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Thursday, 18 September 2014

Final Trip of the Year to #Ukraine | Dean O'Brien's Blog aka @DeanoBeano1

Final Trip of the Year to Ukraine | Dean O'Brien's Blog:

As summer draws to a close I managed to make a final trip to Ukraine before the cold weather sets in.  Those who have been here will know exactly what I mean.  Hot to cold is almost like the flick of a light switch.  Tanned legs switch to tights and sunglasses to scarfs.
With a cancelled flight cutting my trip short by two days, it made a short trip even shorter.  So with no time to lose, I flew to Kiev then headed straight to Poltava by bus.   A journey over 200 miles costing less than £5.
Arriving in Poltava, I spent much of my time mixing with locals and talking to them about the current situation in Ukraine.  Naturally I remained objective and wanted to hear stories from both sides of the fence, but it was fairly unanimous.  They told me that before the war, the city was split.  Some classed themselves as being closer to Russia than Ukraine, others closer to Ukraine.  And that was never a problem.  But that all changed when Russia invaded.  It was at that point that they told me that they ‘had‘ to make a choice.
Looking at all the blue and yellow around the city it was clear to see that that the majority sided with the Kiev government.  They want to stay Ukrainian.  In fact, there were no signs anywhere of pro Russian support.
As I left Poltava to head back to Kiev I really wanted to be heading further east to Kharkov where news was coming in of clashes between pro Russian and pro Ukrainian demonstrators on freedom square.  I was gutted to be heading home.
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