I would never have thought I would write about the WAR in 2022 on Ukrainian soil! Unfortunately, now the stories of my great-grandmother, who survived two wars, two Holodomors and repressions, have taken on a different meaning.
For security reasons, the name of the editor has not yet been disclosed.
February 24, 2022. A date that will forever be etched in my memory. I woke up at 5 am from my dad's phone call with the words: "Daughter, WAR! H ** lo attacked us! ».
Quickly getting out of bed, I looked out the window and saw how randomly the windows on different floors began to light up. Then I looked down and saw a woman with a baby in the car and a man packing in the trunk. And then on the horizon, I saw smoke, explosions were heard. I wake my sister in a panic. We begin to collect everything we need in a backpack. My hands were shaking. The heart flew out of my chest. And the head has only one thought — no! No! and again no! It can't be true!
We went down to the basement under the house. I immediately bought train tickets home. We are waiting for the evening. Prepared food. We took the necessary things and documents and went on foot to the station with my sister. We went and heard explosions around. At that time, we did not yet understand that Ukrainian air defence works. There was only fear and panic inside, but I had to be strong because I have a younger sister who was even more scared. There were very few people on the streets.
Finally, we've got to the station. There were a lot of people. Some with children, some with dogs, and cats, and some only with belongings. Everyone had panic in their eyes. Trains were delayed by at least 5 hours. Our 122 train didn't show up for 10 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour has passed and I've started to panic. However, I have not shown it, because my younger sister was with me. I stand and try to joke, smile. Then the Ukrzaliznytsia operator announced on a loudspeaker that a train was arriving on track 15 instead of 122. We took our things and ran to the platform. There were crowds of people. The train arrived and the door opened. However, only four railway cars arrived, and there must have been eighteen. People in a panic began to push, trying to get on the train. My sister and I were thrown away, and I took her hand and walked away from the crowd. The men (like conductors) did not even know in which direction the train was going. They were told to simply pick up people from the capital. Then the woman approached and told me that the station in Mykolaiv was bombed and trains won't go there. I talked to my dad and he told us to go home to the basement. We wanted to spend the night at the metro station "Vokzalna", but it was closed and will open only if the sirens are turned on.
We went down to the underground passage. People with small children, with animals, just lay on the floor, sat, and stood. Everyone was horrified and panicked. I've decided I need to get home anyway. We came out of the underground passage. We started walking and heard loud explosions. My sister looked at me with frightened eyes and said: “I can't. Let's go back!”. Then I found a car. The driver agreed to take my sister and me to an apartment for UAH 500. We are home. We tried to eat something, to keep warm. When the stress level decreased a little, I felt unbearable pain in my leg. Probably when we ran to the station, I stretched it. We hugged each other and lay for several hours, silently watching the news.
It was scary 24/7
February 24, 2022. At 4 am, a friend wrote that she, her baby, and her husband would try to leave the capital. Offered us to join. We discussed this option with our parents because now it is dangerous on the roads, Russians are shooting at people along with their children. My sister was strongly against it. She was very scared and under stress. But our father convinced her. We began to collect the necessary things in order to take the most necessary belongings with us.
A friend picked us up because the taxi didn't work and we got to our home safely. Dad met us at the entrance to the area. We hugged and cried hard. Arrived home and began to prepare the shelter. And tried to fall asleep, but no one slept. And my dad and I were on duty on the street with weapons in hand. We looked at the starry sky. Everyone waited for dawn and prayed.
We put our ears to the ground day and night. It was scary 24/7, but when night came - most of all. I have never been so afraid of night and darkness in my life. Lord, we pray every minute of our lives.
Missiles are flying. We are preparing Bandera smoothies
March 1, 2022. Morning. We are alive. I went out to walk the dog. And suddenly I heard something behind me make a noise. I look up and see a Russian missile flying over me from Crimea, and four more behind it. I quickly picked up the dog and ran to hide. The dogs' legs went numb with fear. Later, 250 units of the Russian army marched through our gardens. And they began to spend the night there. The neighbour's phone was taken away. They killed his dog. They took all the food. In addition, at noon the city of Bashtanka was bombed by Grad multiple-launch rocket systems.
