Life is interrupted in many ways for all Ukrainians, and severely affected an estimated 16 million people here. At the same time, life goes on for most of these people as well. In a hospital, among the charred ruins of Chernigiv, that I visited just after the Russians retreated, I had some laughs over a shared dinner of canned food with the local doctors and nurses. Some days later, in the beautiful city of Lviv, I saw people enjoying themselves on a terrace outside at the base of a church with all its glass stained windows boarded up to protect the windows them against possible blasts. Last night I slept through an air raid siren because I thought it was a false alarm, as often seems the case. In the morning I learned that 4 missiles struck 59 kilometres west from me, along a route that our trucks and us often take to the Polish border. Life stops and life goes on. Happiness and sadness exist in parallel. Safety and danger are a matter of space and time. Fear and relief are intertwined. In the end, the cognitive and emotional dissonance is maybe one of the most recognizable red threads running through the war.
Received by Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands.
It was an honor to be received by Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, just hours after I returned from...