12th March 2022 – Riga, Latvia

 Evgeniy Maloletka – The siege of Mariupol

I meant to start writing this blog more than two weeks ago, but this is the first time I’ve felt able to write. We are now entering the seventeenth day of the war in Ukraine. When the Russians crossed the border I was in Crete to view the house I will be moving into at the beginning of April.

While some news reports concentrate on the advance towards Kyiv, the situation in Mariupol deteriorates every day. No civilians have been allowed to leave since the Greek diplomats left on 4th March. Aid convoys have come under attack. The city has no heating or clean drinking water. Food is scarce and the bombing continues.

The Western world continues to do nothing to protect the people of Ukraine from the Russian forces. The Ukrainian president continues to plead for a no-fly zone to protect his people from the constant bombardment. At the very least a no-fly zone would allow humanitarian supplies to be airdropped into besieged cities like Mariupol.

I cry when I read the news; but I have work to do.

I begin my own journey in three days; through Lithuania and Poland, then on to Slovakia and Hungary, through Romania and Bulgaria to Greece. For much of my journey, I will be skirting the borders of the warzone. I am unsure what to expect. Will there be refugees on the road or will it be eerily normal?

Taken by the author – Support for Belarus in Riga – 23rd August 2020

When I arrived in Latvia, more than eighteen months ago, I took the above photo. Then it was support for Belarus. Now we see Ukrainian flags everywhere in solidarity. Of course, the question everyone is afraid to ask is – Where next?

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