"One minute I'm preparing for Paris Fashion Week, the next, I'm a war refugee"
Like everyone else I have spent the last week in front of my computer following the gruesome raids of Putin´s Russia on Ukrainie.
Watching all those people, mostly women and children, and elderly people, separated form the young men in their family because those are needed to fight against the Russian army breaks your heart; I was trying to understand what that must mean: to leave everything behind not knowing what to expect in Poland or Hungaria. Because I figured: Those were people without any connections behind those borders, not speaking thoses languages, depending on States to welcome and support them.
Rich and privileged people I thought would make it much more easily.
Then I read that piece about Lilia Litskovskaya, an Ukranian designer I had heard of before. She lives in Kyiv but shows her collections in Paris, well received by an international crowd and the wife of the Ukraninan president as well: Olena Zelenska actually wore Litskovskaya`s design on Ukranian´s freedom day three years ago.
Talking via Facetime to "The Telegraph"´s Lisa Armstrong she told the story of her getaway with her baby daughter in panic and heartbreak, leaving behind her mother (who wouldn´t want to leave her dog behind), her team, her work. "One minute I'm preparing for Paris Fashion Week, the next, I'm a war refugee" read the headline.
Two things touched me:
First of all: There are no privileges in a situation like that. Litskovskaya woke up to the sound of explosions as any other woman in Kyiv, knowing her first priority would be to bring her daughter out of danger.
And second of all: Focusing on a designer like Litskovskaya, then going to watch pictures of Ukrania´s first lady at Ukranian "Vogue" you realize how much more European than Russian those people are.
I hope soon enough Russia will be defeated and the Ukranian people can live their lives in freedom. With a leader they respect and love rather than fear. Guided by a spirit that truely connects us all in a free world in opposite to a history of supression and servitude Putin as all other dictators prefers.
Liliya Litskovskaya is safe in Krakau now. She can afford a hotel and is well enough connected to other Eupean countries to choose between different friends she wants to stay with. Those are true privileges. But they obviously will never spare you from the core of pain and panic.
I´ve learnt my lesson.