Baden Baden – How the Ukraine war got to the province

The colors of spring explode in the world heritage city of Baden-Baden, the longing place of Russians in Germany. Now, with the Ukraine war, the conflict has also reached the heart of the city.

In a video, a man runs through the city center of Baden-Baden with the Ukrainian flag on his chest: “Glory to Ukraine. No one is happy to have you Russians here! Remember that, death to all who invaded Ukrainian lands.”

It’s been less than two weeks. The man scolded in the video: Igor Golud, Ukrainian, has been in Baden-Baden for nine years. And he threatens in the video: “Our city is quiet, but in big cities it can be beaten with blood. So pay attention, think and say: Glory to Ukraine!”

At some point the head exploded

Why post this? Despair, Gollud says. At that time, his family was on the run in Kyiv and Odessa. His parents, his sister and his wife’s parents. “And no contact, nothing. I don’t know where our family is. I was shocked, it’s been three or four days. I didn’t sleep, I had to work. Then at some point the head exploded.”

Gullud is sitting at the living room table with his wife. His life has been turned upside down since he posted the video. Not only did he lose his job as a waiter in one of Baden-Baden’s noble restaurants because of this. He and his wife, Ina Megas, were insulted for being racist and fascists – and were insulted in hundreds of comments online.

The two resist and contact the media. Many write about the case – also because the Ukrainian Foreign Minister published the story on his social media channels. “The restaurateur did not want to hear the truth about the deaths of thousands of Ukrainian civilians,” writes Dmytro Kuleba. He is “Russian understanding” and just wants to preserve his reputation with Russian customers.

Enmities from all sides

At the Rizzi restaurant in Baden-Baden, customers come and go as usual. Owner Peter Schreck is now expressing himself in the media for the first time. But only on the phone: “That seemed racist to me because he used such massive words.”

Fear says: He overreacted. The restaurant has now been attacked hundreds of times, especially on the internet – but this time it was because of separation. First of all because of the video. Has a partner succumbed to the pressures of Russian society?

“It was like a hailstorm from all sides, in principle also from the Germans, who simply said, that such a thing is not possible. And of course also the Russian guests. And the main reason we said that he should be released now, otherwise the whole thing would escalate. There was Already Russian people are looking for him, ”says Shkrik.

After the outbreak of the war, everything was different

Igor Golud still does not understand this. He publicly apologized after his outburst. He was also popular with the guests and the team: “He was quite cosmopolitan. I have no problems with Russians and no problems with other nationalities. “

As proof of this, he showed a video from last year, which his colleagues celebrate. Restaurateur Schreck emphasizes a good relationship. But after the outbreak of war in Ukraine, everything was different. This was the first time someone had complained, saying, “He didn’t want to meet the Russian guests.” After two or three days, more and more people report that they have gone through the same thing,” says Shrek.

‘Our lives are ruined’

The case is polarized outside the city, but in general it remains an exception. There are always reports of discrimination against Russian-speaking people in the restaurant industry. “We cannot confirm ‘exacerbation of the problem’ based on the facts,” the Baden-Württemberg Association of Hotels and Restaurants explains upon request.

Igor Golud and Ina Migas are also angry and afraid and have hired a lawyer: “We are fighting for our rights. Our reputation has been destroyed. Our lives have also been destroyed. We do not know how to move forward. We are worried about our lives. But we will not betray Ukraine. “

Peter Schreck has always regretted his decision. He hopes that an agreement will be reached. He doesn’t want to repurpose Golod in this case. But: “We should have said: Let’s release him for a few months.” There was a mistake.”

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