АвторAuthor: Yulia Zarudnitska | Translation: Anna Shliakhova
4 September 2022
Vasylisa Levchenko is from Kyiv. She has her own project; she provides psychological support and didn’t stop it even after the full-scale invasion had begun. But she provides not only psychological support. She became known among the russian as the girl who collects money from a terrorist state to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Vasilysa confirms this information. She told the project “Monologues of the war” about her activity.
I grew up in a doctor’s family and have always dreamed of following in these footsteps. Looking at my parents, I have always wanted to continue the doctor’s dynasty. My father is a psychotherapist and I always wanted to work with him. At first, I entered medical school, then I entered medical university. But then I realized that I was too sensitive for medicine and chose psychology instead. My dream has come true. Together with my father we founded the Center of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Clinical Psychology. We have two offices in Kyiv where more than 15 highly qualified specialists work.
I have a blog where I write about me and my job. I don’t only share my age because I like to read different hypotheses from my readers: from 17 years and with no end. So, I answer vaguely, something like I’m glad to enter the midlife crisis.
My blog is my hobby. Also I like animals, though I have 2 dogs. They are the best and the most loyal friends. I enrich myself mentally by reading tons of books. It’s no surprise that my job requires mental discharge and complete brain reboot as well as a typical rest.
The first thing I did on the 24th of February was I announced that my project @psy.for.peace was still working and everyone could ask for help. It was very important at the moment. The beginning of the war wasn’t a surprise. I had gone to bed with the thought that it would begin in the morning. I have a high ability to predict events.
Then, my eldest child was frightened by the siren. On the 25th of February it became loud, because we live near the ring road, near Hostomel and Vasylkiv. In my younger son’s school chat a message appeared. It wrote that we could come there to a bomb shelter.
That’s because in the middle of the night we went through the forest there listening to the cursing of my eldest child, because we hadn’t fled yet. I had proposed to flee shortly before the war, but my husband had refused. He had been sure that everything would be fine. Because most of Ukrainians couldn’t understand how a war was possible in the 21 century, let alone such a terrible war.
Our life was like that: we spent nights in the bomb shelter under the school, in the morning we went home to collect our things, eat something, wash and so on. Many people in the shelter were with their pets. We also took our 2 dogs with us. It was especially “fun”.
I had to get my mind out of the fuss around me and do something. So I found myself a task. I found a way to raise money from my followers who are mostly russian. Then I sent this money to the Charity Foundation “Come Back Alive”.
I posted some content like a house on Lobanovsky Avenue that suffered from a missile strike. Then I proposed them to make a bet about russian news, if they would say that we bombed ourselves. In an hour the news would tell the same and they paid me money, because I was more convincing than their media.
On the sixth day the school management started to evacuate people to Chernivtsi. Everyone who has a car took some more people, if they had a place. We went by two cars. My mother and my father-in-law, my assistant, my family and two dogs. My subscriber hosted us there. In 5 days my mother and her husband went abroad and my friend with her husband and two children came to us. That was madness: two dogs were in the passage room, and their cat was in another room. We had such an experience.
We put a lot of money into that place, it was in a critical condition. But we were thankful for housing, because it was difficult to find anything. We put about 20 thousands of hryvnia into it: we installed a new gas stove instead of the old one, ordered cleaning and carpet dry cleaning, bought some useful stuff, and did some cosmetic repairs. We left that apartment on 14th of April. When we were about to leave, we discovered that it cost us 300 $ in addition to the costs of utilities and repair.
Russians are correct, because before I started to use Ukrainian language in social media, I raised about 2000-4000$ per month from russian guaranteeing the safety of their donations through a mediator and a crypto currency. Together with an expert on military matters I bought military equipment for the AFU with the money I raised. Now it’s harder to raise money from russian, because I write my blog in Ukrainian. But I sell my webinars in russian. All the money from russia I spent on our defenders.
Some russians don’t unsubscribe and constantly donate in line with their principals. Once a month we transfer them to our card and donate to jars or buy something to the units I take care of.
In May I started to work with my military expert and the People’s Deputy Artem Dubnov. He guarantees that every big and small purchases will be registered and sent to the right place. We’ve been friends for a long time. He knows that I’m “crazy” and gives me some tasks like to get a “truck of rations”, or “10 tents per 30 people each”, or “3 night vision monocular each costs 3k euro”. I don’t know how, but I do it every time. Now I’m raising 3,5 million hryvnia to buy winter clothes for 704 fighters.
Artem distributes the equipment by himself, but I’m sure that our equipment doesn’t lie in vain in some warehouse. Once I received a private message from a stranger. He wrote to me “I serve near Bakhmut, we have no clothes and no footwear, we have never seen all those things you’ve bought and shown in your stories”. I answered that I was sorry and I did my best to supply as many people as possible with equipment. A couple days after Artem distributed part of our supply, this fighter wrote to me again: “You won’t believe it! Our brigade received the equipment from your stories. Indeed!” There were binoculars, buffs, sleeping bags, first-aid kits…
Now my eldest daughter is in Italy with her Grandmother and Grandfather, part of my family spent half a year in Wien, others are in different cities of Ukraine. Being in evacuation we saw a capture of air defense in action just above our house. It was a wonder that all our windows survived. We were lucky not to lose our home.
My team goes to unoccupied villages to provide psychological assistance. Our working format has changed a lot. All the time I think about new ways of raising money. I think about new webinars and new ideas that would make other people donate. I read a lot and watch a lot of films. I spend my time with my youngster and talk to my elder daughter. I tell her about some funny accidents. I walk with my dogs. Usually, I work a little on my blog, a little on projects with a salary. They are a charity and need my attention. Also, I search for some “strange and expensive” equipment and communicate with my military expert about if it is the monocular that is needed or if he can help me unload the car.
I have only one dream: I wish to live in peace and harmony. I want to enjoy the silence, safety and houselife
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 Shliakhova