I was born in Crimea when it was part of Ukraine. I can fluently speak Russian and Ukrainian.
In the summer, when I was a kid my grandfather and I went to visit his relatives on the mainland of Ukraine, and often relatives and friends from the mainland of Russia flew to visit us in Crimea.
I never had to choose, I knew that our culture, traditions and history are very similar and impossible without each other. At the same time, I understood that these are two different states that conduct their own independent policy in the world. It was stability and clarity.
Much changed in 2014, but the world order changed radically in 2022. I mean after the attack of the Russian Federation on the independent Ukrainian state.
It would seem that the answer is obvious. I have to stand up for Ukraine and hate Russia (and everyone expect it from me). But it’s not so clear-cut.
Let me tell you a few of my main thoughts about this conflict:
1. Russia has definitely started a war (even if they still call it a “military operation”).
2. It was done without the consent of the people and decided by a small group of government managers.
3. Most of the progressive citizens of Russia, intelligent, educated people, the foundation of the state that was supposed to lead it to a bright future, was trying to left the country (it’s not so easy now)
4. Those who have not been able to leave are either silenced or in prison. Independent media are closed.
5. That is why it seems that in Russia now everyone supports Putin and his government (this is not true).
6. Despite the fact that military actions are not yet being conducted on the territory of Russia (everything can change at any time), in general, it is not safe to be in the country. Especially on the territory of Crimea, especially if you do not agree with the position of the government, especially if you previously had Ukrainian citizenship.
7. I sympathize with all the Russian and Ukrainian soldiers who are forced to take part in this terrible tragedy.
8. President Zelensky has shown himself to be a true leader. He and all Ukrainian soldiers are heroes defending their Motherland.
9. At the same time, if Russia shows hatred only for the Nazis (whom they invented themselves), then unfortunately Ukrainians are now at the stage when they hate all Russians in general, but not just that who are guilty and support the war.
So which side I’m for?
I understand who is responsible for the war and I blame the Russian government for it, but at the same time I do not stop to love the Russian country and its people. I’m not going to choose either side because I sympathize with both sides. I call for and advocate an immediate cessation of hostilities and for negotiations. War has never been and will never be an acceptable method of conflict resolution.
Therefore my answer for this questions is: I’m for the side of wisdom, love, brotherhood and peace.