Summers in my hometown of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan harbor joyous memories of playing under the sun with my friends and traveling with my family to our favorite vacation spot: Issyk Kul. Winters, however, have always been dreadful. It is not because of the lack of warmth and sunshine but rather due to the deadly smog that devours the entire city and keeps all its inhabitants suffocated by pollution and persistent darkness.
While brave Ukrainians continue to relentlessly defend their right to existence, freedom and democracy, Moscow’s restaurants are filled with glamorous Instagram influencers indulging in their Sunday brunch. If you were to visit the largest and richest Russian cities, you would not believe that you are located in a country that is currently perpetrating a full-scale war. It’s all business and entertainment as usual.