For about a day, I thought that I would still be able to run the regular Saturday Question. Then, as the madness of what is happening in Ukraine increased, for a short period of time I contemplated asking Portia or one of my other guest writers to do it since I just couldn’t bring myself to be chatting about even such a joyful and positive topic as perfumes. And then I decided that since most of my blog’s readers are my friends or people who come here not just to be entertained, I would not pretend that it’s “business as usual”: our family, our friends and co-workers are there; we do not know what happens to them tomorrow… or in the following year, whatever this war results in. I still can’t completely believe that this is happening.
We grew up with a particular war mythology. It doesn’t really matter whether it was a complete truth (it wasn’t), but it had the right connotation and moral. Our country lost dozens of millions of people in the WWII, but it was a just war in which we defended ourselves and didn’t really have a choice.
I cannot believe that the nation that survived that war, lived through and overcame Stalinism and finally disillusioned in socialism, just 30 years later became that World bully who disrespects not only that World or neighboring countries but even its own people who risking their lives protest this abomination.
These are photos of the city where I was born. Kharkov (as I knew it) or Kharkiv (from the Ukrainian spelling). It hasn’t been occupied as of now, but the fight is happening very close to the city limits. Our relatives and friends report explosions. Many spent a night in subway stations or basements sheltering from shelling. I’m so worried about all the people I know… and about those whom I don’t. A war is scary. It kills. It maims. And more than in one sense.
In many situations, there are two (or more) sides to the story. Not for me, not in this case. There will be absolutely no discussion on this blog about any merits for this monster’s actions. So, if anyone feels differently, let’s just calmly part our ways: you are either with me on the issue, or you do not comment.