Tamara and her mother Anna O. are two courageous and active Ukrainian women. As there are probably many of them there. But their destiny is apart because more linked to Western Europe (say Schengen area)
I knew them when Ukraine was relatively peaceful. They lived in Switzerland, not far from my home. I was able to appreciate their kindness, their energy, their culture and their intelligence.
- Anna told me then that she would have preferred to deprive herself of food, if necessary, as long as her daughter could go to college. It gives you an idea of the character. And Tamara lived up to her expectations.
There is nothing better than this kind of contact, to discover other parts of the world and to dissolve the slightest residue of xenophobia, if any still remained.
It immediately seemed to me that there was a community of spirit between us. Really, these people were of European civilization just as much as we are. For me it is a simple no-brainer, but perhaps it requires more thought among many compatriots.
Two stays in this country have confirmed this good impression. This courageous people who were crushed by the Soviets, still faced serious difficulties. We do not come out of such an ordeal completely unscathed. But we felt that the Ukrainians were taking matters into their own hands. One could only hope that they would overcome all their problems.
I was also aware of these issues of dual membership (Ukrainian language distinct from the Russian language) and what that implied. There was no question for these people rejecting either side of their dual culture … as long as they had freedom.
As you know, Russia has invaded this beautiful country. Tamara, who did brilliant international studies, has been based in Basel for many years. His mother, on the other hand, was in Kyiv (Kiev) at the start of the war. The capital was almost surrounded at one point and security decisions had to be taken.
The repatriation of the mother was organized by Tamara and supported by several friends. She was exfiltrated to the west of the country. Then joined a humanitarian convoy back to Switzerland, via Hungary.
Needless to say, Anna’s heart was broken. She would have liked to stay and resist like the others. She did not come to Switzerland to be safe. Her greatness of soul made her immediately get down to helping Ukraine from Switzerland. And works on it almost night and day. The same is true for his daughter.
To understand this extremely intense commitment, one must also have witnessed the fervor of these women in the Orthodox churches. I am not a believer personally, but one can only be impressed by so much conviction.
I wanted to greet them here. They do as much good as those more famous Ukrainians we talked about on this site. Proof that the solution is in each of them without exception, but also in each of us.
Know this: Almost all Ukrainians (95%) believe Ukraine will be able to successfully repel the Russian invasion, according to the results of a sociological survey conducted by the Rating Group (5/4/22)
This incredible commitment of an entire people restores faith in humanity. And let’s not forget that they fight as much for themselves as for all of us.