How has the attitude towards Russians changed in Ukraine?
Exhibit A. Kyiv oblast has been freed, and for the past couple of days we have been drowning in pictures and footage of what is left in russians’ wake. Bodies of civilians in mass graves and lining the streets, many of them with their hands tied behind their backs. Body parts everywhere. Piles of dead animals. The whole area is a minefield, it will take at least 10 days to make the area safe… And this is just scratching the surface of what was going on there. The survivors’ stories I read make my blood boil and fill me with so much hate!
“Our Mom died 3 days before we got evacuated. I told my brother she was sleeping. I thought it hurt when the boy I liked didn’t like me back. But the real pain is watching your Mom die… She is still in that dark damp basement. I hate russia. My uncle lives there. I called him when we got out. He said, “Katya, what Katya? I don’t know you!” He texted me later from a different number, “Katya, don’t contact me. It’s not safe for me and my family. Nothing can be done for your Mom anyways”. I will return to Mariupol, live in that same place, and bring her flowers to that basement every single day”.
A 16-year old girl evacuated from Mariupol with her younger brother
We are not them, never were and never will be. With a few examples, they are born scared, live scared, and die scared. With their silence they condone this genocide, some even find excuses for it, ignore it, or cheer for it while dreaming about the stolen riches their men are sending back home… Their hands are as bloodied as the hands of those who are committing these atrocities. The nation of psychopaths…
Someone made this chilling collage of before and after. Kyiv, Kharkiv, Volnovakha, and Mariupol.
Before russians came here to liberate us from our freedom, lives, homes, jewelry, blenders, mixers, microwave ovens, etc., and after they reminded us of our “common” history: Holodomor, Stalin repressions, deportations, collectivization, etc. Millions of our ancestors died fighting for independence or just dreaming about it, now Ukrainians are dying for trying to keep it.
“Mommy, if the war lasts for a while, will Daddy forget us?”
1. Today the refugee center I help out at welcomed the first group of displaced people from Mariupol. There were too many to feed at the same time, so we asked a couple of them to wait for a bit. Their answer was “Sure, we’ll wait outside. We just want to breathe some fresh air”. It was pouring rain, but it must have felt wonderful after weeks in the basement…
These ones come from other people:
2. “My happiest moment after a month in under siege Mariupol was the first time I could take a shower and wash my clothes. The scariest – when a projectile flew through a wall of my apartment and landed near my bed in the middle of the night. It rolled to the left, then to the right, and stopped. I couldn’t sleep for the next couple of days”.
3. “We were at the train station, my husband, my daughter and I. He wasn’t mobilized because of his health, but they still didn’t allow him to get on the train. We had one suitcase, and all our money was on one card. We left, and he went back home. With no money, to the cold apartment without a window intact”.
4. “Our neighbor was a kindergarten principal. I went there, so did my children. A couple of years ago she was diagnosed with cancer. She beat it, but a couple of days ago she was killed together with her husband. Cancer took pity on her, but the russian bullet didn’t”.
5. “My husband and I have been staying with strangers for the past two weeks. We help them as much as we can, We clean, cook, do the laundry for everyone. The only thing keeping our spirits up is thinking about home. About the day we can return, after the city is liberated from russians. Today our neighbor sent me pictures of our house. The roof is in pieces, crooked windows, the external wall is down. I went into the shed and cried. I said nothing to my husband, he has heart issues”.
5. “russian soldiers broke into my relatives’ house with them still inside. They searched the place for the Ukrainian military and members of territorial defence. Having found nothing, they were shocked to see that a simple village house had an inside toilet. So shocked that one of them called his wife to tell her about it. After he was done with his story, he hung up, went back into the bathroom and shot at the toilet”.
“Slaves dream not of freedom, but of becoming masters”.
Looking at the picture below you might think it’s another Ukrainian town destroyed by russians. And you will be mistaken, this is a place in russia. That’s how many russians live, and they think they can come here and tell us how we should live. Instead of dealing with their own issues, they invade my country, destroy, kill, kidnap, torture, rape, and steal.
145 children have been killed, and 222 wounded.
More than 700 educational institutions damaged or destroyed.
Millions of lives ruined.
In the meantime, 83% of russians support Putin, a more than 10% increase since this latest invasion started, according to Levada-Center. 69% of russians believe that russia is headed in the right direction, compared to 52% in February.
That’s why we don’t fall for “the good russians”narrative. That’s why we are triggered by calls for Ukrainian-russian cultural dialogue, and stories about poor russians suffering from sanctions or naive boys sent here unknowingly.
The only thing we can possibly be discussing with them is how fast they can remove themselves from our land and how much they should pay for what they did to Ukraine and Ukrainians. Cultural dialogues will have to wait.
What peace talks? What scaling back of military operations? Kyiv was bombed last night and explosions are being heard now. 3 rockets were shot down over Lviv at night. Dnipro was bombed a couple of hours ago. But that was to be expected, no surprises there…
Meanwhile we just keep doing our thing, as do our wonderful international partners. 2 supply pickups and 2 deliveries in Lviv, 1 direct delivery to the hospital, lots of packing and unpacking later, and medical supplies+first aid kits are headed to various hotspots, including Kharkiv and Mykolayiv. Mariupol’s turn is tomorrow, a couple more places are lined up after that. All thanks to the efforts of wonderful people like Tom G. Palmer, Małgorzata Bogusz, Marcin Nowacki, Alan Kent, Margaret Bortko, Frederik Cyrus Roeder and many others!
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
The AEC’s fundamental goal is to promote a free, responsible and prosperous society. Through education and improving public understanding of key economic questions, the AEC promotes the idea of a free market economy and the ideal of a free society.