Where do I start? Or what can I say? I am struggling to find words for what is happening to Ukraine right now. I deliberately chose to say “to Ukraine”.
This morning I woke up seeing a message from my mum – she wrote me “The war started”. My parents, luckily, moved away from Ukraine to the Czech Republic where my mum’s family is from in 2017. I knew my parents would be fine either way. My 22-year-old cousin and my grandparents are still in Ukraine.
The second message I got was from Maxim, my cousin. He said he woke from the bombs exploding close to his house. He found my grandparents and they all went into hiding going back and forth. For a few days already, they are in hiding. I kept on telling them to pack and go west or cross the border but by the time they sorted out their things, the borders closed for Ukrainian men so my cousin has to stay. My grandparents decided to stay with him and not leave.
I don’t know how to describe what I am feeling. I have had physical pain in my chest for several days now because I feel like I am going to explode from grief, sadness, and frustration. When I see rockets shooting the streets where I walked so many times, I want to throw up. One rocket fell right across the school I went to – it hit the apartment building of my teacher. She was hiding in the basement at that moment so luckily she is alive.
I was talking to my friend in Ukraine just a few hours ago and he said he could not believe he would see events like these in his lifetime. I can’t agree more. I wish I could wake up and all of this would be a nightmare I can forget. But it is not.
While the Russian army is attacking military bases and other military objects, it is the civilians that pay the highest price. There are always 16 children dead in Ukraine in 4 days since this started. This is one thing I can’t watch. I have a young child and a thought that something like this might happen to her turns my stomach upside down. I would personally take arms if something threatened her. When I see children hiding in the bomb shelters and sleeping under the ground, when I see children in the orphanages starving because no one can bring them food because Russian troops are shooting on the streets, I want to tear out my heart and shield every single child with a piece of it. This is the closest I can describe this. But I can’t do this. What I can do is to spread information about how to help Ukrainians and how to support them (which I will add below).
What I am grateful for is how the world came together to help Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. Elon Musk enabled Starlink so that Russia could not sabotage our internet connection. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for the first time broke the rule of political neutrality and sided with the people of Ukraine. But most of all, I am thankful for people all over the world – people sending donations, helping with humanitarian requests, supporting the Ukrainian army. I do believe that together we will be able to pressure Putin and his regime to stop.
I am grateful for our president who finally did not sell out to Russia like so many oligarch presidents before. When asked if he wants to be evacuated to the USA, he said: “I need ammunition, not a ride”. I am grateful for every Ukrainian military man (yes, two of my cousins are there now – one of them defending Kyiv as I am writing this). I am grateful for every member of medical personnel helping the wounded, taking care of the sick kids, and fighting to save lives every day. But the most, I am grateful for the Ukrainians who are fearlessly confronting the enemy in any way they can – I truly believe that this is where Putin miscalculated his “military operation”. He did not take into consideration people.
I wish no one would have to live through what I can only call hell on earth. I wish no one would have to flee their homeland and carry their children to safety under the rockets falling above their heads.
I have two closing things to say. I am usually a nice person but I sincerely wish that Putin BURNS IN FUCKING HELL for what he did to Ukraine. And yes, WE WILL NEVER FORGET AND NEVER FORGIVE.
HOW CAN YOU HELP UKRAINE
- Donate money to support Ukrainian Army – this is an offical account by the National Bank of Ukraine that accepts money in multiple currencies
- Other methods: