Eyewitness to War

Centropa is collecting emails, texts and videos from students and teachers in Ukraine, and we share them with you here.

When I ask my students on Zoom: “Who is your favorite hero?” they no longer answer “Batman” or “Naruto.” They pause, they think, and they talk about the “Ghost of Kyiv.” He is their superhero. They feel it is he who is protecting them during the horrors of this war.

Irina, 28 years old, elementary school teacher; family and city name withheld by Centropa

(note: The “Ghost of Kyiv” is the pilot of a highly secretive Ukrainian Air Force fighter jet that has brought down six Russian planes and then vanished after every kill. That is the story Ukrainian children tell themselves. And we’re sticking to it.)

Witnesses February 2022

Students in a Centropa school (undisclosed location) in March 2022

Teacher Messages

“Old people are like personas non grata“

A. (via Liudmyla), Mykolaiv region, 02.07.2022

“I want my mother not to cry“

Alisa, Donetsk region, 21.03.2022

Little Mitten

Anastasiia, Donetsk region, 01.04.2022

“Fear has big eyes”

Anstasiia, Sumy/Donetsk region, 07.04.22

Rotten Apples

Hanna, Khmelnytskyi region, 27.03.2022

I only cried twice

Hanna, Zhitomirska Oblast, 24.03.2022

War in the dark

Ihor, Kharkiv region, 06. 05. 22

“The city is waiting for the spring and the victory“

Inna, Donetsk Oblast, 20.03.2022

Did we learn from the lessons of the 20th century?

Khrystyna, Lviv region, 21.03.22

“I love you and I will miss you.“

Larysa, Dnipropetrovsk region, 21.03.2022

“Mom, is this war?“

Larysa, Mykolaiv region, 22.03.2022

“My son left for war.“

Larysa, Zaporizhia region, 15.04.22

Night Owl

Lina, Khmelnytskyi region, 06.03.22

At first fear, then amazement then discouragement and helplessness

Ludmila, Mykolaiv region, 17.03.2022

My daughter is deprived from a peaceful sky over Ukraine

Oksana, Khmelnytskyi region, 26.03.2022

The School boy

Olga, Lviv region, 03.04.22

“My students are my inspiration and air“

Svitlana, Kyiv Oblast, 02.04.2022

The Wind of Change

Svitlana, Mykolaiv region, 29.05.22

“Life is not those days which have gone. It is those days that you remember.”

Tetiana, Chernihiv region, 16.05.22

Never-ending working day.

Tetiana, Poltava region, 20.03.2022

“Today I went to plant my flowers“

Valentyna, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, 17.03.2022

“For the first time in many years“

Viiacheslav, Mykolaiv region, 27.02.2022

“Kitty, we are leaving.”

Viktoriia, Cherkasy region, 08.06.22

The basement – is a safe place for today.

Vita, Kyiv Oblast, 02.03.2022

“Good evening, we are from Ukraine!“

Yevhen, Mykolaiv region, 27.03.2022