Collateral damage

The  papers these days make for grim reading. The war in Ukraine is raging, with scenes familiar to us from WWII films. Rubble everywhere, dead bodies, crowds of civilians trying to flee. Endless talk of sanctions, strategies, freezing of assets…

Beyond all this, there already are huge collateral damages. Family left behind: the grandparents who are unwilling, or unable, to travel—and in such conditions. Do you stay, or prioritise your children? Animals left behind: we keep seeing people clutching a dog or a cat, but what do you do with a large dog, who does not fit in the car with four adults and their suitcases? Turn him out in the street? What do you do if you have horses? Or goats and cows?

At least spring is here

Large European companies with offices in Moscow were warned by their governments to close them within days. Some had hundreds of employees, who have been fired at a moment’s notice. Even the oligarchs’ super-yatchs that were seized had crews, who will now perhaps not be paid. And there is a long supply chain of businesses who will take a hit.

I even read an article of people who were finally picking up a child they had adopted, only to be stranded in a war zone.

European countries are proudly talking about increasing their defence budget. So more of our taxes will go to guns and missiles instead of food and housing for the poor, or improving the roads…

Inspiration

And another kind of collateral damage: the refugees from non-european countries have now found themselves at the back of the queue again. Someone else has stolen the limelight, dim as it was in the first place.