Sunday, April 27, 2014

Holding Our Breath

Four weeks from today,  May 25, is the day everyone is waiting for.  We hold our breath hoping and praying that the country will make it one more month.  In 28 days Ukraine will hold it's post-revolution presidential elections since Yanukovych's corrupt presidency was toppled back in February.  This election holds potential for putting the country on a transparent and democratic track.  This election "may be the most important election in Ukrainian history" according to Vice President Biden.  The 100-plus citizens killed on Maidan paid the highest price so that Ukraine could forge a future free of corruption.  This election marks the beginning of that price not being in vain.

This is the future that Putin does not want to happen.  The insurgency in the east is a direct result of his interference.  He seems to be lapping at the chance to invade under the guise of a "peace-keeping" mission.

Next weekend is the first of two major holidays in May.  May Day is celebrated on May 1 and 2 and Victory in Europe Day, marking the end of World War II, is celebrated by the Soviet victors on May 9.  These holidays are expected to be greeted by an increase in insurgent-provoked violence.  Putin's goal is make the eastern and probably southern regions as unstable as possible so that the elections cannot be held there or at least be deemed illegitimate.  There is a fear he may even invade in order to accomplish the same goal.

So, it sounds like life in the capital city of Kyiv would be in turmoil.  With all that is going on - historic presidential elections, insurgency, threat of invasion, impending war - you'd think we would be stressed.  However, life goes on as normal.  School is open.  The scenario of a month ago, when the school received daily updates from the US embassy on the safety of holding school and we had evacuation constantly in the back of our mind, is not today's scenario.  With three and a half weeks left of school, I actually think we might finish this school year!  I don't know why I'm not stressed or alarmed by the news headlines I read.  It seems people in the west are more concerned than I am.  Maybe the headlines are more sensational to read there.  Yes, it's true things in the country are not good, but here in Kyiv everything is calm.  I don't think I would be saying that if I lived in the east, but in the center of the country life goes on as normal. 

We just hold our breath and pray "normal" carries on for another month.