I am preparing a folk costume for the day of our Victory.
I’m Sasha, I’m 22, and my city is no more.
A week before the war, I had nightmares and woke up in tears. “Just in case,” we started making a list of things and a plan of action. At 05:30 on February 24, I woke up and heard from my husband: “It’s started.”
Somehow, immediately, without explanation, it became clear what exactly had started. There was no point in going to another area because the attacks were almost all over the country.
We packed up and waited. The days turned into chaos. We slept on the floor in the apartment, we slept in the subway. We were waiting all the time, waiting for it to end at some point. Suddenly, hot tea (and just hot water) has become a real treasure, and sleeping at home in the warmth is an unacceptable luxury.
We were lucky. And I was lucky many times. We were able to leave for another part of the country when it became clear where it was safer. We got on the evacuation train only because an enemy fighter swept over the station, and the Defense forces pushed us from an unsafe open platform. I saw several women with children running into the train, they were screaming and crying. I can’t imagine what horror these women experienced at that moment.
We were lucky that we were able to coordinate with friends and found someone to take shelter with.
My parents stayed in Kharkiv, and my grandmother lives in the now occupied town. They’re fine, I’m lucky with that, too.
Russian media and “political scientists” have been able to brainwash not only Russians since 2014. My mother believes, being in a city that is being bombed, that “Russians only touch military facilities,” and drunken Ukrainian troops bomb residential buildings.
This war has put all the dots on the i. It so happened that I now have no friends from Russia, I try to accept that I will not be able to remake my parents, I realized that being a party girl is not equal to being a nationalist/Nazi, as they tried to impose on me for a long time.
It pains me to realize how much innocent blood is being shed now. And it’s a shame to me that in the 21st century our country found itself in such a situation because of one old bastard.
But the country has rallied, we know that our native Ukraine will remain ours. We will not forget the names of the heroes who are now defending our borders with blood. We are reviving a forgotten culture and learning history. We are waiting for the end to return home and rebuild everything anew. I am preparing a folk costume for the day of our Victory.