In our village, the territorial defence blew up Russian ammunition. My father and I made Molotov cocktails for Russians in the garage to the sound of explosions and then took them to the territorial defence. And my sister, mother and grandmother were sitting in the shelter. No sleep for 6 days. Constantly on the lookout. We did what we can. We slept — if you can call it to sleep — in clothes. Did not go to the shower for a week. There was no water. Lights and communication too. The racists set up silencers on the mountain and there was no telephone network, no Kyivstar, no Lifecell, no Vodafone.
My father patrolled the village with weapons and with territorial defence because those animals fled after our column was shot down by our aircraft. But another 750 units of Russian equipment left Crimea. We were preparing. We were waiting. We listened to the radio (Dad held the wire so you can listen to the news) as we all sit in the shelter. We prayed. And every day one thought — God, give us the strength to live until morning and see the dawn!
"No light. No network. No internet"
March 8, 2022. All these days as one. Everything is like in a fog. We live like zombies. It snowed in the morning. Frost -13. Very cold. We do everything automatically, and everyone's ears were like that hare. The same thing every day. Explosions. There is no light. No connection. No internet. The day is more or less not so scary because there is natural light. However, when it gets dark, fear envelops us all. We do not know what is happening in the country. At what stage are our Armed Forces. We met every morning with a neighbour and discussed the news, who heard something in the village. It was dangerous to go somewhere because the neighbourhood was controlled by the Russians. They fired on people on the roads and in the fields.
There was an explosion and my house shook
March 13, 2022. New day. Thank you for being alive. This morning everything was more or less calm. But closer to 18:00 was a tough bombing. We went out to breathe some air, the basement was very cold, damp and smelled of potatoes from our garden. At 20:20 there was an explosion and I thought that my house would not survive. He staggered so much that my blood pressure rose at the speed of light, I sweated immediately and my heartbeat only accelerated. After sprinting straight from the summer kitchen to the street, my family followed me and quickly ran to the shelter. The blast wave was so strong that the windows in the next empty house flew out. Fortunately, in our house, only the doors opened everywhere.
There were times when I couldn't write about what was happening. They will remain only in my soul and heart. The most important thing was to keep yourself under control. Don't cry. Because I saw how hard it was for my mother, grandmother, and sister. And Dad tried to hide his fear and showed his confidence to support all of us. The most difficult thing is to see the eyes of parents who can't protect my sister and me. But they have no idea that at the same time I am ready to protect them so that they are alive and well.
Is this the last day of my life !?
March 14, 2022. A neighbour came and said that our people were digging trenches and preparing to meet with the Russians. Hearing such news made me so scared and I had only one thought: “Is this the last day of my life !? Is that how it should be !? ” Then I took the icon and began to pray. I believed that we would stand and survive. The village has a lot of military vehicles, soldiers, Grad multiple-launch rocket systems and a lot of other military equipment. I pray and believe that we will survive the night and my family and I will meet the dawn. God save us!
March 15, 2022 — we survived this night. Thank God I saw the dawn, my family is alive and well. Our house is intact. They listened to the news. The windows were sealed. We had lunch. And after a while, such a noise suddenly began. I ran out into the street and saw with my own eyes how the Grad multiple-launch rocket system works. The sound is extremely scary, unpleasant and frightening. Dogs and cats ran into the shelter with us. They trembled with fear. I believe that we are under God's protection. Lord, thank you for everything! I pray. It became quiet. We had dinner and took turns guarding until dawn.
Two white rockets. Offensive signal.
March 16, 2022. Dawn has finally come. We woke up, but in fact, no one slept at all. Unhurt, healthy, alive! In the afternoon we heard bad news again. The military became even more. And we understood perfectly well that when the battle starts, there will be nothing left of the village. We got nervous. It was morally difficult. But I believed in God! He protects us. Everything will be fine. A neighbour came. We sat down. We talked. We drank tea. Then I went out to look at the stars. And then saw two white rockets take off. I ran to my family and reported it. We informed the defence and we were told that this was a signal of an offensive. We had half an hour. It was necessary to hide. Everyone quickly ran to the shelter and prayed.
21st day of the war. The wreckage of the rocket hit the main transformer.
Today is the 21st day of the war. We survived the night. Thank you, Lord! We are alive. In the morning, a neighbour came again and said there would be no more electricity. The wreckage of the rocket hit the main transformer. 20 tons of oil leaked.
March 20, 2022 — we woke up. Thank God! The night was quiet. Slept soundly. And at lunch they finally turned on the light, but as it turned out for 20 minutes. A telephone connection appeared at the same time. But there was no water. We had dinner. And as soon as we started drinking tea, there was bombing again. All the same again. Shelter. Radio. Prayers. Darkness.
