By Amy Baird and Peter Quinn
An Ayr businesswoman spoke exclusively to UWS News over her fears for her family who are caught in the midst of the war in Ukraine.
Olga Stewart of Olga’s Alterations in Queensgate is united with her two Russian colleagues in calling for a peaceful resolution to the conflict which has seen the Western world come together to condemn the Putin regime’s invasion.
Olga is originally from Ukraine and has been living in Scotland for 20 years and feels helpless in her adopted country of Scotland whilst her sister is fearing for her life, living in a basement back home in Ukraine, with no internet, electricity or signal to provide Olga with updates.
Olga’s co-worker and friend Larisa Banks, originally from Russia, spoke about what is happening between Ukraine and Russia: ‘’We were all horrified, we could not believe what was happening. We are not separated here on our views or opinions it has brought us together.’’
Together, the shop staff stand as one and believe Putin has already lost the war and defiantly proclaimed: “It’s him against the rest of the world. Everybody is together now.”
Living in Scotland for 20 years Larisa has always been against the Putin regime, however, she claims that now “we are united more than ever because we are supporting Ukraine and families back in Kyiv’’.
‘’Solidarity is everything,’’ according to Larisa and a big part of achieving that solidarity is exposure. This is the first European conflict which has taken place in the age of social media. People around Europe are following the conflict online and are witnessing the action in an unprecedented manner.
Larisa added: ‘’Propaganda is slowing down now because people are connected to the internet and more and more people are now listening to the broadcasts of people from underground streaming from YouTube so people already know what’s happening so it’s going to be a huge wave against Putin inside Russia’’.
The four workers now have to rely on Western media to keep them informed of what is happening in their home countries and are hoping for a peaceful resolution.