|Fires set to hinder police from shooting. Photo: Ильи Варламова, zyalt.livejournal.com.|
A common goodbye greeting became, "Stay safe."
|Priest mediates as Special Forces take aim. Photo: Segei Supinski/Getty Images|
|Shields do little against sniper-fire. Photo: Reuters/Stringer|
We were shocked and appalled to watch on live TV the wounding and killing of nearly 100 unarmed people just a few miles from our home. We shielded the children as much as possible and on Friday evening, when the funerals began on the TV, we tucked the kids into bed, sat on the couch and wept.
The spectrum of our emotions felt like they had been garbled in a blender. We cried at the death of so many. We rejoiced at the positive changes in political powers. We laughed at the absurdity of the former-president's statements. We cringed at the opulence of the president's mansion. We hoped for a better future for Ukraine. We feared the wrath of Russia.
|Independence Square, "The Maidan". Photo: AP Photo | Efrem Lukatsky|
Although we have never felt in imminent danger, there is a constant underlying uncertainty. It is this uncertainty and the subsequential need to stay on top of the developments so that we know if our uncertainty has turned into danger or not, that led us to take a few days in Budapest, Hungary to "depressurize". School was closed February 19-26 with "online" schooling in operation so we visited our friends, Dick and Carolyn Otterness, in Budapest for 3 days. It was a much needed change of environment!
On our way out of Ukraine we encountered a civilian patrol checking passports before the entrance of the airport. They were checking for corrupt politicians trying to flee the country. In Budapest our plane was checked for explosives by dogs and mirrors. Our airport shuttle-bus got a police escort to the terminal and we had an extra passport control before we could even enter the building. We've flown many times but never had this kind of attention before!
Now, here we are 10 days after police started shooting at unarmed protestors. The world's attention is on Crimea and Ukraine's provinces to the east. Russia has already invaded the southern peninsula of Crimea and I don't think anyone will stop it. My fear is mostly for the eastern cities of Donetsk and Kharkiv. Will the world watch as Putin invades further into Ukraine? How far will he go?
I guess we can't unpack that evacuation box after all. The whirlwind is still spinning.