Don’t Say His Name

Alexei Arestovich is a key figure of Ukrainian resistance. Millions of us fall asleep and wake up with Arestovich whispering in our ear, “It’s ok, everything will be fine.” Young (he’s my age which is young for a political leader), brilliantly educated, a career officer, a successful businessman, and an intellectual with his own school of philosophy. To complete the setting for the story I’m about to tell, I have to mention that he has an unusual last name. Which means that there aren’t many Arestoviches running around.

Arestovich is hated in Russia. For all of the above reasons but also because nobody can accuse him of being a Ukrainian nationalist. I mean, you can accuse him but it’s going to be silly. Arestovich is a Pan-Slavist, which means all Slavs should be best friends forever, kiss-kiss, hug-hug.

So finally here’s the story. Arestovich’s nephew spent 39 days under occupation. All that was needed for him to not survive was for somebody to say his last name. Imagine what the Russians would have done to him. But nobody did. Nobody said his name. Not out of spite, not out of carelessness. The nephew survived and his town was liberated the day before yesterday.

It’s a good, happy story to bring some cheer into the bleakness.

3 thoughts on “Don’t Say His Name

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