Mourning: Local residents light a candle for victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, outside the Dutch embassy in Kiev, Ukraine. The plane disaster has divided political allegiances in the country even more than before. – Reuters
From wedding party receptions to geopolitics, MH17 has made Ukrainians more divided over who they should pledge allegiance to: Europe or Russia.
Over a table piled high with food and wine, a newly married husband and wife watched warily as the toasts began. Despite asking everyone to steer clear of politics, bringing together relatives from Russia and Ukraine a day after Kiev accused Moscow of arming rebels to bring down an airliner was never going to be easy. The father of the groom, who hails from Russia, raised his glass: “Our country is now going through difficult times. They are trying to divide us. But we are Russians, Belarussians... We are one people!”
“Glory to Ukraine!” returned the bride’s Ukrainian grandmother loudly. Desperate to head off any ill-feeling, the rest of the wedding party hissed “Shush!” But it’s a tall order for any event involving two peoples once joined under the Soviet Union but are now more divided than ever.