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  • Українці розповідають про пережите під час війни з росією

    Ukrainians talk about their experiences during the war with russia

    Volunteer help to the military in Mykolaiv

    Anastasya Rokytna: “Volunteering is always tough, you need to do several tasks simultaneously because you want to help everyone…”


    АвторAuthor: Yulia Zarudnitska | Translation: Anna Shliakhova

    15 June 2022

    Anastasia Rokytna is from Kyiv, works as a journalist and a volunteer by calling. With the start of the full-scale invasion, she began to help our country very actively. She says being a volunteer is a stressful thing and there’s a great desire to help everyone, although it’s not always possible.

    The morning begins at 5 a.m., today as usual I woke up and meditated, then listened to a lecture on philosophy. Then I went for a run before the beginning of the working day.

    Morning is the best time for me and I am glad I could take time for myself because I had a lot of work to do after. It started from my main income (news and articles writing), then went to interviewing community leaders and solving organizational problems in the volunteer organization VARTA which helped our fighters in the East and orphanages.

    Last year I tried to combine it with traveling: I took my laptop and went to other cities for several weeks. I visited Lviv, Chernivtsi, Mariupol and Odesa last summer. I wanted to move to a southern city for surfing. It was supposed to be a vacation at last. With all these things to do I haven’t been on a holiday for a very long time. I was about to launch a media campaign about Donbas children who suffered from Russian aggression. However, Ukrainians started to forget about the war and the values of the Revolution of Dignity.

    First and foremost we want to help those who really need it 

    On the 24th of February there were explosions in the morning. They were according to my schedule at 5 a.m. I went outside and saw a crowd ― people were running. The traffic was chaotic. My city was under attack as were the southern, northern, and eastern regions of my country. I did what I do best ― organize people and create a community of those who want to stay in the city and work here. There were few of us. Vlada and Masha helped me to believe in us. Still I was afraid because of all the responsibility.

    We started work the next day, volunteering is always tough, you have to do several tasks simultaneously because you want to help everyone, so it’s impossible. You need to think about the safety of your team during war. But we didn’t think about it a lot, because we had numerous requests to bring medicine for senior people or equipment for fighters of the regiment “Azov”. It helped to set aside some thoughts.

    At first, we helped in Kiev, then went to the Kyiv region and further to the North and to the South. First and foremost we want to help those who really need it and who are in the area of fighting.

    Helping soldiers with medical and tactical equipment

    Helping soldiers with medical and tactical equipment

    At some point fatigue comes, we call it “covered”. It covered me after I went to Bucha the next day it was de-occupied. It covers me also because of thoughts about Mariupol and the East of Ukraine – where hell is happening now.

    The support of other people helped me to recover. Unexpectedly, I received gratitude from the regiment “Azov” for assistance in defense of our country during russian-Ukrainian war. It’s really nice to receive gratitude from our people, but I realize that we still have a lot of work to do. Every day I need to become stronger because so many of the volunteers quit due to burning out. We must stand with Ukraine and help as best as we can.

    Even though mornings are quieter, still my heart is heavy. I often think about Ukrainians

    Today I woke up in “living” Kyiv. But there is a dissonance in my soul. Especially after being at front-line areas. It’s hell there and here everyone almost forgets about the war. My morning began with planning for the day: to check requests, to work on my project about children, to do my work as a journalist.

    Even though mornings are quieter, my heart is still heavy. I often think about Ukrainians, but it’s okay. Everyone does what they can.

    Volunteer help in Mykolaiv

    Volunteer help to the military in Mykolaiv

    Now I identify songs with places, not with people. Every street or place I’ve been has its own meaning and power. People are behind them. Today I heard a song that reminds me of Mariupol. It’s so strange. A turning point in my life was in that city.

    I want Mariupol to breathe the same now as it could before, and this shameful horde will be erased in powder.

    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


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