Day 24 of mass volunteering “till one drops” as a coping mechanism
While our Armed Forces are creating miracles on the frontlines, millions of Ukrainians are working their tails off day and night to cover military needs while also tending to those who need assistance. Weapons, drones, bulletproof vests, medicine, living and breathing dinosaurs, food, clothes, strollers, matrasses, unicorns – whatever is requested of them.
Staying in one of relocation and humanitarian aid hubs in the Western Ukraine, I am surrounded by superhumans who
Arrange temporary shelters for internally displaced people at all hours of day and night
Make sure they are dressed, bathed and fed (and sometimes spoiled with fresh-out-of-the-oven bread and buns)
Provide kids with a safe distraction from their nightmares and constant sirens
Collect wish and need lists
‘Knock on doors’ all over the world to have these wishes and needs covered
Load, unload, pack, unpack, sort through and distribute tons of clothes and supplies…
These superhumans get tired, discouraged, upset and depressed, they cry a little (or a lot) and then keep going, because requests keep coming in.
I’ve always known that we are a nation of volunteers, but over these past couple of weeks I’ve also experienced firsthand that a lot of people from other countries have our backs. My list of those whom I need to give a big hug to once this is over is getting longer every day.
This is how russian soldiers “greeted” people desperately fleeing Mariupol after more than two weeks of hiding in basements without heating, electricity, water, with little food, and under constant shelling… The only thing russian speaking Ukrainians need protection from is russia
russians have killed more Ukrainian civilians than military personnel
russians have killed more than 100 Ukrainian children
russians are bombing homes of 80+ year old Nazi survivors
russians destroyed Volnovakha, a fully russian speaking city
russians purposefully bombed a Drama theater in Mariupol, a shelter to about 1000 women and children, rescuers can’t get to them
russians are not allowing humanitarian aid into the city
russians split up thousands of families
russians displaced millions of Ukrainians
because of russians an 11 year old kid ran away from his home at night to sign up for the army to defend his home
I feel absolutely no pity towards “poor, scared” russians who are suffering greatly without traveling, fast food, imported goods, social media, new movie releases, video games, etc. I can’t possibly comprehend their hardships right now.
First night since February 24 (!!!) without any air raid sirens, none at all. For a moment this morning it felt like everything before was just a bad dream. The sun was shining bright, it seemed so peaceful outside. The illusion was short-lived, news started coming in.
Three more apartment buildings shelled in Kyiv, in what used to be quiet residential areas. More civilian lives ruined for absolutely no reason. Kyiv is going into another strict lockdown, people will have to stay in for almost 2 days. By staying in I mean mostly underground, in bathrooms or hallways, away from windows and with their lights off. Quite a staycation!
20 people died after yesterday’s attack on a TV tower in Rivne. Taking it down would only impact the regional network! Who in their right mind would think that it is a legit target?!
But this day is ending with some good news, about 20,000 people were able to finally get out of Mariupol, escaping an almost sure death. Hundreds of thousands are still there… Hopefully soon the rest will be saved too, by getting rid of russian terrorists.
Day 19 of white-hot fury and hate because almost an entire nation can’t seem to grow out of its imperialistic delusions of grandeur and superiority.
Day 19 of being woken up by the sirens and being terrified to read updates in the morning, because this is what I find: “A pregnant woman and her unborn child die after the maternity ward bombing in Mariupol”, “Another residential building got shelled in Kyiv, at least 2 dead”, “No contact with family members for the past 8 days”, “A four year old child is still missing after a boat he was in with his Grandma and 6 others capsized. They were attempting to flee one of under siege towns near Kyiv”, “A russian tank drove over a civilian car killing two adults and a child”…
To every single russian directly or indirectly complicit in this (and your local collaborators), how can you live with yourselves?
I wish I could make you feel the pain we are in, see the death and destruction you have and still are causing. Make you face these parents who lost their baby boy, not even two, to shelling, and this doctor who couldn’t save his life. Experience the agony of Ukrainians having to choose their children, shaking because of every loud sound, over their parents, who can’t be evacuated for some reason, and leave them behind. Of families split up, not knowing when or if they will see each other again.
No, don’t go fuck yourselves, you don’t deserve such kindness. First you need to learn what you have done, and assume responsibility for your actions (or inaction). Only after you, your children and grandchildren pay for this, can you do us all a big favor and go fuck yourselves. While we live in free and prosperous Ukraine!
They came here, as they said, to stop the genocide of russian speaking people in Ukraine. And now they are destroying mostly russian speaking cities in Eastern Ukraine and still holding more than 400 000 people hostage in Mariupol. Having already killed more than 2000 civilians there, they are not letting humanitarian trucks in and not letting anyone out. The locals had to resort to digging mass graves…
lavrov said that the Mariupol tragedy could have been avoided had we accepted putin’s terms. No, it would have never happened, had you not invaded Ukraine!
In line with the long-standing historic tradition of russians killing Ukrainians, 2 days ago they shot at a group of women and children trying to leave a town in Kyiv oblast, killing some of them. Last night they shelled the Orthodox monastery of Sviatohirsk Lavra with 500 refugees finding shelter in it, 200 of them children.
Nine people were killed in Mykolayiv this morning while in line to an ATM and a grocery store. Most of them elderly, 7 more were severely injured.
Bodies of civilians are laying along the streets of Irpin, Bucha, Vorzel, and others on the outskirts of Kyiv.
Two mayors and four activists have been kidnapped in broad daylight in Russia-controlled areas.
For the second day in a row they have launched rockets at Western Ukraine to show us that there is no safe place in the country right now.
We have learnt our lesson the hard way, we can never be completely safe with russia as our neighbor. We will never forget and never forgive.
Day 17. Life before and after the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine
Some of us used to think that living through historic times was pretty cool, since future generations will be reading about it in books and studying it at school. Now we all dream about all the normalcy we can get.
We got tired after 8 hour long workdays. Now we work double or triple that to keep ourselves busy, be useful and distract ourselves from our common nightmare.
We used to feel guilty about skipping a workout, eating an additional slice of cake or buying a piece of clothing we didn’t really need. Now we feel guilty for not doing enough, for being in a safer place than other Ukrainians, for having water and food while they are unavailable to others.
We would go to the grocery store and buy the food we are in the mood for today. Now we shop like there won’t be anything to buy tomorrow. Because that just might be the case.
We believed that the pandemic was a life-changing event. Not anymore, it is a distant memory now.
We used to find weak excuses for not doing something or postponing it. War is quite an eye-opener, life is way to short to put off living it.
I always preferred animals to people, but now I am absolutely stoked to see every single internally displaced person at the center I help out at, because they survived…
I rarely paid attention to planes flying above, it was something so mundane. Now I greet every single one that roars through the sky, because they are ours and they are protecting us.
A huge thank you to our Armed Forces for giving a lot of us the best gift ever – living to see tomorrow!
Nataliya Melnik is a longstanding partner of the Free Market Road Show. She lives in Kyiv and is sharing her Facebook diary.
We wish her all the best!
If you want to support the Ukrainian people, have a look at http://helpukraine.center/en
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