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Anna, Chernihiv

“ There are a lot of mines in the city, but you can't get out of the city, there are a lot of unexploded shells. ”
The morning of February 24 began as usual — I’m sitting in the kitchen in a bathrobe, cooking coffee for myself and my mom, who stayed the night with us. The baby goes to kindergarten by 8 am, the eldest goes to school by the 2nd lesson. And then the siren sounds. We look at each other with horror with mom and can’t believe what is happening. After 10 minutes, they wrote to me that children were not accepted to kindergarten, and my mother was informed that the work was canceled — we were attacked, the war.
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Ukraine. Julia, Kiev

“ The video shows just explosions. It is unclear who is shooting. Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! ”
My name is Julia. I’m from Kiev. I don’t have a special story, we were just lucky. But I want to write a lot. What’s inside. What hurts. It hurts, although, thank God, everything is fine… On the first day of the war, when I feverishly threw my underpants and socks into a bag, my mother-in-law called and asked if I needed caps for rolling. I hung up and asked: “Are you serious now?”. “I’m trying somehow to distract myself,” she replied after a pause.
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Lesya, Kharkiv/Poland

“ I wanted to close my eyes and wake up again ”
On February 24, I was woken up by a phone call. I don’t remember what I was wearing that morning , I don’t remember what I did in the first hours, it was like I was stunned. I wanted to close my eyes and wake up again, so that all this was not real. But the phone in my hands was proving the reality of what was happening by the minute: news channels, dozens of chats with my friends and acquaintances from almost all over the country. Reports of explosions, frightened people. The air became thick and heavy, as it happens when you try to take a breath underwater.
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Anastasia Kharkiv/ Kharkiv region

“ "Wake up, they're shooting." ”
My name is Anastasia, I’m 22, I’m a future master. On February 24, a guy picked me up with the words: “Wake up, they’re shooting.” I didn’t understand anything, I was terribly sleepy and wanted everyone to fall behind, but I heard the windows ringing from distant explosions, and immediately woke up. We quickly packed clothes into backpacks, stuffed the cat into the carrier. They brewed coffee, tasteless and bitter, got out into the corridor so as not to get hit by shards. The guy’s father came to pick us up, and we went to the suburbs. All the way I was sick of frequent stops and excitement, and a stupid pop song was spinning in my head, which I can’t listen anymore.
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Sofia, Mariupol/Tbilisi

“ It was the middle of March, there were many corpses, graves, destroyed houses, burned cars. ”
My name is Sofia, my husband is Kostya. We were teachers at school No. 30 in Mariupol, lived near the Komsomolets cinema. This year was not a good one for us from the very beginning. In January, we got sick with a cold. After leaving the hospital, my husband fell ill with chickenpox. When he recovered, I got sick with covid: I did the first test before the war, I had to do the second on March 2, but there was nowhere else to go. On February 21-22, I managed to buy medicines for myself and get a sick leave. On February 24, we received a call from the school to tell the children to stay at home. So we found out that the war began… On the same day we bought train tickets for March 2.
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Katya, Kharkiv

“ I finally forced myself to pack a backpack ”
My name is Katya, I live and work in Kharkiv. I’m a doctor. Today is the 51st day, how am I at work. This is the longest shift in my entire life. On February 24, my daughter ran to my husband and me in the bedroom and started screaming, that they are shooting. We waved it off, decided that they were blowing up firecrackers. Later , my mother called, she lives in Chuguev — they were shelled there in the first place. Chuguev was burning.
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Tata, Kharkiv/Poltava

“ I live like this now: I opened my eyes — and thank God. I don't make plans. In Poltava, we were sheltered for two weeks. ”
My name is Tata, I’m 27, I’m from Kharkiv. I remember that morning clearly. The morning my life collapsed. On the night of February 23-24, I worked until three in the morning. I wake up at 5 in the morning to the fact that my mother is talking to someone on the phone. I hear: “No shit to myself…” Immediately begins to vibrate bracelet: a guy is calling. I pick up the phone and hear him yell: “THE WAR HAS BEGUN, TATA! THE RUSSIANS ATTACKED!!!” I run to wake my grandmother, open the windows, we hear explosions. Turn on the TV. News, public. Respiratory arrest. I understand that Kharkiv has a special meaning for these bastards. Further — fog.
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Sonya, Kiev

“ Every film I thought: war is Hell, it's good that I'm only filming about it. ”
My name is Sonya, I am from Kiev, I am engaged in artistic production, costume and graphic design. I found out early in the morning that the war had started — the guy and I woke up from the fact that someone was persistently calling him. My partner picked up the phone, listened, thanked someone for something, dropped it. When I asked who was so important-the multi-storey one was calling us at 6 in the morning, my boyfriend put his hand on my neck and said that it was Zheka who called, our best friend, to warn that Russia had attacked,the war had begun. An instant surge of adrenaline and the realization that life just ripped into before and after.
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Yulia, Kharkiv/Kremenchug

“ Their brains are completely mutilated by Russian propaganda ”
I am 35 years old, I am from Kharkiv. Over the past few months, against the background of American intelligence reports and the situation in Russia, where they tighten the screws and intensify repression, I was almost sure that this hell would happen, but I could not convince my husband to take us out with the child (the child is 2 years old). It is difficult to take and dramatically change life, seemingly from scratch, even though I could hardly sleep from anxiety. A job, a dog, an established life,an apartment finally bought a year ago. Now everything is destroyed and there is no tomorrow.
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Polina, Kharkiv

“ Even sometimes we go out for a bike ride, but we know that absolutely everything is not so quiet nearby, and this causes some cognitive dissonance. ”
I would like to tell my story from Kharkov. On the first day of me the guy woke me up and said it had started. He was sure for a long time that there would be a war. I just thought, “well, here it is again,” because it has already happened in my life: I came to Kharkiv from Severodonetsk, Luhansk region.
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