“We no longer talk about Russian music, books, cinema, works of art. They no longer exist in our heads and in our hearts.

By Elisa Mignot

Posted today at 4:03 pm

Olga and Sasha are two Ukrainian sisters. The first is 34 years old and is a wine merchant in Paris, where she has lived for seven years. The second, 33, lives in kyiv, as does her mother and her partner Viktor. After spending the beginning of the conflict all together, Sasha now lives in a small apartment, alone with her dog. The two sisters have agreed, since the beginning of the conflict, to take their logbook to M The World Magazine. This week, life resumes in kyiv, which is not directly under the bombs. Sasha gets used to her new job and returns to the movies. In France, it’s the Cannes Film Festival. Olga is nostalgic for everything that reminds her of Ukrainian culture. They reflect on the role Russian culture has played in their lives.

tuesday may 17

Olga: Tonight I had a drink with a friend and we talked about one of my best friends: S. I was with him in primary school. Together with his father, they are well-known potters in kyiv. [Kiev, M respecte le choix orthographique d’Olga et de Sasha]. They hung small bronze sculptures in the city that symbolize the history of Kyiv: there is the Kyiv chestnut tree, the Kyiv tram, the Kyiv cake… I especially like the chicken sculpture, the first one.

kyiv style chicken is an institution! I love this dish – it’s chicken with herb butter, dill and grated or pressed garlic. When I lived in Ukraine, I never cooked it. I prepared it in France at Yanis [son compagnon], and he loved it. We had it again in kyiv last summer. We walked around the city, I showed him my favorite places and we stopped at a small restaurant-canteen where Ukrainian soldiers returning from the Eastern Front used to go. These memories bring tears to my eyes.

Sasha: Our dad had eye surgery and Viktor’s dad was diagnosed with cancer. He is also going to be operated on. This news is already worrying, but with the war around us, it becomes almost unbearable. For the rest, the days go by quickly, they are intense. I am learning my new job. I like very much.

Tonight was the opening of the Cannes Film Festival. Zelensky made a surprise speech on video, it was very loud. He talked about Charlie Chaplin and his movie. The dictator… I hallucinate every time he speaks, I would like to be part of the team that imagines and writes what he says. I know that he is also very involved in writing his speeches. As I am a total fan of cinema, it was a very special moment to see him intervene in Cannes…

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