“As I am writing to you now, a siren is going off telling everybody to go down in the basement. It all still seems unreal and crazy,” wrote my friend and former colleague who now lives in Lviv with her family. She wrote this message on Friday, February 25.

Lviv is a beautiful city situated on the western edge of Ukraine, close to the border with Poland. Formerly part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Lviv got absorbed by Stalin into the Soviet Union in the aftermath of the Second World War. Until now, it had been considered one of the safest large cities in Ukraine, situated as it is far from the Russian border. I have been communicating with friends in Ukraine over the past few weeks. Former colleagues from the time in the late 1990s, just a few years after independence, when I served as the head of an American company in Kyiv, where I was based with my family. Read more..