It is a rainy Thursday afternoon when I met Elena. Elena is from the Ukraine. She currently is working for a Russian company in the Netherlands that tries to find investments from The Netherlands to Russia.
Business isn’t going so well, as many investors are pulling out or simply don’t dare to invest in a country at risk with a falling currency.
Elena tells her story and shows her frustration on how ‘politically correct’ she must be to keep the peace within herself and with the people she is working with, not to speak about her family relations.
She is coming from the western part of the Ukraine, west of the capital, hundreds of miles away from the war zone. Her parents still live there and are political aware on what is happening with a pro-European mindset. She has been studying in Russia for many years and part of her roots lay there. Many of her friends and social contacts still are Russian, who are firmly pro-Russian in the Ukraine conflict. Her brother, too, is pro-Russia, where he also lives.
“Switzerland!” she says. “I am Switzerland. I don’t want to be politically colored or have the war standing in between business nor family relation”. She is lucky, lucky to have a family that still can be together despite the strong influenced opinions that caused to break many other families.
The talking continued and also, maybe an ‘of course’ a well, we talked about the airplane that was brought down. That brought an extra dimension to the whole issue. Now it isn’t just an internal affair, no, more than 200 complete innocent people died. The media is pointing fingers, the British claim they have proof it were the pro-Russian rebels who did it! Germany is saying the same! The Russian media is full with attacks to the west and the Netherlands, the leading investigating country, is silent. Silent till it is factual proven beyond any doubt what really happened.
The west, backed by the USA, is putting on sanctions against Russia, because the way they intervene. Russia’s economy is collapsing, and surrounding countries can’t exchange no more to the western currencies driving nations into poverty. “It becomes a great opportunity for the IMF to step in and aid the countries in need, Shock Doctrine (book by Naomi Klein) repeating”, I was thinking when our conversation nearly ended.
“What can I do?” Elena told with a sigh. “In these conditions I am too expensive for the company to keep me, for the Dutch standards I don’t earn enough. In the end it is not about me but I am one of the many who feels, sees and experience the huge consequences for millions of people.”
Both of us wondered for a moment, what did actually happen months before the war broke out? What is the untold story that initiated and unfolded the series of events that lead to this present reality? The truth is out there, somewhere, and one day we will know.
Then we made a selfie, shook hands and moved on.