The small Balkan nation is house to hundreds of individuals from two warring international locations, and lots of of them should not solely co-existing however doing so fortunately.
In Montenegro, one in six individuals are both Ukrainian or Russian. And in line with the preliminary outcomes of final 12 months’s census, their numbers have risen sharply since Moscow launched its invasion two years in the past.
In line with the nation’s statistical workplace, the info present that Montenegro’s inhabitants has elevated by 2 per cent within the final 10-odd years, making it one thing of an outlier in southeastern Europe.
One of many primary causes for the rise is regarded as immigration – and the remaining outcomes of the census are anticipated to substantiate the knowledge that Montenegro is the nation with the very best variety of migrants per capita from Russia and Ukraine.
There are millions of folks from each international locations now dwelling in Montenegro, and on the Ukrainian aspect particularly, many have arrived within the final two years looking for refuge from the struggle. However this doesn’t imply the 2 teams are in battle; in truth, they typically dwell side-by-side.
The frequent good
On the Church of the Holy Trinity within the outdated city of Budva, Russians and Ukrainians sing collectively within the church choir at Sunday Mass.
“They really feel that that is their house and all of the variations between the individuals are reconciled right here,” says Priest Aleksandar Lekic. “This struggle doesn’t swimsuit anybody and everyone seems to be praying for peace to return, and that’s the reason they collect on this temple.”
Between its Mediterranean local weather and its Orthodox tradition, Montenegro is a horny vacation spot for Russians and Ukrainians alike, and lots of of them now dwell right here in peace regardless of the fierce struggle between their international locations.
“We did not have any troubles,” say Russian couple Roman and Lucia Volubiuev. “They perceive us and we perceive them. We perceive their state of affairs, we perceive why we’re right here … the setting is simply pleasant.”
The amity between Ukrainians and Russians dwelling in Montenegro is a distinction, not simply with the struggle between their mom international locations, however with the ambiance within the nation that is turn into their house. The census that is now anticipated to point out their numbers rising was solely carried out after ethnic tensions compelled it to be postponed 4 occasions.