Waiting to Board – War in Ukraine

Several minutes before boarding and there are more people than I expected to see flying to Ukraine today. The English language TV briefly showed updates regarding the situation in Ukraine but very few people were paying attention. The people waiting around me are mostly Russian-speaking holders of the blue Ukrainian passport but there are also several Czechs. Right next to me, two boys are looking at a Lego castle. One of the boys, no older than 10 looks over at his mothers tablet as she is reading about news in Kiev commenting that the information might not be true. Even kids understand the corruption and violence that has been occurring in our country.

Waiting to Board was made possible thanks to the grant I received from the Prague Freedom Foundation to report on the Ukrainian Euromaidan Revolution in March 2014.

Several minutes before boarding and there are more people than I expected to see flying to Ukraine today. The English language TV briefly showed updates regarding the situation in Ukraine but very few people were paying attention. The people waiting around me are mostly Russian-speaking holders of the blue Ukrainian passport but there are also several Czechs.

Some Czechs seem to be on their way to visit family or go on holiday, while another, clearly a businessman is speaking on the phone in accented but impressive Russian. The most Ukrainian I’ve heard among all these people has been a mother using a Ukrainian word here and there while speaking Russian with her kids.

This language phenomenon is not new or surprising – however what does surprise me is the choice to revoke Russian from being Ukraine’s second official language. Although I personally prefer speaking Ukrainian, I understand and accept that Russian is preferred by many Ukrainian citizens and they should have the right to speak it.

Right next to me, two boys are looking at a Lego castle that their parents bought them joking about the flag being Ukrainian and the battle scene depicted on the box being Maidan. One of the boys, no older than 10 looks over at his mother’s tablet as she is reading about news in Kiev commenting that the information might not be true. Even kids understand the corruption and violence that has been occurring in our country.

Originally published here: https://olenakaguiukraine2014.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/waiting-to-board/

This post was updated on June 14th, 2018: the text, as well as title and headline, may have been edited, proofread and optimized for search engines. The featured image may have been changed due to copyright or quality issues.
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