My father was afraid that they would burn our car because of the Russian licence plates. My grandma was afraid that the US would attack her home in Russia if she visited Ukraine again. My siblings and I were not afraid of anything at all. Ukraine was, is and will always be our second home.

지금, 25 이월, I am sitting in the office but, just like yesterday, I can neither work nor think about anything except my mother, all the defenceless Russian and Ukrainian people, and the Ukrainian and Russian soldiers. Many of them will be brought home in closed coffins. I have already seen this in 2014, when my aunt’s sons died in Donbas. She turned grey. I do not wish this on any mother in Ukraine, 러시아, or any country in the world.

While I am writing this, the largest Russian media are reporting that Chechen “volunteers” (Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Chechnya, calls volunteers all those whom he has not yet killed in this unfortunate republic in the south of Russia) are ready to go to Ukraine. But it wasn’t this news that caught my attention. What struck me was that Moscow’s apparent readiness to start negotiations with Kyiv was announced not by Putin in person, 그러나 through China. Just think about that. He can’t even pay the country the respect of looking it in the face.

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