Watch: Ukrainian, Russian expats in Dubai call for peace

Aleksandra Vasileva and Yuliia Hnatenko want to spread the message of peace and love



Aleksandra Vasileva from Russia (L) and Ukrainian Yuliia Hnatenko (R). Photo: Supplied
Aleksandra Vasileva from Russia (L) and Ukrainian Yuliia Hnatenko (R). Photo: Supplied
by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Thu 3 Mar 2022, 7:53 PM

Last updated: Thu 3 Mar 2022, 8:17 PM

Two expats living in Dubai, Russian Aleksandra Vasileva and Ukrainian Yuliia Hnatenko, have called for an end to the ongoing crisis in their home countries.

The duo hope to take their message of love and peace from Dubai to Ukraine where the attacks have left thousands dead and millions displaced.

In a heart-warming two-minute-long video produced by Dubai-based firm A&A Associate, Vasileva and Yuliia walk hand-in-hand along Dubai’s Kite Beach wrapped in the flags of both countries to drive home that people from the two neighbouring countries “can live and work together with love and peace.”

“I visit home occasionally but when I can’t, my friends make me feel at home here in Dubai and most of them are Ukrainians and what I love most about them is that they’re loving, kind and caring. Quite entrepreneurial and creative too,” said the 32-year-old Vasileva, who moved to the city five years ago from her home Novosibirsk in Siberia to set up a business tourism company.

Yuliia, who goes back to her hometown Kharkiv – the eastern Ukrainian city where Russian airborne troops landed on Wednesday amidst escalating tension – called Russia’s assault a “tragedy” for those on either side of the border.

“Honestly, we love Russians and their rich culture, heritage and warmth,” said the 35-year-old new mum who worked in the beauty industry before arriving in Dubai 10 years ago.

“If we can live peacefully here in Dubai, I think we can live anywhere in the world. So, here’s hoping for the war to end and peace to reign,” the women say towards the end of the video while raising the flags of Ukraine and Russia in a show of “shared love and respect for each other”.

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On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a large-scale military attack on Ukraine, one of its neighbours to the southwest.

“The war should end, and peace should reign. I hope those waging the war get our message from Dubai, where close to 200 nationalities continue to live with each other in total peace, harmony and love,” said the two.


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