Natalia Antonova (@NataliaAntonova
) is having a rough time of it. For most of this year, the Ukrainian-born, US-raised, ethnically Russian journalist and playwright has expected the worst and then been granted it. Crimea. East Ukraine. MH17. While Western correspondents condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin with a sense of moral righteousness that simplifies as often as it enlightens, and Russian propagandists respond with conspiracy theories and facts unworthy of the name, Antonova has watched sadly, but never quietly, as the world she once knew collapsed before her. This is not a news story for her so much as it is a deeply personal one, as anyone who has read her Twitter feed since February will be able to attest.
"I think one must make a crowbar separation between personal writing, op-eds, and reporting the news," Antonova told Crikey
. "Mixing that up is like mixing vodka with whiskey. Nothing good can come of it."
"But personal narratives obviously have their time and place," she said. "One of the reasons I tell personal stories on Twitter is because I think people should have some context for what is happening in Ukraine right now. This trouble has been brewing for years. It did not happen overnight."