It is a charming city

It is a charming city

The last major missile strike on Kyiv was on June 16 when our President Cyril Ramaphosa was here. I’m sure they are all dressed up. Why am I telling you this? Well, I was on a train that day traveling east from Wroclaw. But this is not about where you come from. This is where I was going… home. I arrived here in Kiev on the morning of the 17thy.

I’ve been living in Kyiv for a while now, and yes, it’s my home. We left Ukraine after the first week of the war and I came back to Kyiv last year during August and September. We are now renting an apartment in Wroclaw in Poland having spent a year in Fancourt down George and we believe that after the new year we will return to Kiev permanently. This is our desire and our faith.


Magical Kyiv. (Photo: Ronnie Aptaker)

I have now been home in Kiev for the past 3 weeks and everything seems to be fine. The city is crowded and noisy and it is hard to believe that this evil war is still raging. Which is a good feeling and charm. Yes, something unusual is happening here in Ukraine.

It really is like magic. No one thought it would ever happen.

The media sure got it all wrong. Everyone said that Kiev would fall in three days, and then the people followed how Ukraine would freeze to death during the winter, and how there would be bandits and looters everywhere. In fact, the opposite is true.

But of course, this is not normal at all. When the air raid sirens sound, you know nothing is the same. People are exhausted and traumatized, and yes, people are dying. kills innocent people. The Russians are bombing shopping centers, restaurants, residential buildings, hospitals, schools… This is pure evil.

However, on social media, you sometimes hear people talking about Russia’s point of view as if there is some justification for this evil. There is no point of view when it comes to the people of Russia. They did not have to attack Ukraine. Nobody in Ukraine has a clue what this invasion is about.

Russia has the largest area in the world. Do they really need more? Russia has one of the world’s largest reserves of natural resources. Do they really need more? They attacked Ukraine because they said Ukraine would attack Russia. truly?! This is just propaganda and it’s evil too. Russia is an evil empire and if anyone reading this thinks this is only Ukraine’s problem, you are wrong.

In Wroclaw, I met many people in our apartment complex. monster [the nickname for his child] He is a great networker. Yes, I met a lot of Polish parents abroad with their young children. Many of them speak English, and of course the topic of Ukraine always comes up. And they all have the same opinion, “We have to help Ukraine.” Then I ask them if they like Ukraine and they repeat, “We have to help Ukraine.”

It is not about liking or loving Ukraine; It comes down to one simple truth, and they all say it without thinking, “If Russia loses this war, we’re next.”

How does everyone in Poland understand this, but America is divided?

If Ukraine loses this war, Russia and America will fight the next battle. So why isn’t America giving Ukraine the weapons it needs?

The Budapest Memorandum of 1994 meant that this kind of support was supposed to be a final agreement, but President Zelensky had to beg and beg. It is always late.


Early evening view of Kiev. (Photo: Ronnie Aptaker)

If Russia defeats Ukraine, which no one here thinks will happen, including me, then God has us all. This means that evil has won and is spreading.

This war is about good versus evil. It’s about the new versus the old. Russia is an ancient empire that has always been brutal. The world has moved on from this. Well, we’d like to believe that. But still, not many in the world think Ukraine’s help is important.

Again, if Ukraine fell, Russia would be at war with America and what happens next, well, we can all look at this famous quote from Einstein for some clues: “I don’t know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but war The fourth world will be fought with sticks and stones.”

The struggle for identity

I had a busy time here in bustling Kiev. We are working on our Ukraine film project. We will finish it by the end of this year. There is a lot to do and this project has become very important and meaningful. This has been our vision since 2018 when the project began: Ukraine’s struggle for freedom and recognition from its hardline Soviet conditioning. Identity story. They are not “Ukraine”.

We are telling a story about Ukrainian identity. This war is about identity. Our motive all those years ago, more than 15 years ago, when I first visited Kiev: Ukraine deserves a better conversation in the world. There are a lot of stupid stereotypes.

That day, I had lunch with a friend. He is an Israeli who has lived in Kiev for more than 10 years. We go to this amazing restaurant and have a meal fit for a king, and he says to me, “If the war ends tomorrow, what would be different here in Kiev?” After a moment of silence, he replied, “Nothing.”

Nothing will be different. There are no victims here. Only free spirits embrace life and move on. Although there are missiles raining down across the country, every single day.

There are many countries with much less problems that waver and some fall apart, but here, with this evil war, no one falls. Their attitude to life is simply inspiring. Much like in Israel, my Israeli friend tells me.


Kyiv streets. (Photo: Ronnie Aptaker)

Nobody stops living, everyone is fighting for the country. The same in Ukraine. I don’t know someone here who isn’t trying to help the country. Not everyone is fighting on the front lines, but everyone I know in Ukraine is doing things to support the war effort.

Later this week I’ll take the train to Wroclaw, and in August I’ll be back in Kiev with our little team from South Africa – they’ll come here to shoot more shots for the movie. August is going to be a busy month among the small team of three that will come here, two of whom have never been to Kiev before. They will love it. I keep telling them how funny the people here are. Yes, they will laugh – a lot.

I can’t wait to go back to Kiev next month. I believe that when this war is over, Ukraine will heal and rebuild. There will be a lot of pain ahead, so recovery will be a long and intense journey.


View of the golden-domed St. Michael’s Monastery, Kiev. (Photo: Ronnie Aptaker)

Everyone you know here has a war story. Everyone was affected by the war, including me. Those little hours of February 24th last year I will never forget. Leaving our home here in Kiev is not something any of us want. Bonester was our priority and thank God he doesn’t know about this evil war.

Everyone’s life in Ukraine has been turned upside down, and people, with all this, are still joking and celebrating life. The spirit here is incredible. When the war is over, I predict that Kiev will become a new tourist attraction in the world.

I have always said that Kyiv is a magical city. DM

Ronnie Apteker is a South African internet pioneer, author and film producer.


Source by [author_name]

Leave a Comment