Ukrainian-Russian Families are Being Torn Apart. The War in Ukraine Is Dividing Friends.


When I consider the long friendship, brotherhood really, and these latest developments, I am quite sure I will never be able to visit Russia again. I’m also very confident that my Russian friends, both of them, will never be able to visit the USA again either.
They came as most do with the Work and Travel program, and in their older adult lives have no real reason to come to the USA except for leisure. With the new world climate and moods toward Russia, before my friend blocked me we talked about where we could meet. It’s sad to know that Russians can’t travel to Europe anymore. In our 2nd to last conversation, we talked about the possibilities of exactly where to meet. My Godson is Russian and I’ve never met him.
There’s Mexico, Cuba, Turkey, North Korea, Vietnam (a good possibility, I have a job offer to teach there), Iran, Iraq, Egypt, and a couple of African countries where we would have to meet. Europe was basically open before, and he and I talked about his family coming to Kyiv to visit a famous church (in May I think) for a few days but that will NEVER happen now. It’s funny to me that any Slavic person should know that Ukraine was indeed settled first and that Russia came after that, and if you think about it, many Russians make this pilgrimage to Kyiv to visit… so they must know a little history otherwise they would not recognize this religious holiday at all. He still stands by the Russian version that Russia came first in history.
When my former partner and I were together she corrected him a few times but it didn’t really matter. I have found that talking to SOME Slavic people is often like talking to a brick wall. I have friendships with a couple of ex-girlfriends. They are married and we don’t live anywhere near each other it’s polite and mature to wish them a Happy Birthday on social media. But my former partner can’t manage this. It’s all or none. Now it’s this way with my best friends.
I thought this bond would never be severed but this war has strained relations. Perhaps in the future things will go back to the way they were. On a side note, why is it so seemingly difficult for a Slavic person to maintain an average friendship after the intimacy is gone? Is this something that is taught? Anyone that knows please comment. What about simply disagreement with solid evidence? It’s like they can’t accept not being right, so it’s easier to not talk at all.
Many bridges have been burned and can never be crossed again. For tens of millions of Russians that have never been to the USA or Europe, they will never know what they are missing, but for those that have been lucky enough to come to the USA… they may not say this out loud but the systems in place across Europe and the USA are something they know is better but will never admit is better. With all of these new laws on the books in Russia I am sure if they can’t call a war a war, they sure as hell would never admit that their system is flawed. I think just about every system is flawed, leaving many behind in the wake of progress, but in my opinion in most western countries if you work hard and save money just about anyone can make it BIG. I don’t see this possibility in Russia and many of the former Soviet states. It appears the old way is the way Putin wants it to be, but if we look at Moldova or Georgia, and yes, Ukraine, the old way led to no real way up and out. It has kept generations of people poor or barely able to survive. If this is what Putin really wants then maybe it’s time for me to wash my hands of the friendships I have had for 2 decades.
Either way, this situation has gotten out of hand, and people are dying. I pray for peace and pray for the victims of this war.

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Author: Andy Scoggins

Andrew has traveled extensively from his home on the Outer Banks of North Carolina having starting his journey through the former Soviet Union in Winter of 2012 to Novokuznetsk, then on to Ukraine's Lviv, Kyiv, Kharkov, and finally his second home, Odessa.  

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