Peace for Ukraine

The road to Demyanovka 1942 is a painting on clay from the Exhibition : The Leaving of Ukraine through Bloodlands – Luda Korczynskyj

Hi my name is Ludmylla – known as Luda. I was born in a displaced persons camp in Hagen in Germany in 1946. My mother was Ukrainian and my father was Russian. Because my father was born on the border of both countries he was never sure which Country he belonged to. He often said that he didn’t care – as to ordinary people – people were just people. My father was not a nationalist.

I am fortunate to be able to hold an unbiased view of both Ukraine and Russia! I love both countries. The political situation is a different matter. Here I hold strong views regarding Ukrainian sovereignty.

Regarding history – facts are there to learn and know. Politics can twist the truth and is always tinged with societal aspects. For instance, over the years Ukrainians have always wanted independence from their aggressive neighbour. Ukrainian language is different, heroes, and culture is different to Russian but they do overlap. Why would a good neighbour want to control your every move. Surely a mature country could accommodate both cultures.

I would like to propose an alternative view of how Russia could have been after the fall of the Soviet Union. It was here that Gorbachev held a strong view about the remaking of an Independent Russia with or without all the states should be a democratic slow build. Contrary to Putin who has twisted the Gorbachev legacy portraying Perestroyka as a monumental blunder, Gorbachev is and was and always will be remembered as a great leader, who knew that the Soviet Union was heading for the abyss and had to change. Gorbachev was a good man whose wife was born in Ukraine. He would have been sensitive to the people’s of the states of the Soviet Union. He was the right man at the right time. Contrast him with Putin- the wrong man at a pivotal point in Russian History!

When my husband and I travelled across Russia in 2010 we saw the remains of the devastation of the Soviet Union. Many of the factories and community work places simply abandoned. The poverty was visceral. The failed experiment of Stalinist Russia was on full view!

We stayed in Kyiv for two weeks. In that time we felt a very good vibe for the country. Admittedly there were posters of Putin’s man – President Victor Yanukovych – all the way down Khreschatik Street, showing a Russian presence. Being hopeful for an Independent Ukraine I remember imagining something more….Ukraine and Russia living side by side with language and cultures intermingling and sharing. Sounds ideal and some would say impossible.

The following posts are short stories or events that I have experienced while travelling through Ukraine and Russia that have enriched my knowledge of my heritage. In writing this Blog, I hope it will clarify my own thinking on how and why Ukrainians and Russians could live side by side peacefully.

And I imagine one day this could happen, when both countries have democracy and maturity!! Ukrainians could stop trying to prove that Gogol is their writer and that the Russians should acknowledge this. Maybe the Ukrainians could be proud to have a cousin in their history called Chekhov that they could share with the Russians-even though he was a Russian born and bred.

I am lucky that I feel I have a foot in both camps. If people want peace in both these countries it requires a new mindset. But we all know that Putin is not the leader to do that. He is incapable. Only Russian people can dictate their future . And depressing as it is – they are not ready

I started this blog in response to the ongoing war on the eastern border of Ukraine and Russia. I would like to give the reader an insight into the Ukraine and Russia that I know. I believe Ukraine will never have peace until Russia has freedom from a dictatorship.

Look out for my next blog: Mikola is found!