March 21, 2022. We woke up, thanking God. There was bombing all day about 30 km from us. Soldiers are still in the village. The light is dim. We ate. We drank. We petted cats and dogs. And we listened to our land being bombed. We talked. They basked in the sun when possible.
March 23, 2022. We woke up and are happy to be alive. Sunny and warm day. We cleaned and cooked. News. Coffee. The light is very dim because the transformer is old and not working at full power. The area is large. They turn on the light for several hours. Then turn off to pump water at night. But in our village, there is still no water. Almost a month without water. In the morning there is electricity again. We pray. We read the news. We try to joke.
We went to the field today with my dad. The situation with sowing is very difficult. There is no fuel at all. Seeds too. Banks in our area do not work. Lending is not available. The agrarians have no money, because most of them took sunflowers to the elevators, and the money was not given out because the war started.
They are just trying to destroy us because we live in a free country.
March 24, 2022. I woke up with the thought that today is exactly a month since the war began in my free and independent country — Ukraine... And I am happy, I woke up alive. I am glad that my relatives are alive and alright. And again we heard explosions. About 12 o'clock in the afternoon, my sister and I were sitting in the yard, basking in the sun and heard 5 loud explosions. These were "Grad". We quickly ran to the shelter. It hits the neighbouring village. Later we've learned that about 20 people were injured and four, unfortunately, did not survive… Rashists dropped a bomb directly in the centre of the village, where there is a playground. There, near the store, people were charging their phones from the generator. And again, everyone is morally depressed. They are just trying to destroy us because we live in a free country. I pray and believe in Ukraine.
In the first photo — broken equipment of Russians near the fields of the editor's father; on the second — the rashists weapon "Igla", which they used to shoot down Ukrainian planes
Life will not be the same as before…
March 27, 2022. Dawn. Finally. The first thought of awakening: “War is horror, pain, suffering, death. It's a catalyst for hatred." I still can't realize it's happening now. I would never have thought that I could feel such anger and hatred for the man (if you can call him that) who started this terrible, brutal war. But then I pray, I apologize for that. Thank God that my family is alive and with me.
Bad news again. The village of Snihurivka is being bombed without stopping. Now there are even more refugees in our village. They are all scared. They do not know what to do and how to live, because they don't have a home anymore. There are only the ruins and funnels of cruise missiles. Our fellow villagers try to help everyone who can.
Finally, my father went to one field to sow barley. Fuel and seeds will still not be enough for more. There was one worker on a tractor in the field, my father on ZIL, and I bring them lunch by car. And all this to the sounds of explosions, shelling in neighbouring villages. I'm driving and I think at least to get there and stay alive. But at the same time, there is another thought — those Russians will choke on Ukrainians and our land!
Friends and acquaintances persuaded me to leave my home and country and flee abroad. But where to run if I and my parents are on their own land, in their own house. It is defended by our Ukrainian guys. We have no right to lose heart and leave our land, our home. We are at home whatever happens.
We help our Armed Forces in a way I can't tell anyone about. As my dad and I risk our lives to provide information (a large number of people besides us do), we try to catch the network by climbing a tree. And this makes it even worse. But I understand that it must be done. And it is better to lie down in this land than to leave it. Many people have left their homes. In total, only four houses on our street were "alive".
It hurts me that my country is bleeding and burning in the fire, children, people are killed…
All these days I live like in a post-apocalyptic movie. My psyche and consciousness do not want to realize that this is really happening to me, to my family, to my Ukraine.
When I saw with my own eyes how Grads and Haubitzes fired, when russian tanks (about 3,000 units of various equipment) drove along my home street, where I grew up and ran happily, my brain flatly refused to accept it as reality.
The encroachment on Ukrainian lands by the Moscow tsars is as innate as our innate freedom. There is no other choice: either everyone will do what he knows how to do, and will do it to defend his country, or Ukraine simply will not exists.
I sincerely believe every day that we live not only in historical times but in times that will change the course of history forever. We are one day closer to victory — especially with such defenders as our Armed Forces!
I pray that the Russian Federation will be justly torn to primary historical pieces, and our VICTORY will be final. After all, we have justice, honesty, truth and a truly European nation — Ukrainian.
Europe is Ukraine!
Everything will be Ukraine!
Glory to the heroes!
Glory to the Armed Forces!