I see and know a few Russians who go to rallies, who are against the war. Who go as volunteers to fix what is broken by Russia. Although it's getting harder to believe them every day. Every day, Mariupol, Kharkiv, Kherson, villages around Kyiv are being destroyed.
Hello! My name is Sasha, I am 35 years old.
Nationality has never been important to me. Personality has always been important to me.
I moved to my beloved girlfriend from Russia to Kyiv in 2016. My parents were panicking on Skype and shouting: “Don’t go outside! Don’t speak Russian! Russians are being killed here!” I answered in perplexity: “But here half of them speak Russian calmly.”
In the evening, my girlfriend and I walked along Kontraktovaya Street. There people sang songs to the guitar — in Russian. Everyone was enjoying a wonderful summer evening. So the first Russian myth burst. The one about genocide and hatred of Russians.
It’s been 6 years. I worked, went to my favorite coffee shop, walked the dog, learned Spanish and html markup. My girlfriend and I went for a ride to visit friends, fried kebabs, walked through Kyiv bars. I haven’t heard a single word of hate. I haven’t seen any of the Nazis that Putin’s propaganda is talking about.
The day before the war, we were in a coffee shop discussing which dentistry is better to enroll in. What color to paint. Should I change my job for another one.
The last myth — about intelligence and nobility — burst in the war. When Kharkiv, the city of my friends, was wiped off the face of the earth by Russian missiles. When explosions and shootings sounded outside my window instead of the peaceful singing of birds and March cats. When my girlfriend’s mother threw off a video of an oil depot burning up one house away from her from a Russian shell. When the occupiers began to shoot civilians in Ukrainian villages and cities.
Then my sister said to me: “The war, it’s like this. This is a story, you need to read Gumilev. There is a war going on, a war between close and native peoples, it began a long time ago.”
Then my mother told me: “We took care of you so much, and you left for this dirty Bandera swamp.” And she spammed poems about Bandera.
My former colleague told me: “Our strategists seriously believe that if Ukraine joins NATO, war will become inevitable. And then the immediate environment will have to be bombed urgently with nuclear weapons. Either thousands of civilians will die now, or millions of years from now. So say those who are entrusted to decide.”
My friend from Irkutsk wrote: “This is for you for Donbass. When the strong beat the weak for years, sometimes you need another strong one who will come and fight back. It should be such a rebuff that the hand does not rise again.”
A friend from Omsk wrote: “There are so many fakes on both sides, it’s not known who to believe.”
I see and know a few Russians who go to rallies, who are against the war. Who go as volunteers to fix what is broken by Russia. Although it’s getting harder to believe them every day. Every day, Mariupol, Kharkiv, Kherson, villages around Kyiv are being destroyed. They are arranging a real, not mythical genocide of Ukrainians. Russian soldiers are destroying the lives of my friends and relatives. Their mothers and wives in Russia support the war directly. I still want to believe that not all Russians are like that.
I believe in personalities. Not myths. I believe that the truth will win.