The revolution in the Ukraine now makes nightly news. President Obama has tried to convince Vladimir Putin to let the people in the Ukraine control their own lives, let them have freedom to join with Europe for economic reasons. At last report, President Putin has refused.
Locally, one of our own citizens grew up in the Ukraine and communicates with his friends via Skype on his cell phone. Pavel Popov works for Caltrans and he is a ski instructor at Mammoth Mountain. Popov knows how the Ukrainian people feel and what is happening. He communicates with his friends there via Skype over his cell phone. Pavel says he talks to them two or three times during the day or night.
How do people there feel? Popov said they feel better than they did a few weeks ago, but now new developments with Russia mean their lives are full of stress, he said. He confirmed that they want freedom. He said, “Everyone wants to be free, to have work, to have security and to be financially independent. These three things. Right now there is no security, no economics, no job, very low pay and food, gas costs 20% more than in the United States.” Popov said cars cost 20% more than in the US and salary is 10 times less, he said.
Mr. Popov said there was no way life was going to get better. He said the former Ukraine president “made his people slaves.” Now, Popov said, Putin will not let the people be free. He said when people were close to signing an agreement with Europe, Putin cut the price of gas in half. This, he said, did not impress the people and they finally revolted. Popov said he hopes to share what he hears from the Ukraine with the people of the Eastern Sierra. Popov’s own website postings about the Ukraine are here – http://travelwithpavel.com/