We spent that night at the shelter with 200 other people holding tight to their children and pets. However, people managed to relax, chat and even laugh at some memes they saw online. I read a book I packed for myself and caught a few hours of sleep. After all, it is simply impossible to be afraid all the time.
Edem and I adjusted to the new life with sirens and gunshots. We even have the luxury of being bored sometimes. I spend a lot of time reading news and making TikTok videos – before the war I liked to make videos that promoted the popularization of the Ukrainian language. While many people in Ukraine grew up speaking mostly Russian, my family has always prioritized Ukrainian. I love our history and our traditions – I am a proud Ukrainian through and through. I even have a map of Ukraine tattooed on my chest over my heart. The few videos I’ve posted since the war started have just been funny videos about patriotism.
Earlier this week, Edem and my father both signed up for the Territorial Defense Forces, Ukraine’s military reserve. People are standing in long lines to register because so many want to fight. My grandfather also tried to sign up but he is 70 and they turned him down. Edem and my father have been expecting a call back for a few days. They have no experience of using a weapon, and so far Ukraine prefers volunteers who have experience.
I spend a lot of time on Telegram channels connecting volunteers and people who need help and it warms my heart to see how much Ukrainians want to help each other. People post that they need food or medicine or a ride to the hospital, and local volunteers come to their aid. For days, Edem and I have been trying hard to find a way to contribute, but it’s very competitive. Some requests in our space are deleted within five minutes of posting because someone has already claimed the task. Sometimes I call people who have asked for help, often women with young children, and they ask me to delete their number because they have gotten the help they needed with groceries or supplies from several volunteers and they always get calls again.
After days of searching, I finally found what I was looking for: there is a great need for contact lenses because the shops are closed. Can you imagine being in Territory Defense and not being able to see clearly? I’ve managed to find people willing to donate some of their supplies and I’ve called local stores to convince them to open and let us buy in bulk if needed.
I think Putin miscalculated: he underestimated how ready Ukrainians are to fight for our country. Seeing Ukrainians come together to protect our motherland and help each other through hard times gives me hope. I don’t think Russia can ever take over Ukraine. There are too many of us willing to fight to our last breath for years if we have to. Many of us will die, but it’s only a matter of time before we win.
https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/03/05/kyiv-ukraine-resistance-first-person-00014338?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication “Putin miscalculated”: Ukrainians are literally lining up to fight back