Near Marseille, a Russian captain welcomes Ukrainian refugees on his three-masted ship

As the war in Ukraine continues, a three-masted ship, installed on the quays of Port-de-Bouc, west of Marseille, attracts attention. It flies the Ukrainian flag and that of other countries, including Russia. On board a Russian captain who opposed the regime of Vladminir Putin and an international crew including people from Ukraine. Proof that solidarity is possible and should be valued in a society where conflict tends to polarize.

Vladimir Martus is in charge of the Shtandart, this school ship that has sailed the seas of Europe since 2000, we can read in a report published on the site of The Express† The captain has not set foot in his native country for years. In front of Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, he prefers to cultivate his philosophy of living on his boat with his fellow sailors.

“Here on the boat we are like a family made up of different nations. At sea we have challenges (…) that we can only solve if we work together”he explained to AFP.

Among the nationalities of the crew we currently find Germany, Belgium, France, Ireland, the Netherlands but also… Ukraine. Several Ukrainian refugees have indeed boarded the Shtandart. Ekaterina Gopenko, 33, has been part of the crew since January. But when war broke out on February 24, she realized she wasn’t… “no place to go anymore”she told AFP. “The captain told me I could stay here as long as I wanted.”

I think people all over the world should live like this. Not just on ships or in space stations where passports don’t matter to us. What interests people is: are you a good person, do you work hard, who are you? † It has nothing to do with the color of your skin, your religion or your passport.”

Nice proof that solidarity exists outside the conflicts that oppose nations. To discover the whole report, go to the site of The Express

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