Imagine a little town in rural Ukraine, with potholed roads, decayed public buildings, ill-looking gas pipes. And its broadband Internet. A few years ago, broadband Internet brought a second life to families in villages like that.
In a country where millions have taken the path to labour migration, many families have at least one family member working abroad, be it in Russia or in European countries. With the large amount of remittances they transfer back to their hometowns, streets are crowded with fancy cars. Large, modern houses appear in residential neighbourhoods. The rural landscape has changed over the past 25 years.
The families themselves have changed, too. They are now “Skype families”, maintaining a close connection to their loved ones abroad through virtual means. The unity of many families is thus at risk. So is the coherence of Ukraine’s economic development. Yet a new modus vivendi has emerged. It is made of risks and disappointments, yet also of opportunities.
Photo © Chiot's Run
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- Les villages Skype d'Ukraine (FR) - Radio France Internationale, 30 March 2016
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- Die halben Familien von Bobivtsi (DE) - Le Monde Diplomatique, September 2016