September 5, 2014
Antonina Vasilchenko, an activist from student Euromaidan, a musician, who was working abroad for the last half a year, told at the briefing, how foreignersrefer tothe currenteventsin Ukraine.
Antonina worked as a musician on a cruise ship, visited Scandinavia, the Baltic countries, Russia, the United States and Canada. According to her, foreigners know about the events in Ukraine, they worry about what is happening here. They receive information primarily from television. As a rule it’s BBC, which tries to report the news objectively.
Balts and Scandinavians strongly support Ukraine in the conflict with the separatists and the Russians. The residents of Estonia and Finland remember the Soviet occupation and the Finnish war. Therefore they are well aware of the purpose and meaning of the struggle of Ukrainians for their freedom, and what threatens the citizens of Ukraine, if they are once again live as Putin wants.
Canadians particularly support Ukrainians. Thus, according to Antonina when Evromaidan just starting, 80 Canadians on their ship wore embroidered shirts and sang the national anthem of Ukraine. The residents of Canada provide a lot of financial aid, regularly transfer pecuniary aid to Ukraine. The citizens of the USA are very supportive to us. They say that they regularly pray for us, send humanitarian aid. For those who are not interested in politics, Russia and Ukraine are very distant countries, it is difficult for them to understand our relationships and problems. But they support Ukraine, seeing our elation and desire for freedom.
When the pro-Russian terrorists fetched down Malaysian “Boeing”, people on a cruise ship was worried. And they were confident that Putin is one to blame. They contacted Ukrainians for details. For foreigners, it was shocking to know about the looting of terrorists and local people from the wreckage of the liner. BBC didn’t show these details for unknown reason.
Bulgarians and Yugoslavs are a little unconcerned. Here the sympathy to Ukraine and Russia are divided about equally. But Serbs and Croats, who themselves have recently experienced the war, worry for us and stand up for peace, no matter what compromises might be.
Quite different stories are Russians and Belarusians. It is useless to talk to them and try to persuade, according to the activist. People think with stamps and stencils, not a single step without deviating from what is laid down in them by Putin’s propaganda. They are constantly repeating, “You are to blame,” “first started”, “America bought you”.
Russian border control is very attentive to Ukrainians. They poll about the relatives, where they live, purpose of visit to Russia, was a man in the revolutionary events or not. From the two dozen Ukrainians, who were on a cruise ship, the three were not allowed in Russia. The others were long questioned; some were invited into the separate room for another conversation.