I’m back in Lviv (Lemberg, Lwow), and in front of me is another 10-day journey through Western Ukraine. Even though almost everything is superficialy unchanged since last year, I return in a completely different Ukraine.
If you had asked me after my last trip in summer of 2013, whether people in Ukraine are interested in politics, I would have said “no”. “People are tired and disappointed, everyone is trying to cope somehow.” I was wrong thoroughly! Meanwhile, the Ukrainian civil society has set off – for a Ukraine without arbitrariness of the authorities, corruption and shameless self-enrichment.
Tonight my friends Jürgen, Alex and I visited the barricades at the occupied regional administration. The atmosphere is calm. We talk to the men who guard the barricades. They sit around a fire and warm up. The night will be long, the men look tired. “Europe will help us” one of them says. Will Europe help? I hope so but I have doubts. I feel a lot of respect for this men.
Although the traces of Jewish heritage in western Ukraine are again the purpose of my trip, it will be more than ever before a trip through the presence of the country – and not just a journey into the past. How this will effect travelling is an open question so far. My time budget is tight and the list of places to visit long. The next few days will be thrilling!
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