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  • Українці розповідають про пережите під час війни з росією

    Ukrainians talk about their experiences during the war with russia

    Children of Ukraine 

    Tetiana Kopanytsia about her daughters’ participation in charity photo exhibitions: “We must draw attention to children, who has to flee from the war”

    Ukrainians abroad

    АвторAuthor: Olha Verkalets | Translation: Hanna Dzhyhaliuk

    27 July 2022

    Tetiana Kopanytska from Ivano-Frankivsk is a mother of Nina, 8, and Tereza and Liza, 6. Before the full-scale invasion, her daughters were professional child models and journalists. Now they are taking part in charity photo exhibitions to help the victims of the war, and tell the world about Ukraine through child voices. Recently Tetiana and her kids have joined the art event in Geneva (Switzerland), where a patriotic exhibition of Yanetta Bublyk’s photos was presented. The local diaspora sends funds from charity events to Ukraine. In this way, the volunteers have already managed to collect half a million francs. “Monologues of the War” learned why it is important to organize charitable art events and how Tatiana’s children are surviving the war. Read on to find out.

    My children watched the news with us every day. I cannot say that they were afraid and crying, but one of my daughters has a haunting desire to kill Putin. She even made up a plan: start speaking Russian, approach him and kill him. 

    My eldest daughter was born at the beginning of 2014. So my children knew, even before February 24th, that the war in Ukraine had been going on for 8 years. I told them how russia wants to take our territories. And our people are shooting back, because they don’t want to let it happen. I wish that in the future they’d do what our grand- and great-grandparents did – pass on the instruction “no Muscovites” to their grandchildren.

    Art for peace

    My kids are doing important social work now. Everybody on the planet must know what a russian is. As soon as we learned about an exhibition in Geneva to help migrant children, we immediately agreed to participate in it. 

    We made t-shirts with the cities damaged by russia. The one for the twins we even painted by ourselves. Photos were made by a famous photographer Yanetta Bublyk, and the pictures were sent to the exhibition in Geneva. We presented these photos together with the children who were forced to leave their homes to draw the world’s attention to the suffering of young Ukrainians.

    Nina’s t-shirt says “Ukraine”, the twins’ – “Hostomel” and “Melitopol”. I told children about horrible events in Hostomel after russian troops left, surely without too many details, and showed them photos of destroyed houses. Our friends had a house there, and a missile hit it. That is why we chose this city. Melitopol was chosen to tell the kids about occupation, and why russians are there now. And that Ukrainian army will take it back, same as it was with Hostomel.

    Delegation from Ukraine in Geneva

    Ukrainian delegation in Geneva

    The exhibition in Geneva was held with diplomats, Swiss people and Ukrainians who fled the war. The Association of Ukrainians in Geneva, represented by Inna Akhtyrska, the Embassy of Ukraine in Switzerland, and the International Renaissance Foundation, represented by Khrystyna Havrylyshyn-Batrukh, did a great job to make it successful.

    The most important thing is that the children brought with them the stories of those who lived in peaceful cities of Ukraine until recently, and later lost their homes. When those present at the event heard stories about the horrors that are currently happening in Ukraine, they cried.

    We also organized the exhibition “Children for Peace” in Ivano-Frankivsk to once again emphasize how much little Ukrainians suffer from the war. The photos depict children who fled from shelling or occupation to the seemingly calmer Ivano-Frankivsk; and also children who lend a helping hand to little victims.

    Nina and her sisters

    Nina with her younger sisters Tereza and Liza

    We are planning to hold the exhibition again in Ivano-Frankivsk, combining it with ethnic motifs to show the power of Ukrainian culture. The plans also include taking this photo exhibition to Warsaw, and filming some charity projects in support of Ukraine in Lviv, Milan or Munich.

    How many children have we lost, and how many still need psychological and physical help… It is important to draw attention to children who are forced to flee from the war. They need all kinds of support. Therefore, we will continue to talk about the war in Ukraine so that the world community does not forget about it.

    A photo for the charity exhibition

    A photo shown at the charity exhibition

    When attention and sympathy for Ukrainians subside, there is a need to speak up about it. Right now, the people of the world are getting tired of war. Especially in summer. Therefore, with this exhibition, we achieve the goal of not forgetting about the evil and war in Ukraine. And we are screaming about the need for support.

    A war instead of a happy childhood

    Children should have a happy childhood, but instead, there is a war in their country. This has a significant impact on their feelings and experiences. No child on the planet deserves this.

    I personally find it difficult to go through the stories of the children who became victims of this war. Their emotions pierce my heart. So I have a great desire to convey to future generations that the russians with their power have been destroying and terrorizing the people of Ukraine for many centuries.

    A photo from the charity exhibition

    A photo from the exhibition “Children for peace

    I believe in victory and dream to see a modern, rebuilt and reunited Ukraine. 

    Read also: Victory first, career second: a volunteer from Cherkasy helping Ukrainian defenders for 8 years

    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: Olha Verkalets | Translation: Hanna Dzhyhaliuk

    Ukrainians abroad

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