At Random with Martin Laing – 10.3.22

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Rallying to the cause

I was not in the least surprised by the fabulous response across Oban and Argyll to the desperate plight of the people in Ukraine … and the brutality of the Russians attacking them.

Some of you will recall that last week I lamented the very fact of commenting on another war in Europe, and how personal it is for me and many others here, despite the geographical remove of that benighted land. I have Ukrainian in-laws for whom the crisis is all but unbearable.

However, despite the horror being visited on their homeland, my charming sister-in-law Anzhela Romanchenko and her beautiful daughter Valeriia have been overwhelmed by the kindness and consideration extended to them by our local communities.

Quite how these two astonishing women manage to rise in the morning and get through each day remains a source of wonder to me given the ceaseless trauma with which they cope. Last week they lost all contact with their family and friends in the south-east town of Berdyansk, from where they hail, close to the city of Mariupol.

I would much like to extend my personal thanks to the very many wonderful folk who have gone above and beyond to make Anzhela and Valeriia welcome here.

As reported last week, there has been a brilliant show of solidarity across the Oban region for our contemporaries in Ukraine and the desperate diaspora of those fleeing into an unknown exodus as their lives are obliterated by Putin’s scandalous assault. It comes as no surprise to me, though, that our communities have rallied so rapidly or generously to help these poor souls. And I have no doubt we will continue to contribute to the appeals to aid the refugees from Ukraine.

The resistance by ordinary Ukrainians has been nothing less than awesome to observe. I cannot even begin to fathom the emotions or courage required by ordinary family men and women to take up arms against the utterly despicable Russian murderers,
We must all hope that Ukraine prevails and that the Russians’ brutality is resisted.

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