Essay: Ukraine, Conflict Two Months Later

Katie Anthony | The Phoenix

The war with Russia has now entered its second month. Probably the longest month in every Ukrainian’s life. I am ecstatically proud of our country and its valiant citizens. We have a bright future ahead of us. We will never forget our heroes, just as we will never forget the innocent Ukrainians, children, and adults killed by the invader.  

It’s impossible to put into words what happened in Bucha two weeks ago. Is it really essential to hate Ukrainians as a people in order to murder everyone in the village? With a single shot, innocent people’s hands are bound, and a person’s right to life is taken away. To employ a Tochka-U missile to strike Kramatorsk railway stations with ‘for the children’s writing, where dozens of residents were waiting to flee the city on a crowded train station. Every day, my heart breaks when I see photographs taken at the scene of war atrocities. And how many more Buchas and Kramatorsks there will be? 

I’m not in tears. I’m not exhausted. I’m not in any discomfort. I don’t appear to be feeling anything. Deadlock. Has my opinion of Russia changed in the last month? No. This country has been my adversary since 2014. Has my perspective on the Ukrainian people changed? No. Since the same year, 2014, I have been proud of and admiring our people. It was then that I realized that national self-identification is the most important value and one of life’s pillars.  

I experienced the full range of emotions in 2014, and eight years later, I’m still attempting to resurrect myself. I’m not feeling anything right now. All I can think of is misery and anger.  

I pick up the phone every morning and read the news. I hope to see the news headline, “We won, and the war is over.” For the time being, this is my greatest ambition, as it is for any Ukrainian. It is more challenging to be away from home during a war. I’m not sure how my family and friends are feeling. They say it’s scary every time I talk to them about it. Everyone goes to bed with no idea what will happen the next day. And it’s the same every day. Sirens can be heard at all hours of the day and night.  

Everyone is psychologically and physically exhausted due to constant tension and panic. Listening to their trembling voices at the end of every call as we say goodbye is difficult for me. But, this summer, I intend to visit Ukraine and see my big family, and we will all celebrate Ukraine’s victory together. Many children and adults will remain scarred after the war is over for a long time. It is apparent that refugees seeking shelter in western Ukraine or another country are terrified and do not feel comfortable in their new homes. Even if they are no longer in Ukraine, my heart breaks when I witness children asking their parents when they will have to go to a shelter. It’s frightening to think that for many children childhood will be defined by a single word: war.  

Some of these children will never see their parents, sisters, or brothers again. All of the children deserved an utterly different childhood, not one in which they fell asleep and awoke to the sound of sirens, forcing them to flee to other locations to prevent death. I want the war in Ukraine to end, for peace to reign, and for everything to return to the peaceful routine that everyone has grown accustomed to.  

Every day, I thank the Ukrainian Armed Forces for defending Ukraine. I’m also incredibly grateful to every volunteer who has forgotten what it’s like to take a break and to those who volunteer from far away. Someone who can help financially, through knowledge, or by showing up at peaceful protests! And to everyone willing to let strangers stay the night in their houses after fleeing their homes to save their lives and families. Many individuals are now attempting to assist in every way they can for us to win as soon as possible.  

I am confident that we will win. We shall not only survive and rebuild our country; we will be remembered as a symbol of freedom throughout history. We will triumph. All honor and glory to our magnificent country and its beautiful people! Slava Ukraini! 

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