Fear and hatred are two very present feelings in the lives of Ukrainians. So is the guilt for recovering a minimal vestige of everyday life in the midst of a hell plagued by starving people living in rubble. Or the infinite pain of widows for those killed in combat and the terror of the elderly in the face of a war that takes them back to World War II. All this affliction saturates the stories and tragic experiences that citizens post these days on the networks and that the Kiev newspaper ‘KP’ has begun to reproduce on its pages. They are reflections that pierce the bones of anguish. Here are excerpts from some of them.
Olga Kotrus. writer
The day he wore a jacket and suede boots
“I walk down the street in clothes that remind me of a peaceful life. These are not sneakers or a winter jacket that I have lived in for four weeks. These are suede boots and a short fleece jacket – things that are uncomfortable to run somewhere and not warm enough to sit in the basement. But they give a sense of normalcy.
“Do you know where I’m going? To the cafe. Drink tea with chocolate cake. And work quietly with a laptop, like once, in kyiv. Now, many of the Ukrainians who can afford to walk like this, look, drink coffee, sleep in bed, wear normal clothes without a hint of war, many of us, are terribly ashamed of this. I also. And it is terribly upsetting by this painful helplessness in the face of those who are trapped in basements, bomb shelters, or worse, under the rubble of destroyed buildings.
“Yes, I remind myself: we should not be ashamed. Those who brought war to our country should be ashamed. To those who led us to mutual accusations, to fights and fights over who is worse off now. Every person I meet today is doing their best for our country to survive. Some people can donate money, others cannot. But aid today is not just about finances and volunteering. Taking care of yourself so that others don’t have to is also a help. Being in a safe place so that no one has to save you, risking their life, is also a help. Drinking coffee and paying for it is supporting a local business. Writing a text that does not contain your own accusations is also helpful, supportive. Republishing is also a help. Even being silent when you want to fight someone is also a good thing.”
Irina Suskova. Wife of Viktor Sushkov, officer killed in action
When life is in a coffin
I am sitting next to a dead husband. My life lies beside me in a closed coffin. My life, that wiped away my tears and said it would never go away. You flew home from work with pockets full of chocolates so I wouldn’t be sad. And everything you took with you, you always distributed to show off how I cook. You were never afraid of anything, not once. You smiled every day, even if everything was wrong. ‘I am warm and I eat well.’ You made plans for next year, when we go with our parents.”
For a long time I have thought about what to get you for your first wedding anniversary. And I had to choose a crown for the grave. In the last conversation you said that you keep my dream. Now I keep yours for the rest of my life. You are an officer with a code of honor so immense that these dogs could not even dream of. I curse these fascists for you, my dear, for our unborn children, for the stolen life, yours and mine. I am sitting next to a dead husband. I am a widow at 25. My life was stolen by Russia.
Oleg Gavrish. Editor
The survivor of the siege of Leningrad
“Yesterday I had one of the most memorable interviews of my entire life. It happened at the central railway station in kyiv. We talk to Ludmila. She is 89 years old. She was eight years old in 1941. These are her exact words: ‘I survived the siege of Leningrad. I was born and raised in this city. I married a citizen of kyiv and we moved to Ukraine. Early in the morning of June 22, 1941, we saw planes flying and understood that there was a war going on. My father said that in a month, two or three everything would pass, the USSR will win. It all went on for four years. At first there was chocolate and raisins. And then we ate shoe soles to survive.”
“Now I have a granddaughter in Germany, my daughter was evacuated. She left first and I’m going after them. What is happening is terrible. And here is the worst part: if during the blockade or after I had been told that a person who was born and lived in Leningrad, I am talking about Putin, would organize a new war and genocide in my country and the Germans would save me, I would think that the who says it is crazy».
The theft of spring and children’s childhood
“At the moment we have two options available: fear and hate. you came wrong At night. You stole old age from our parents and childhood from our children. You stole spring from us. She came, but we didn’t notice her. But we will have many more springs and you will already have drowned in the dark. We will hate you. Here’s to our grizzled parents, who should have whiled away their time with a fishing rod, but go on the defensive. For children who pour Molotov cocktails and are born under bombs. For each one who died. For each city. For every tree uprooted. For the destroyed maternity home.
But we’ll fix everything. Our women will give birth to warriors. We will sow bread on your bones. It is in our land where we will bury your imperial greatness. And it is with black Ukrainian soil that we will spray your rusty ‘Z’. The most religious among us have forgotten humility and are ready to gnaw at your throat. Our “who art in heaven” is to send you beyond. Our «amen», may you die.
You said that we are not a nation, that we do not exist. But now all Ukrainians in any part of the world have heard the call of blood.
#Tales #pierce #bones #anguish