“Thank you very much Mr. Putin, leaders of the separatists or the Ukraine government! For murdering my loved and only child, Elsemiek de Borst! She was 17 years old, 5th year gymnasium student at the Segbroek College in Den Haag. And she was on her way to her holiday in Maleisië together with her little brother, her mom (my ex-wife) and her stepfather. Elsemiek would have done her final school exams next year, together with her best friends Julia and Marina, she did so good in school! After that she wanted to go to the Delft Technical University Delft to study engineering, she was looking forward to it! But suddenly she is not here anymore! She was shot out of the sky, in an unknown country, where there is a war going on! Aforementioned misters, I hope you’re proud to have shot her, amongst others, young life and future. And that you will be able to look at yourself in the mirror tomorrow morning.”
Oleksandra Kovaliova, a Ukrainian, wrote a letter in response.
Dear Hans de Borst,
Probably, you will never read this. Perhaps it would be even better.
I am very sorry that your daughter died in the Boeing 777, shot down over my country. Unlike Russia, Ukraine never had any wars or terrorist attacks, this is why every death is a big shock for us. This is why now Ukrainians crowding near Embassy of Netherlands in Kyiv, bringing mountains of flowers, candles and toys for dead children. For your daughter too. I know, you think we cannot understand and cannot feel, what you feel, and you are right. But we are fair in our feelings.
My name is Oleksandra, I live in Ukraine and when at night a storm begins (it happens sometimes – cold summer), I wake up in a cold sweat, because I think that the bombing of my city has started.
You said that your only daughter was 17 years old and she wanted to become an architect.
Let me introduce you to Serhiy Nigoyan. He was 21 and he was also the only son in his family. He died January 22, 2014 in Kyiv. He was the first victim of the police of our ex-dictator, Viktor Yanukovych. Later, there were 100 more people killed by the Yanukovych police: shot, bombed, burned. Many of them were the only sons, daughters, mothers and fathers. Corpses of those people were lying on my streets in Kyiv, in the church in front of my house. After these first deaths your EU goverments had finally started to move their asses. At least somehow. But when we, Ukrainians, demanded justice, your European politicians sat at the negotiating table with a killer Yanukovych. And in that moment, when we were having the burial service for those, who were killed, EU politicians forced the Ukrainian opposition (which is now the Ukrainian government to which in particular you address your letter) to sign a shameful peace treaty with Yanukovych and leave the killer as a president for one more year. Why? Because our lives were not worth anything to your governments.
Do you know how does it feel to have a neighboring country that diminishes your country to ‘zone of influence’ and wishes of its people as an ‘issue’ to be ‘taken care of’, to be molded into a new imperial matrix? Of course, you don’t. You also probably consider that Ukraine is actually somehow Russia’s vassal. But your ancestors knew what does it mean. They knew in the Middle Ages, when your country fought for independence from the Spanish Empire. It was so long ago, that now you cannot imagine, what is happening between Ukraine and Russia. And of course you don’t have to. It is not your business. It is business of world politicians, who have to handle it.
We also thought so.
When Putin annexed part of Ukrainian territory – the Crimean peninsula, we thought that Western goverments will do what they promised. You see, UK, USA, and, basically, France had to handle it, since they signed the Budapest Memorandum in 1994, according to which, they were providing security assurances against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine. By signing this memorandum Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons, since all the signatories assured us that they guarantee the safety of our state. Maybe if West would not force Ukraine to sign it, we would still have nuclear weapons, and Russia would not dare to do what she did, and nothing would have happened to your your daughter or my friends. But unfortunately Ukraine was fair and did everything according to the memorandum. Unlike European countries and USA, who simply violated it. All they did, just to show they did something – was only empty talks. Their signatures under an international document meant nothing, unless it is profitable for them. Moreover, France, which also gave to Ukraine individual assurances in Budapest, not only violated it, but even refused not to sell to Russia newly built warships. So, France, headed by monsieur Hollande, is now cynically arming the aggressor. Why? Because it is profitable. As for Europe it was profitable to cooperate with Hitler in the 30s, to feed him Poland, Czech Republic, to forgive Austria. It was easy, it did not require them to use their conscience. Hope you are smart enough not to expect for justice from these people.
When Putin began to send his terrorists to the East of my country, when he started supplying them with heavy weapons, EU politicians did nothing to stop him. They urged our government to hold peace talks with the Russian terrorists who were actually torturing people to death cutting their stomachs open. EU, trying to show, they did at least something, provided weakest possible sanctions to Russia, which did not change anything.
Now when Russian army bombing Ukraine from Russian territory, Frau Merkel sits next to Putin at a football game and shakes his hand. You don’t know, that Russia openly bombing Ukraine? Sure. Your media is not really talking about it. Because you should not think that just a few hundred kilometers from the EU the real war is going on, and hundreds and hundreds of only daughters and only sons of Ukrainian parents are killed by Russia-sponsored terrorists and the Russian army that helps them. Yesterday, July 20, two children were blown up by a mine set by pro-Russian terrorists. These children were 16 and 15 years old. Your medias don’t talk about this, because why should you, European civilians, worry about that the country that supplies you gas and oil blows Ukrainian children. Ukrainian children are not profitable. Gas and oil – is.
Every time when you fuel your car, you may use the gas made from the russian oil. Every time you put water on fire to cook your dinner, you may use russian gas. These contracts with Russia, which are more profitable than Budapest memorandum, made your European politicians to turn away from unprofitable issue of Ukraine, to brake their promises and violate international treaties, and pretend all these months that nothing happens.
I’m not saying that the Ukrainian government is not to be blamed for the death of your daughter. In February 2014 this soon-to-be government, under pressure of EU politics, had agreed to sign a shameful treaty with Yanukovych and leave him as president for one more year. One of the reasons why it fell through was because Ukrainian people did not let it happen. Did not allow either to our government, or to your weak and duplicitous EU politicians.
All I want to say, is that before pointing fingers and assigning blame, you could probably expand your list of those responsible for the death of your daughter and add to it your EU governments. At the end of the day, it was them, who all these months were having under-carpet negotiations with Putin, it was them, who was not listening to Ukrainian authorities, when they were screaming to all the world again and again, that Russia is starting the war. It was them, who, under pressure of Putin’s lobby, was forcing Ukrainian government to start negotiations with pro-Russian terrorists, those terrorists with Russian weapons, who shot down Boeing 777 with your daughter. Your beautiful talented young and happy Elsemiek on board. You’re waiting for justice? You think that your government is able to provide it, real justice? The same politicians, who shook hands with Putin? I highly doubt it.
I have nothing to do with Ukrainian government, with politicians or business.
I cannot imagine your loss.
And most likely, you don’t care what I am saying.
I am just a Ukrainian girl, who wakes up at nights, during thunderstorms, thinking, that they are bombing my city.
But once again.
I am so sorry.