VIDEOS. War in Ukraine: “It took you eight years to wake up in France”

Ukrainians and French spontaneously gathered in Nice on Thursday morning after the first Russian attacks on Ukraine. Everyone sang the anthem of Ukraine. (©CBL / Nice News)

This Thursday, February 24, 2022, in Nice (Alpes-Maritimes) gloomy weather, in the sky and in the heads. After last night’s terrorist attacks in Ukraine, the Western world is aware that a war is currently being waged in Europe.

Spontaneously, the mobilization gathered about sixty Ukrainians and Frenchmen on the Promenade des Anglais, opposite the Negresco, the symbol of tourism and the reception of foreigners in Nice.

“Everyone has their suitcase ready”

Among them, Irina Podyriako, a representative of the Franco-Ukrainian Association of the Côte d’Azur, explains that “after the events, everyone wanted to get together” and that she is ready to accept her family, like most of those present there.

“Everyone is getting ready, preparing their suitcases, they know where the shelters are in case of a bombing. Those who can take a car, but my family says they can no longer leave Kyiv because the roads are blocked and there are no planes.”

She also points out that Katya, who is standing next to her, did not have time to reach her family, near Luhansk, not far from the separatist zone of Donbass.

“It took you eight years to wake up”

Irina breaks down.

It’s too late, it took you eight years to wake up. Ukrainians from the very beginning said that there would be a war. Why are you taking so long?

Irina PodyryakoRepresentative of the Franco-Ukrainian Association of the Cote d’Azur

Video: now on Actu

Fluttering blue and yellow Ukrainian flags. Everyone is singing the national anthem and chanting “Glory to Ukraine and the heroes”, “No war in Ukraine”, “Putin stop”.

Tears are flowing.

French on the move

Olga Monakh, a Ukrainian pianist in Nice since June 2021, with a sign in her hands, said she explained the situation to people from Nice on the tram, who did not know what was happening.


is one of them. He spontaneously announced to his hierarchical superior that he would be away for some time to come and support the Ukrainians.

I feel like a European, in the sense of European civilization. Russia is one of them, but today Putin is trying to revive the USSR. I would not want us to have to choose a side and end up in a fratricidal war, but I feel solidarity with the Ukrainian country.Vincent


“It is important that the world community, as well as Russians in their own country, take to the streets and say that this is unacceptable,” Olga said after various speeches by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Olga denounces Russian disinformation

“The night was very restless, I did not sleep. My family in Dnipro is now in the basement, friends sent me a video of the attacks,” she explains.

She denounces Russian media misinformation: “The news that my friends tell me on the spot is different from what the Russian media reports.  They are trying to create panic and pretend that everything is destroyed.”
blah Olga Monakh (right) came with her family to a spontaneous rally in Nice this Thursday morning. She explained the current situation in Ukraine to people from Nice on a tram who were challenged by her sign.

(©CBL / Nice News)

Tougher punishments

The pianist calls for new sanctions, which is “just ridiculous” so far. Like Elena Babiy, another member of the association, who addresses Emmanuel Macron directly: “We are waiting for a concrete reaction from France, sanctions against the oligarchs. If France shows that it is ending all trade relations with Russia, that will be a very big step.”

We are at the dawn of a possible world war. Putin must be stopped. We must isolate Russia, block entry to the EU, the US and Canada to all people close to Putin and the oligarchs.Olga Monakh

Ukrainian pianist in Nice

Call for local support

And at the local level, both hope that the French mayor’s offices will show their solidarity, as Paris, Berlin and Warsaw did last night. “I expect that Christian Estrosi will hang the Ukrainian flag in front of the town hall, that he does not share the behavior of Russia,” Elena asks.

See tweet

See tweet

He also points out that “in the medium term, every effort must be made to find a path of appeasement and constructive dialogue with Russia on the basis of international rules.”

The members of the association already met on Sunday, February 20, in front of the Negresco Hotel. Thirty people responded to the call.

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