Chestnut Blossom Season in Kyiv
Trying to relax the night before Russian "victory day"
“You know we have now a time of chestnut blossom…it’s a symbol of Kyiv. I miss Kyiv.”
This from my Ukrainian colleague now becoming a friend — from our text conversations as she sits — the evening is quiet after morning sirens — “trying to relax” as officials have warned tomorrow could be bad.
She is a professional woman who has a flat in Kyiv (on the 21st floor) and left when the war began. She is a part of a European organization run through Denmark that promotes democracy and tech in the region.
“I miss Kyiv”
She sends me a link to a picture of chestnut blossoms pictures, writing, “just look.” they are stunning. They hold a place of pride, a reverence even, like cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C.
Sunflowers are the symbol of Ukraine and wishing seeds into the pockets of Russian occupiers so when they die the seeds will break through the fabric of their uniforms and turn their bright yellow and black faces to the sun.
But it’s the chestnut blossoms she misses right now.
Tomorrow May 9 officials have told the people — could see renewed shelling by Russia. A Soviet stylized recreation of Putin as Stalinist - the imperialism, superiority, occupation and slaughter.
“I just have to be focused,” she writes, “try and relax and enjoy the current silence and calm evening.”
She goes on: “Our authorities ask us about paying attention to every siren alert [many she told me before have taken as part of daily life] because massive rocket shelling might happen.”
”We all here in Ukraine are afraid of escalation because of their ‘Victory Day” [marking end of WWII on European front],” many in the “rear” regions she tells me she hopes will be okay. Rear as in not in the East where Putin edges west.
“I am at a more or less safe region,” she writes me, though she said there were sirens that morning.
However she has said in the past no place in Ukraine is safe, really.
Tomorrow I will be speaking with Maria (not her real name) survived a filtration camp as she fled Mariupol. Please subscribe and share.