Monday, July 23, 2007

It's a Small, Small World.. Part 2 (We're so, so sad!!!)

On Friday I wrote about the political ramifications between the UK and Russia as a result of the Alexander Litvinenko murder and ensuing investigation. To recap, Litvinenko, a former KGB officer, was an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin, the Russian president. He was somehow poisoned with Polonium 210 while in London (where he resided) on November 1st, dying two weeks later. The U.K. recently issued a warrant for Andrei Lugovoi, also a former KGB officer--but Russia refuses to comply with the extradition. As a result, the U.K. expelled five Russian diplomats--and Russia then did the same, amounting in an incredibly pointless tit-for-tat. (Here is today's latest coverage.)

And here's how this saga has affected us, leaving us so sad and angry at the futility of it all...

We had the incredible luck this year to finally find a speech therapist for Natalia, one who understood bilingualism and who could work with her on American English. She has helped Natalia tremendously and she became a friend, too. I really admired her interest in Russia and its culture, language, children, environment... She has been so much more than a token diplomatic wife and she has actively contributed to those around her. Russia is in her personal history, as her father was an ambassador to Russia many years ago... From her residence at the British Embassy, she could even see the apartment where she had lived as a girl...

And now she has to leave Russia, perhaps forever, by 5 p.m. this Sunday. Her husband occupied a very high post within the embassy and they both have been declared "persone non grate".

I am so, so sad for her and for them both... How utterly stupid of the Russian government to kick out people who were trying so hard to make the country a better place. As always, she has a positive attitude and knows that wherever they go (and that IS a big question; they have no idea where they will now live and work), they will find blessings--but that doesn't take away the sting.

We will miss her--and her wonderful labrador, Pegasus--greatly. Natalia will be heartbroken when she learns that they have left; I don't want to tell her yet... Just yesterday she talked about how D~~~~~ would help her with her voice when she gets back to Moscow. Chris and I pray that Natalia's speech will continue to correct itself naturally; we'll have to take it day-by-day.

1 comment:

Rachael said...

I remember hearing about that last fall. That's so sad about your friends having to leave so suddenly. Hopefully, Natalia will be okay when she finds out. The saddest part is that they may never be able to come back. It's hard to imagine.