Russia wins if parliament falls, says Dutch resident of Kyiv
Bob Wouda, who lives in Kyiv with his Ukrainian wife and two school-age children, watches with horror as his hometown threatens to be overrun by the Russian army. The last reports he heard from people on the ground said the Russians had moved into the center of the capital. "If they take possession of the parliament building, the Russian conquest will be a fact," said Wouda (72), a retired army major.
Electricity and telephone services in the Ukrainian capital are still operational. Wouda is in constant contact with his wife and children. "They are reasonably safe in the basement and are doing okay under the circumstances. Our apartment building caught fire after it was hit by mortar fire. But I don't know how extensive the damage is."
He is pessimistic about Ukraine's future. "Despite the sanctions, Europe itself refuses to suffer economically. This allows Putin to continue to do his thing. As Europe, we will have to make real sacrifices if we want to stop the advance of the Russian dictatorship. You can bet that Putin will rule Ukraine with a heavy hand." As far as Wouda is concerned, Russia must be cut off from SWIFT, the international payment system. "But apparently, the US and Europe don't want to go that far."
The Dutchman has lived in Ukraine for years and is chairman of the Foundation Platform Cooperation Netherlands-Ukraine. He regularly comes to the Netherlands for this. He was in the Netherlands to arrange a new shipment of medical supplies when the invasion began.
Due to the rapid Russian advance, he cannot return home for the time being. A few days ago, the thought that Russian troops would not come to Kyiv, so he estimated that he could travel to the Netherlands to arrange business. "A wrong assessment, it now appears. I would instinctively want nothing more than to go to Kyiv immediately, but that is impossible now.
Wouda provides medical equipment and "information in the broadest sense of the word" to the Dutch and Ukrainians with his foundation. Wouda's wife is a doctor in Ukraine.
Reporting by ANP