Reading the comments, I have to reflect on how much British readers don’t understand the way Ukrainian government works. When I say that “racism in Ukraine is no longer being swept under the rug,” they say, “Aha! But your Foreign Ministry is denying it even exists!”
That’s because Ukrainian government doesn’t really *do* much. It’s all down to civil society now in Ukraine – which is still too small, but growing fast. The Foreign Ministry can say that the real social problems in Ukraine revolve around people-eating plants from Pluto – and I wouldn’t bat an eyelash.
I suppose you will think different if you have MP’s who are at least minimally accountable to their own people. Ukraine? That’s a whole different game. To you. Bahaha.
Of one particularly high-profile tragedy in Bryansk. (I do think this particular case could have happened anywhere. But the domestic violence component is particularly troubling – as I have serious doubts that the mother in question could have gotten help even if she wanted to.)
And of the case of Oksana Makar in Mykolaiv, Ukraine. As I told Jessica Reed over at The Guardian – you write something like that, and then you need a hot shower and an opportunity to burst into tears without anyone looking.
All in a week’s work.
A trusted friend told me the other day that “you do this better than the light stuff.” He’s right – but I don’t know why he is right. Or maybe I do know – but don’t wish to say it to myself, or to anyone else, for that matter.
…And Holy God, it is amazing how much Lev looks like his father here. Like, we broke out some of Alexey’s old baby pictures and had a look recently – and it is ridiculous, how physically similar father and son are (though the forehead and the hair are clearly mine, all mine ).
Incidentally, Sasha is oddly modest about the photographs she takes. Modesty is great and all, but in her case, it just ain’t right. This woman has somehow managed to immortalize some of the biggest moments of my life and done that in a way that actually makes me want to go back and look “at that photo taken of me right after The Worst Break-Up Ever” or “that photo we took when I felt as though I was about to DIE.” I don’t have that kind of talent with the camera and am flattered to be her occasional model.
There are church bells ringing in the dark.
We got our water back in the morning. Which is as nice of a present as any.
But Eff Em Ell! Do things have to be So Very Bad right now?! First there’s no heating when we get in. Now we haven’t had water all evening – and may not have water for the next 16 hours (I just accidentally typed “years” – I am SUFFERING over here, dammit). Grizzled workmen digging around the pipes out on the street told my brother that the water situation depends on “God’s will” at this point. I do not like it when grizzled workmen make such dire pronouncements.
I need to beat the crap out of an oligarch.
P.S. My husband has some weird illness and clearly, We Are All Going To Die. Soon. Goddamit.