The conflict in Ukraine
Starting last March with peaceful demonstrations on Maidan square, the conflict between pro-EU Ukrainians and those supporting close relationship with Russia, is still occupying news headlines all over the world. EM decided to take a look at the stories told and opinions formed as a result.
Prathamesh Patkar (24), Management at RSM, from India
“Honestly, in India, there is not much attention paid to the situation in Ukraine. I mean, we don’t really have any connection with them. But the overall sentiment is that it is just a political power game between the US and Europe and Russia.
“I don’t think it is going to end soon. The conflict really started already in 1990 when the USSR broke apart. It reminds me of the situation with India and Pakistan, and that took quite a long time to resolve. I am not really into deciding who is right or wrong. Anyway, it seems impossible with this amount of contradictory information. I simply feel incredibly sorry for the innocent people who are suffering because of the Big Politics.”
Alexandra Medvedevskaya (18), IBCOM, Russian from Czech Republic, lived in Ukraine for 5 years
“Since Czech Republic has been historically involved with both Russia and Ukraine and the EU, there has been quite a lot of attention to the conflict. At first, people and press supported Ukrainians and blamed Russia. They demanded that Putin ‘takes his hands off Ukraine’. However, after the bombing started in Eastern Ukraine, Czechs seemed to change their opinion. Now they reproach press for not telling the truth, and believe that it is actually Europe and the US who are to blame.
“Personally, at this stage of the conflict I think everyone is to blame. The Ukrainian government for killing innocent people and justifying themselves by calling it an anti-terroristic operation. The US for supporting and sponsoring Maidan. Europe for its ignorance. Russia for giving the eastern Ukraine hope that they can be autonomous.
“Even being quite far away from the conflict, I see its impact around. My father stopped receiving a pension as a former worker from the Ukrainian government because the economy collapsed. Also, a lot of my Ukrainian friends had to move, and those who stayed have trouble finding a job or continuing their studies.”
Sindy Heinrich (22), Liberal Arts and Sciences at EUC, from Germany
“Since the European Union takes quite a bit of interest in the situation in Ukraine and Germany is one of the flagship countries, there is a fairly extensive coverage in the media. It is not simply the journalist’s reports in the newspapers, but also politicians giving their opinion in the interviews in press and on TV. In general, though, Germans tend to support the Ukrainian government and are very critical about Russia’s position and actions.
“As for me, I don’t lean to any particular side in this conflict. My main concern is the fate of the civil citizens, who just want to live their life in peace. It feels even more alarming, since I believe this situation will take a long time to settle down, and I don’t see any way to resolve now.” KS