[Multi-culture News] The voice of Ukrainians in Korea: “Putin is the new Hitler…Stop the War”

Image by Seyong Lee
Image by Seyong Lee
Multi-culture Story

This is the era of multiculturalism for 2 million people. If you look around, you can easily see neighbors with different skin colors and languages. However, Korean society's notion of multiculturalism is not keeping up with the changes of the times. To solve this problem, the Joongbooilbo has planned a ‘multi-culture story(다문화 스토리)’ that introduces multicultural neighbors living in various ways. ‘Multi-culture Story(다문화 스토리)’ aims to calmly capture the stories of multicultural people living around us and create changes in Korean society in the age of multiculturalism. -Ed-

 

“When I think of the Ukrainian compatriots devastated by the war, I feel sorry for even eating a McDonald’s hamburger that is nothing special”

Dmitry Gorulko, from Ukraine, currently living and working in Suwon, immigrated to South Korea in 2006. He was an ordinary father with a wife and three daughters. However, his weekend was completely different from the day Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

On Sunday morning when he would normally be spending time with his family, he boards a bus to Seoul every weekend to attend a rally in front of the Russian embassy to condemn the Russian government for its ruthless military operation against his country instead of spending time with his family.

Image by Seyong Lee
Image by Seyong Lee

◆ “Genocide committed by the Russian military is clearly a war crime…Putin is the new Hitler.”

It has been almost two months since Russia invaded Ukraine. Contrary to expectations that Russia, which has strong military power, would end the war early and completely conquer Ukraine, the war seems to be prolonged due to the fierce resistance of the Ukrainian government and citizens.

As the atrocities committed by the Russian military against Ukrainian civilians are reported day by day, the voices of the Ukrainian people who condemn Russia are getting stronger. In particular, Ukrainians living in Korea are working tirelessly to accuse and publicize the horrors of war in their home country, both online and offline.

The protest against Russia, which started on the 3rd of March, is being held twice a week on Saturday and Sunday. Hundreds of Ukrainians and citizens of the world have participated in the rally to shout world peace every weekend.

Image from Dmitry Gorulko
Image from Dmitry Gorulko

A woman from Ukraine, citing testimony from citizens, claimed that "Russian soldiers who entered Bucha (a city in Ukraine) raped a number of Ukrainian women and burned them to cover up". She said, "Russian soldiers did things that even animals wouldn't do, such as raping young girls in front of their families. They are trying to get rid of Ukrainian culture and citizenship“.

Dmitry said, "Russian soldiers tied up civilians’ hands and feet and kill them by shooting toward their head. Genocide committed by the Russian military is war crime obviously. That is why we call Putin new Hitler“.

Online activities of Ukrainians in Korea are active. They listen to news from their homeland through social media and broadcasts, and share it constantly, trying to convey the reality of the war as it is. In particular, after the invasion of Russia, through the Facebook account 'Ukrainians in Korea', news, and information related to the war are shared and the contents on their timeline are rapidly disseminated by allowing Korean Facebook users to easily access it.

Facebook group 'Ukrainians in Korea'
Facebook group 'Ukrainians in Korea'

Khrystyna Maidanchuk, the manager of the Facebook group, said, "At the beginning, the Facebook group account was created for the exchange of information among Ukrainians in Korea. In particular, we are delivering war-related information to journalists in Korea and collecting donations through collaboration with domestic organizations. I hope that our actions through social media can help stop wars.“.

◆ “What Ukraine needs is a weapon”… “Korea should stop economic exchanges with Russia”

Many foreigners I have met expressed their appreciation for the support from Korean society but insisted that stronger and more practical measures by the Korean government should follow. Aliaksei Ivaniukovich, from Belarus, said, “Korean government should stop economic exchanges with Russia and other countries that have friendly relations with Russia. They should not continue economic cooperation with our own country, which is known as a ‘pro-Russia and pro-Putin state”. "The economic interests of Belarus, my homeland, are important, but world peace is a value that cannot be compared with anything else," he added.

Image from Khrystyna Maidanchuk
Image from Khrystyna Maidanchuk

Khrystyna said, “If we give up the war because we can no longer fight, Ukraine will disappear at that moment. What Ukraine needs now is a weapon that can fight against Russia”.

Vi Dmytro, the 3rd generation Goryeo-in, who has Ukrainian nationality, called for the Korean government to join the international movement to help Ukraine, saying, “To protect Ukraine is not just to protect Ukraine, but to protect democratic countries including Korea”.

Dmitry said "I ate a hamburger before picking up my children who went to Hagwon. Eating hamburgers is normally easy, but thinking of the refugees in my homeland suffering from war, I felt sorry for even eating hamburgers. I hope there will be an active movement of Korean society to help Ukraine“.

By Seyong Lee

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