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  • Українці розповідають про пережите під час війни з росією

    Ukrainians talk about their experiences during the war with russia

    Halyna from Kherson

    “A life under the occupation is like prisoning where the entire city is your prison cell”


    АвторAuthor: Yulia Zarudnitska | Translation: Anna Shlikhova

    12 June 2022

    Halyna, 30-year-old, has lived all her life in Kherson. She has two daughters and until recently they had lots of plans for the future. But then the war came to our country, it has turned everything upside down.

    My name is Halyna. I’m 30-year-old and for 30 years I have been living in Kherson. I have 2 kids. I had had a wonderful job and lots of plans for this Spring before I woke up on February, 24, when the nightmare of all Ukrainians began.

    I realized from the first news and the first explosions the war really had begun. That first morning under the sounds of air-raid together with my husband we decided to stay. We thought about it not once since then, but still we’re here in occupied Kherson at home.

    I know life under the constant pressure

    A life under the occupation is like prisoning where the entire city is your prison cell. Here we have the oversees with machine-guns, our own “rules” and punishment cell where kidnapped citizens are being tortured. I don’t know about a life threatened by air-raid sounds when one is forced to hide in cellars to save own life. We have no air-raids here. But I know how to live under the constant pressure: we are afraid of going outside, afraid to see Z-sights on our way, we can’t flee safely due to the absence of “green corridors”,we can do it only at our own risk. If man can flee depends only from the orders and the mood of occupiers on the checkpoints.

    They not only kept checking documents, phones and men’s tattoos, but also personal belongings in cars and took cigarettes and food at best or gadgets and jewelry at worst (I personally know the cases when they took power banks, smartphones and jewelry). So to get out of the occupied area one has to pass by numerous checkpoints with bullies in the russian uniform.

    Photo before the war in Kherson

    Pictures before the war in Kherson

    In the city they can do all what they want: shooting unarmed people, throwing tear-gas grenades, mocking people they check, threateningly manipulate their weapons, filming propaganda videos. We’re scared here in the daylight and I really hope that they are scared here at night when we hear the sounds of our artillery in the region nearby.

    We deliberately buy Ukrainian goods

    We don’t give up despite 3 months under the occupation. Though there are already many russian goods from Crimea on markets, we deliberately buy Ukrainian goods. We haven’t seen rubles, so heart of them many times. Obviously, prices are higher now than they were before the war, but vegetables here are cheaper than in other regions of Ukraine. We buy eggs, dairy, and sausages from locals. There is drug deficiency, but thanks to the volunteers we deal with it. They brought the medicine for my grandma. Chain stores with hygiene products are closed, though it’s so complicated and expensive to buy diapers or something similar.

    The patriotic and meaningful tattoo

    The patriotic and meaningful tattoo

    We have electricity, gas and water here. Of course, many people have fled the city, so many stores and service facilities are closed now. But, many people stay and work like we do. We are not betrayers as someone thinks, we stand with Ukraine here, in the rear of the enemy: go to rallies risking our lives; work and pay taxes not using enemy currency; help those in need. And also we take care of our city and prepare to greet our army when they come. I can’t say definitely as it’s all constantly changing, but for now we are about to wait for the win in our native Kherson, at home.

    Чому важливо поширити цю історію?
    Якщо українці не розповідатимуть свій погляд на війну в Україні, світ поступово забуватиме про нас. Натомість цим обов’язково скористаються росіяни. Тому не даймо їм жодного шансу.

    Why is it important to share this story?
    If Ukrainians do not share their views on the war in Ukraine, the world will gradually forget about us. Instead, the Russians will definitely take advantage of this. So let's not give them a chance.

    АвторAuthor: Yulia Zarudnitska | Translation: Anna Shlikhova


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