“Two steps away” from the line of demarcation are the Greeks of Ukraine, who are anxiously watching the developing situation and crying out for help. President of the Greek Sartana Association Natalia Papakitsa says:
“I am asking you for help in the difficult days that our region is going through due to the military situation in order to provide children from the Greek villages of Sartana and Chermalik with the opportunity to be placed in residential facilities in Greece for the safety of their lives.”
The Greek community found itself at the epicenter of events: between the fire of pro-Russian separatists, the military of the regular army of Ukraine and Russian forces, ready to “pull the trigger” after recognizing the autonomy of the LPR and DPR.
LIVE NEWS journalists talked to the Greek residents of the area located 12 km from the line of fire. People keep as calm as possible, because this is not the first time they experience this nightmare. Maria Kuciefska (Μαρία Κουτσιγιόφσκα) says:
“No one has left and is not going to leave, they are in their own country, and if they have to go to war, they are ready to go.”
Lawyer Anatoly Kutsirku (Ανατολή Κουτσίρκου) notes:
“It’s not about Ukraine, Ukraine is a stadium. As soon as Putin launches an invasion and the West does not react, then Greece is threatened with the same example from Erdogan. I spoke this morning with people who are there in these areas, half of them was taken to Russia, half of the men under 55 are now being drafted into the army.”
There is a constant fear in the Greek community that a large-scale conflict could break out at any moment. People look for glimmers of hope and share their concerns by meeting in the community and attending Orthodox churches. They say that those who wanted to leave have left. And there are many of them: seeing the tanks at the ready, they are looking for ways to leave.
The Greek authorities emphasize that most of the Greeks who want to leave have been evacuated, diplomatic services have been strengthened in the area. However, it is not possible to maintain detailed records at the moment, as many have departed on scheduled flights without informing the diplomatic authorities. Informal leader of the Greeks of Ukraine Pantelis Boumbouras says:
“I have a family, my boys are here in Ukraine, my daughter is in Athens, my wife is in Athens, and I will probably come now in two days to pick her up and we will be here. I am not going to leave because we consider Ukraine our second home, we are not one of those people who leave, so to speak, their native places. Many Ukrainians will leave, a lot of money will leave, this is economic death for Ukraine.”
Greeks in a region flaming in recent years, with a long history of conflict, nevertheless have the necessary knowledge to protect themselves by going to shelters open to protect citizens, writes newsbeast.gr. Many do not want to leave their homes. And those who wish to leave the Greek authorities are ready to provide comprehensive assistance. In yesterday statement Megaros Maximos says:
“As for the Greek citizens and our expatriates in Ukraine, the Greek authorities in Kiev and Mariupol are on standby to provide any necessary assistance.”