Poet, Journalist, Translator

Stephen Komarnyckyj


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I write about poetry, Ukraine and money laundering- why the hell not?

The apricot border with Russia, or separatism on Skype

By Steve Komarnyckyj, Apr 17 2014 03:56PM

There, where the apricot trees cease, there Russia begins. Liubov Iakymchuk

I am pleased that, as Russia inavades Ukraine, we have been able to publish a blog piece by Luhansk author Liubov Iakymchuk, The apricot border with Russia, or separatism on Skype with PEN Atlas.

When Liubov searched for an image to embody the difference between Russia and Ukraine she realised that the boundary between the cultures was marked by Apricot trees. If you are in East Ukraine in Summer it is impossible not to notice them their fruit falls and explodes on dusty Summer pavements and this fecund landscape, with its smokestack towns open fields and Soviet tower blocks, seems endless. However, the cultivation of apricot trees ceases abruptly at the border and, she tells me, their absence is a part of what separates that so similar landscape with its own smoke stack towns and tower blocks. In addition, of course, the countries are separated by two languages, as distinct as their landscapes, but sharing a complex legacy. The most important difference lies in the hearts of the people. If you read her piece you will gain an insight into the heart of Europe, Ukraine.

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